Bricks and Mortar Closed? Tips for Getting You Some Online Love

Amazon has de-prioritized shipping toys – now you can get them to your customers faster. Get to it!


Pete Laudin and, his wife Adrienne, are the founders of one of America’s oldest ‘Doll Only’ e-commerce stores: The Pattycake Doll Co., currently located at  

Addie and I have never had a bricks and mortar, we have always been etailers, 18 years and counting. We understand ‘online.’ Even if you’ve never done much there before, you can get sales today. Here are some tips:

100% of your online success depends on your prospective customer’s ability to find you online. Nobody goes past the first page of search results, so that’s where you have to be. Here’s one way to get there: ‘Claim Your Business.’

Type in the name of your store in Google and see if you show up, top right, as a Google Business Listing. If not, then search: ‘How to claim my business on Google.’ and get yourself set up.

Second, search “Toy Stores in ______,” or “Toy Stores near me.” Again, check that you are showing up as a store in your town. If you have claimed your store, you should.

That is what your customers are doing. Searching your name, or doing a generic toy store search near them. Two different searches where you should show up on the first page. Don’t assume you’re there, make sure you’re there.

Once you claim your store, edit it everywhere you can to indicate that they can get toys from you now.
Hours they can order and pick up. Phone numbers for pick-up orders. Address for pick-up orders. Pick a day for Senior ‘No Touch Delivery Orders.’ Any place where you can indicate a way they can get toys and games from you, do that.

While you’re at it, if you see a ‘claim your store on Yelp’ or any of the review sites, do that too.

Social Media: The kids are home, being tele-schooled along with a healthy dose of homeschooling, and you can help those parents with educational toys. But you have to let them know!

If you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest account for your store, use it multiple times a day to post product pictures and stress the hours they can be picked up or delivered. Take pictures of products and post them, again tagging your store’s name and your location. If you do have an online store that can take orders, give them the link to ‘place their order’ there! If you don’t have these social accounts, get them set up and start making posts. It’s free. Again make sure you are stressing local. You have it, they can call you or email you, and they can get it today. (Puzzles are hot and out of stock in lots of places, so if you have them, tell them so!)

Drop Ship from Vendors: Lots of vendors have drop shipping fulfillment. Your customer can place an order with you, and you can get it fulfilled by the vendors. Many are cutting their drop ship fees. You need to get the word out to your customers through your social media and or email lists. In many cases you can be selling stuff you don’t even carry but that is in their catalog.

Amazon has de-prioritized shipping toys – now you can get them to your customers faster. Get to it!

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