The holidays are right around the corner. This usually means increased sales, more foot traffic, and busier stores. No matter the year, November and December call for you to have sound strategies in place to handle the increased demands of consumers. Of course, 2020 presents additional challenges given the COVID-19 situation, forcing business owners to be even more creative than in years past.
With limitations and regulations put in place in numerous states and cities, many merchants are asking for ways to keep their customers and employees safe with the expected spike in foot traffic. We’ve put together a guide that covers easy ways to ensure everyone’s safety during the busiest shopping time of the year.
Offering contactless payments is a great way to reduce contact between customers and employees. With POS systems and payment devices like our Payanywhere Smart Solutions or 3-in-1 Bluetooth Credit Card Reader, customers can quickly checkout with a simple tap and go.
Depending on your business, taking payments over the phone is always an option too. Our Virtual Terminal allows you to take customers’ payment info without them ever having to come to your store. Instead, they can order over the phone and you can prepare their orders and have them ready for them in-store upon arrival, drop them off, or have them available for curbside pickup.
If space and weather allow, move some of your inventory outside. Outdoor spaces have been deemed safer, according to the Mayo Clinic. Set up a rack of some holiday specials and accept payments from customers outside with a mobile credit card reader. Not only will this allow customers to safely social distance, but it also creates more space in your store, allowing shoppers to move around inside at a safer distance from others.
Offer holiday deals early.
Major retailers have already begun to offer holiday deals and discounts. By starting early, this spreads out the traffic over a longer period of time.
To prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, it’s important to set up a regular cleaning schedule. Focus on high-traffic areas like checkout, credit card terminals, and entrances. For more tips, view our guide on cleaning your POS machine.
In many areas, masks have already been mandated, but you should still encourage workers and customers to wear them. According to the CDC, wearing face masks and coverings will help protect employees and customers from contacting or spreading diseases. If your budget allows, supply masks for customers and employees to help put some of their worries at ease.
You can also take it a step further by providing gloves, hand sanitizer stations, and installing plexiglass shields at cash registers to ensure customer and employee safety.
New look, new layout.
To make your business more inviting and safer, consider changing up your store setup. Many retail stores are using tape to put marks on the floor, which encourages people to maintain proper social distancing. You can also limit the number of patrons in your store at any time to ensure things don’t get too crowded. Spreading out and rearranging store space to allow customers to have more room when shopping is another good idea.
Every extra step you take now will further improve the health and safety of employees and your customers over the next few months. Going the extra mile shows you care about your shoppers’ safety and puts them at ease. Pay close attention to what employees and customers want and stay flexible as guidelines change.