How Will Your Store Safely Re-Open and Win The Confidence of Your Customers?
As you will have probably noticed, the latest Government briefing announced that ‘non-essential’ retail businesses can once again re-open their doors to the public, in England, in June. The challenge for owners, therefore, is how to do so in a way that complies with the rules and keeps everyone safe, while encouraging customers to visit and start buying again.
Re-Establishing Confidence Among the Consumers
It’s somewhat inevitable that there may be a reticence among consumers to return to public spaces and shopping centres while safety is still such a concern.
So, how do you implement these measures while at the same time encouraging your customers back to the store?
The way in which you implement these necessary measures will play a crucial role.
It’s about giving careful consideration to both the safety of your customers AS WELL AS their convenience and experience.
If you can create an environment that customers can still enjoy visiting, that keeps the sense of restrictiveness to a minimum while maintaining the expected levels of safety, comfort and social distancing, then you have a much greater chance of welcoming more and more customers back to your business.
Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash
Creating a safe shopping environment through occupancy management
If you are having, possibly for the first time, to consider measures for controlling occupancy, regulating access or limiting times that people can spend at your premises, then you should be looking at the ways in which technology solutions can help.
For instance, do you accept the potential for long queues forming outside your establishment, and the risk for social distancing to be breached, not to mention lost business from those who see the queue and decide to go elsewhere. Or the experience for customers when it’s raining?
Or, do you look at alternative solutions, such as online booking systems that allow you to create capacity managed time-slots?
A chance for your customers to book ahead and arrive at their designated time without need for long queues and safe in the knowledge that they will be accessing an occupancy regulated store offering a comfortable ambience and safe environment.
It’s the combination of convenience and care that demonstrates to the customer that you have put their best interests at the forefront of your business.
And it can truly be a winning combination.
Understanding the Requirements Around Occupancy and Customer Visits
The Government have issued comprehensive guidelines for the reopening of shops and other similar businesses; with occupancy, distance and hygiene understandably prominent.
We've identified some key areas that are going to need to be managed in terms of how you control the occupancy, access, flow and behaviours of customers at the establishment. These are:
- Establishing a maximum occupancy number in-store at any one time, based on accessible floor space and potential high-traffic areas, to ensure that social distancing can be reasonably maintained
- Limiting the customer numbers to ensure that these occupancy levels are adhered to
- Putting a system in place to regulate the number of people entering and exiting the establishment (or shopping centre)
- Managing the flow of people into and through the establishment through queues and one-way systems
- Ensuring the queues and crowd levels outside the store are safely maintained and controlled to enable social distancing
- Ensuring safe access for disabled shoppers and those requiring assistance, while maintaining social distancing, as reasonably as possible
- Encourage hand washing and sanitising upon entry to the store
- Discourage handling of items that are not going to be purchased
Full the full and comprehensive list of measures, we encourage you to visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches which provides the latest guidelines.
For a huge number of businesses, reopening their business will mean making major changes to the shopping experience. This will, of course, represent a challenge, but it also provides businesses with opportunity.
The relatively small investment in the right booking solution can provide dramatic benefits to your business as you look to blossom as restrictions are eased. Helping you to enhance customer perceptions, generate more sales and improve the efficiency of your staff.
At thinkBooker we are helping businesses and organisations through safe online bookings and occupancy management systems. If this is something that could benefit your business at these times, then we’d love to hear from you.