Retailers can use appointment booking software to stagger customer visits throughout the day, limit the number of people in-store at once, and create engaging customer experiences.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, consumers were only allowed to make essential trips to stores – but with the lockdown easing, it’s clear that there was more stopping consumers from making trips to stores than a nationwide lockdown. The majority of consumers are concerned about catching and spreading the virus, and will continue to avoid non-essential trips to stores unless they can be made to feel safe.
In fact, 77% of consumers were actively avoiding stores in the weeks leading up to the lockdown, according to a recent survey of 2,000+ UK consumers, suggesting that consumers will continue to avoid stores post-lockdown unless the right social distancing measures are in place.
That’s why many retailers are turning to appointment software solutions. Here are 3 practical ways retailers can use appointment scheduling software in their stores to support social distancing during Covid-19:
1) Allow customers to book time-slot to enter stores
Instead of asking customers to join physical queues outside of stores, many retailers are using time-slot scheduling software to enable customers to pre-book a time to visit a store.
This is a great way to limit the number of customers allowed in-store at once, while creating a positive and safe experience for customers. Customers receive a confirmation message and are reminded of their upcoming appointment by SMS, email and personal calendar links.
Prominent Irish department store retailer, Brown Thomas (owned by Selfridges Group), has implemented this initiative in its stores. Read more here.
2) Let customers book appointments for in-store services
Appointment scheduling software is an excellent way to promote your in-store services – and it’s also great for managing footfall to your stores during Covid-19.
Allow customers to book appointments with your in-store experts via your website, app, social channels or over the phone, and keep them engaged with regular notifications and alerts via SMS, email and calendar links. This gives your in-store experts better control of their schedules – staff can access a calendar interface and itinerary to prepare for customer appointments – and it also allows store managers to better allocate internal resources.
3) Take your in-store events online
In-person events are great for building stronger relationships with customers, and while Covid-19 has stopped retailers from being able to host in-store product launches or events, many consumers are actively engaging with brands online.
That’s why many retailers are hosting online events such as useful tutorials, interviews with celebrities or influencers, virtual runway shows, or cooking, fitness, or gardening classes.
Appointment scheduling software allows customers to easily book a place at your online events, and keeps them engaged with confirmation messages alongside regular alerts and reminders. When your event is live, customers will receive a link to your event before it starts, and be able to easily tune. Quality event booking software will be integrated with video conferencing tools such as Zoom.