How to Bring Customers Back During COVID-19

Now that shelter-in-place orders have been lifted in most areas and various reopening phases are being implemented, you’ve finally reopened your doors. That’s great news. But now you need to get people inside so they can open their wallets (or, better yet, tap their phones). Sure, e-commerce has been booming lately, but you can bet that many people are craving an in-store experience. Here a few tips to help you regain some foot traffic.

Get the Word Out

It seems obvious, but don’t assume that your customers know you’re open for business. Send them an email or SMS and tell them that your doors are open.

Better yet, show them. Use Instagram or other social media platforms to highlight the changes you’ve made to your store and the steps you’ve taken to accommodate in-store customers.

Also, if your business hours have changed, be sure to keep them in the loop.

Keep Your Staff Healthy

This is an important one. Your customers aren’t going to feel safe if your employees don’t—it’s as simple as that. Likewise, an outbreak at your business (especially a publicized one) would be detrimental to you, your employees and your customers. Clearly, a safe and healthy workplace is in everyone’s best interest.

Consider the following:

  • Create a culture of openness and self-reporting so your employees will be inclined to share any health concerns
  • Hold a staff meeting (virtually, if you like) to get employees’ feedback on what’s going to make them feel safe at work
  • Help your employees learn how to properly put on and clean personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Consider asking clients if they are ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms before they enter the store
  • Encourage your employees to take care of their mental health

Beyond the obvious health benefits, when customers see staff wearing protective (properly, of course), they will feel safer and confident knowing that you are taking health and safety measures seriously. Indeed, according to a McKinsey survey, customers actually look for retailers that have visible safety measures and show care for employees.

Go Contactless

Cash is not king (at least in the retail industry, anyway). Although in some cases you may have no choice but to accept cash, for obvious hygienic reasons you should do everything you can to encourage contactless payment.

Side note: Consumers typically use cash for smaller purchases, so you’re going to have to adapt if transactions under $10 make up a large percentage of your business. On that note, if increased transaction costs are eating up your bottom line, get in touch with Sekure and we’ll see where we can find some savings.

Lastly, provide digital receipts instead of traditional paper: (1) it’s one less surface to touch and (2) you’ll get your customers’ contact information, which you can then leverage for marketing. You’re welcome.

Continue Investing in E-commerce

The reality of these interesting times is that we simply don’t know whether another lockdown is around the corner. Maybe you’ll have to close your bricks and mortar store again, maybe you won’t.

Either way, investing in e-commerce is a smart move. On one hand, in the event you do need to shut down, you’ll be well positioned to weather another extended closure; on the other hand, the pandemic has only accelerated the shift to online sales, so you should be headed in this direction anyway. (In case you needed proof, an e-commerce company you’ve probably heard of just doubled its second-quarter revenue.)

These are just a few ways you can get people back in your store. Most importantly, stay positive, keep in touch with your customers and followers and communicate openly with and take care of your employees.

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