COVID-19 put the world into a halt. Businesses had to close their doors to customers for months as an attempt to stop the spread of the highly contagious and deadly virus.
Now, economies are being rebooted around the world. While it is not entirely safe, governments allow more outdoor activities, including shopping and dining.
How can small businesses adapt to the so-called new normal?
New Ways to Shop
The recent global crisis proved that offering in-house experience alone is no longer enough. In this day and age, it is important to find multiple ways for customers to acquire your products.
Surveys have found that an increasing number of people in the United States and around the world prefer to shop online. Ignoring online shopping will squander your small business’ potential for success.
Launch your online shop as soon as possible. Contact web design and development services to help you create your space on the internet. Hiring professionals to do this task will get you a website that looks professional and is easy to use. A website will also give potential consumers a way to purchase your products no matter where they may reside.
Other local businesses are also open for curbside pickups. The customer will call and place an order. The item will be ready when they drive to the location of the store and get their purchase. A recent survey found that a lot of consumers are embracing curbside pickups as a way to shop safely.
A closed room packed with people is a recipe for disaster. Allowing customers to stream into your store unchecked, just like you used to, would increase the risk of infection.
Retailers of luxury and designer products have long been implementing appointment-based shopping. They do not accept more than a few people in the store so that they can provide each of their customers with an excellent experience. It might be time for small businesses to do the same.
The process is simple. The customer interested in coming to your store will call beforehand or use your website and schedule when they can go shopping. This method allows businesses to control how many people come in without creating a huge waiting line outside their doors.
Introduce Contactless Payment
You can also contract the illness if you touch an item or a surface that contains the virus. Scientists have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can survive without a host for several hours. Therefore, the exchange of paper cash can trigger an outbreak.
Encourage customers to use contactless payment. This will allow your customers to just tap their credit/debit cards or smartphones into a terminal. This also keeps transactions short and smooth, which prevents queues from forming.
Keep the Store Clean
Stores have to regularly be thoroughly cleaned, even without the threat of a pandemic. However, as COVID-19 is still going around, you need to ramp up the process. Use a disinfectant on all surfaces, especially ones that are in high-traffic areas. Door handles, counters, cash registers have to be wiped frequently.
You should also create a sanitation station near the entrance equipped with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Customers who come in should be instructed to disinfect their hands to keep the store free of the virus.
Some countries mandate the use of masks in public. Asking your customers to wear a mask inside the store will further inhibit the spread of the virus.
These measures will not make you and your store infallible to COVID-19. But they reduce the possibility of infection, so you can assure your customers and your staff that they are safe.