Small businesses are some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With nationwide shutdowns ordered on all non-essential services, many SMBs across Australia have had to shut down shop temporarily without any idea of what the future holds.
These are unprecedented and stressful times, to say the least. And with the news changing daily, Aussies are turning to business websites for updates on opening hours, delivery policies and more.
So what does this mean for you?
During these unpredictable times, it’s more important than ever to keep your website up-to-date with information about your business. We take a look at some must-have information you should have on your website during COVID-19.*
The number one question most customers will have during this time is – ‘Are you open?’ Your website should have the latest updates on your adjusted opening hours during this time. If you offer takeout, it’s also helpful to note your delivery window during the day.
If you’ve been required to shut up shop for the time being, it’s still a good idea to list the hours that customers can reach you with any questions, as well as your contact information (such as your business email and phone number).
Not quite sure how to go about this? Here’s an example of how the team at Yellow Pages are keeping SMBs up to date:
Latest business updates.
Things are changing left, right, and centre. When information is flying at your customers from a bunch of different sources, your website should act as the definitive go-to for updates on your business.
Keep customers in the loop with updates on how your business is responding and adjusting to COVID-19. Some useful things to include are:
- Improvements to OH&S to ensure products are safe.
- Adjusted working methods, such as remote working or online lessons.
- Updated policies for appointments, if you’re a service-based business.
- Additional resources if they want to find more information.
Takeout or delivery options.
While in-store business might be slowing down, delivery is picking up—fast. If you’re a cafe, restaurant or bricks-and-mortar store that offers delivery, now’s the time to put this front-and-centre on your site.
If you’re an food and beverage retailer:
- Pop your takeout menu on your website, either as a PDF or a separate webpage.
- List your delivery hours throughout the week.
- Include an ETA on how long it takes to have food delivered.
Meanwhile, if you’re a bricks-and-mortar business that is now shipping products to customers, it’s essential to give them an estimate on how long their order takes to arrive.
What to say if you need to close your doors.
As the government bans become more imposing, many small businesses have been forced to close doors temporarily. Even if you’re still trading, it’s helpful to be prepared in case you’re required to shut up shop for the time being—and that means putting out a statement on your website with the latest information.
While it’s tough, try to keep your message supportive and positive, while also being transparent about the situation. Thank your customers for their support over the years, and remind them that you’ll be here ready and waiting once it returns to business as usual.
If you need some inspiration, here’s a template you can use:
To our valued customers,
In light of recent announcements, we will be closing our doors temporarily to help protect the health and safety of our staff, customers and the broader community. We thank you for your ongoing support and want you to know that we are thinking of you in this difficult time.
While we may be physically shut for the time being, we will still be available for our valued customers online. Stay up-to-date with us on social media, or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we reopen.
In the time being, we hope you stay safe and wish you the best during this time of uncertainty. Please keep in touch with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
Yellow Pages is here to support small businesses during this challenging time. Visit the Business Hub for more advice, tips and insights for SMBs during COVID-19.
*We endeavour to provide accurate material for Australian businesses consistent with Australian Government Health and Safety Guidelines. However, this material is for reference only and is not designed to be, nor should it be regarded as professional advice.