Reopening stores in a Covid-19 world | Top considerations for retailers

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As lockdowns are lifted, and the world begins to reopen, we look forward to making up for lost time. For retailers, this means restocking the shelves and getting people back into stores. But while we prepare for a surge in business, we must keep the consumer at the centre of our decisions, understanding how they’re shopping habits may have changed over the past few months and ensuring their safety upon returning to in-store retail experiences. 

 

Here are our top 6 considerations for retailers to keep in mind when reopening.

Stay accessible online.

Many consumers have shifted their shopping habits online over the past few months and may choose to continue to do so post-lockdown, either out of convenience or for health and safety reasons. Having an online presence to accommodate those customers can increase customer loyalty and increase sales during this time of uncertainty.

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Limit capacity in-store to enhance the shopping experience and stay safe.

Keeping customers feeling safe and well taken care of is crucial to good business when many people are anxious about being in public spaces. Limit the number of customers allowed in the store to allow for a better shopping experience, and have well-managed lines outside. You can keep customers up to date on how busy the store is over social media, so they know when to come shopping.

Ask the consumer what they want!

Survey customers as they return to the shops, asking what safety measures would ease their anxiety and enhance their retail experience. Customer feedback will help you create a plan that works for both you and your customers.

Increase your social media presence.

Social media is a great way to communicate with customers, letting them know you care about them and want to engage with them. Use social media channels to update customers on new hours, products, and social distancing and public safety rules. Social media is also a great place to receive feedback from consumers on your plan to reopen.

Allocate more resources to disinfecting and cleaning the store.

Whether it means shortening overall store hours or closing the store intermittently throughout the day to clean, doing this will keep employees and customers safe and happy to be there. Also, have hand sanitizer available for all customers and employees and ask that everyone wear face coverings.

Be open to adapting and restructuring your strategy.

Reopening in this world is new for everyone, and the strategy you choose may not be what consumers want or feel safe with. As consumers shift more and more to online shopping habits, retailers must increase their online presence. Adapt as you go and learn from other retailers as well as your consumer’s preferences.

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AUTHOR

Carina Massana

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