St Albans Businesses – Supporting Each Other During the Pandemic 18 May 2020
At the beginning of May, Cheryl Luzet from St Albans-based digital marketing agency Wagada offered 2 free training sessions to local business owners, in collaboration with St Albans BID. The aim was to support local businesses to maximise sales during this period, reconfigure their websites for more online sales, and to better reflect what they are currently offering.
Strong community spirit is something we have seen in abundance since the start of the pandemic. Neighbours are supporting each other, people are volunteering to shop and care for others and businesses are working together to ensure survival.
We are all keen to preserve our shops and businesses as they are the heart of everything that St Albans has to offer, they employ local people and attract tourism to the city. This crisis has hit public-facing businesses the hardest – with shops and restaurants closed, and the city centre deserted, these types of businesses need to rethink how they reach out to their target audience and generate their trade.
Many businesses have had to change the way that they attract customers – whereas the footfall from the city centre was the main method these businesses gained their clientele, since lockdown they have had to think of new ways to raise awareness of their products and services. They have also had to diversify what they are offering, with B2B companies now selling direct to the consumer, shops moving to online sales and restaurants moving to takeaway business and selling groceries.
However, this diversification has meant that these businesses have needed to update their websites to support their new service offering and do everything they can to ensure that their target audience knows about it. Making sure that they are appearing on Google for people searching for what they are offering is key, if they are to raise awareness and attract new business.
One of the training sessions was aimed at supporting the local shops which had moved to selling their products online during the pandemic and the second one targeted restaurants which were now focussing on selling their dishes through takeaway. Many of St Albans’ restaurants hadn’t previously offered takeaway and their online presence was not set up to promote their takeaway offering. The training gave them the tips and knowledge to optimise their websites and their Google My Business profiles so that customers can find them more easily.
You can view a video and the slides of the training sessions above.