Great news! Some of us are open, in one form or another! The rest of us are on the way, hopefully safely and soon! But no matter how close you are to being open for business, your store and policies are going to be different than they were even on the day you closed. Below are a few ideas to help your store provide a safer shopping experience and then, a more secure place to shop in your customer’s minds.
Does your store have isles? Or does your store have areas which are not so geometric in shape? It may be a good idea to rearrange your floor so you do have isles which can be made into one-way traffic flows. This will help make the social distancing policy easier for your customer to adhere by. And, we know, the easier it is to shop, the bigger and the longer the shopping will be! If you are not open, or are still weeks away, you have time to rearrange and even paint the floor or the walls to make this arrangement happen. Once you have isles, use arrows on the floor starting at the front door, in each isle, and ending at the cash register. Make it seamless for the customer to do the right thing.
Create a safety welcome station inside the front door. Provide masks in case you customer forgot theirs. Also provide some hand sanitizer they can use as they start their experience in your store. Have a trash can just inside, or even outside the door, so they can dispose of the masks before they leave your store. If you can somehow customize the masks with your logo or store name, even better!
We will all have new stronger, more frequent cleaning policies. Post yours at your safety welcome station as well as on all your social media. Post it outside your store or in a window. Make your customer as comfortable as possible coming into your store.
A wonderful take home gift, a thank you for coming in, would be a travel size hand sanitizer. Put your store name and contact info on it. If you cannot find any already made, it is simple to make with alcohol and aloe vera gel. Google for the proportions.
If you have the ability, make a self-checkout area. Many shoppers are choosing this option in stores. It could be an extra iPad or tablet. It does not have to be forever, just while we are getting used to being near people again. Offer curb side delivery, and home delivery if you can. Offer order on the phone or via the website or social media with the curb side delivery option.
Make sure you let your customers know you are open! Share your cleaning policies, and hours on all your social media. One store is extending their hours, with the idea that people will come in, more spread out during the day. You could post on social media what times are busy and what times are slow. Customers may appreciate knowing there won’t be many customers in the store when they come in. Highlight a product that is new or needed during this time. Let them know you will be rewarding them with an especially useful gift if they come into the store.
Lastly, remember to make sure everyone working in the store is super positive in their attitude. Have your customers leave your store with purchases, some hand sanitizer, and having had a great experience in this new normal!