Because of the lockdowns happening all over the world (including where I live in Los Angeles), a lot of people are going to be shopping online this Christmas.
The Covid-19 pandemic means that many of us are wary about spending time around strangers and would rather order gifts from the comfort of our own home to be delivered to our own home.
The fewer people I interact with in person, the better!
But if you’re a business owner who runs a brick-and-mortar store, then you are well-aware of all the sales that Christmas time usually brings. This is one of the busiest times of year for retail, and you don’t miss out on any profit as a result of the pandemic.
The good news is that there are ways to safely entice customers through your doors and maximize in-store sales this holiday season.
Limit Store Capacity
Customers want to feel safe while they shop, obviously. This means there must be 6-feet distance between themselves and others.
So, limit capacity inside your shop by monitoring the door and forming a line outside. Count heads and put clear signage on your windows and doors.
Sure, this may feel like you get fewer customers, but it can actually draw in customers as they’ll know that you’re being responsible and will feel more comfortable shopping with you.
Speed Up the Process
If you have fewer people in store, you’re going to want to get them in and out as quickly as possible to maximize the amount of sales you can make.
Play upbeat music to subconsciously increase urgency in your shoppers’ minds. Make sure your sales assistants can answer any questions customers may have quickly and efficiently.
Also, get a card swiper or contactless card reader (a necessity!) to take payments faster too.
Consider Queueing Customers
With lower store capacity, no matter how fast you serve customers, you’re going to find that you end up with customers queuing outside.
This isn’t the ideal time of year for standing around outside (can you say polar vortex?), so you must find ways to make your waiting customers more comfortable.
As we’re entering the winter months, you may find that customers would rather not queue in the cold weather, rain, sleet, or snow and will avoid your store as a result. They may leave entirely rather than wait around.
You can overcome this problem by providing whatever you can to make waiting a comfortable experience.
Install lights overlooking queuing areas so customers aren’t standing in the dark. Offer branded umbrellas to customers if it starts raining. You may even want to consider investing in safe heat lamps that can keep customers warm while they wait.
Ensure Everyone is Wearing Masks
It’s the law, so make sure that anyone entering your store is wearing a mask. This includes staff AND customers.
More customers will feel comfortable coming in if they are reassured others are wearing masks. Mask wearing can reduce infection rates in your staff, meaning less time taken off work and more productivity, which can ultimately result in capacity for more sales.
It’s win-win for everyone!
Brick-and-mortar businesses have extra obstacles during the pandemic, but hopefully, making a few simple edits will help you have a successful Christmas.
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