5 reasons why asking customers to book time-slots to enter stores is a good idea

Raj Sangha
by Raj Sangha

Using retail appointment scheduling software to allow customers to book time-slots to visit your stores is a great way to limit the number of people inside, stagger customer visits throughout the day, ensure social distancing measures are followed and create a better overall customer experience.

Travellers that prefer to plan their activities off-the-cuff might have to compromise this summer – the European Commission is requiring guests at hotels to book time-slots for everything from meals at restaurants to a trip to the pool, and other governments might soon follow suit. So much for spontaneity!

In the UK, where the health secretary labelled international holidays for Brits “unlikely”, booking time-slots could soon become the new norm for something so simple as catching the train into work.

While the prospect might seem daunting, it’s a situation where the pros definitely outweigh the cons. That’s why many of the retailers we are working with are looking to implement an online booking system that allows customers to select store visit time-slots, schedule times to receive specific services, and select times to collect online orders.

Find out more about visitor time-slot scheduling software.

Here are 5 compelling benefits of implementing visitor time-slot selection software:

1) It limits the number of customers in-store and supports social distancing measures

Allowing customers to book a time-slot to enter your store allows you to limit the number of customers allowed in-store at any given time, which plays a crucial role in ensuring that social distancing measures are adhered to on the shop-floor.

And by implementing an online booking system, you know exactly how many customers are in store at any one given time.

This then means that your in-store social distancing measures are far more likely to be respected and enforced. For instance, Irish department store Brown Thomas has announced it will use appointment software to limit the number of customers in its Grafton Street store to 450, and its Arnotts outlet store to 1,100 – it even plans to display how many other customers are in the store at the same time to help put customers’ minds at ease.

2) It minimizes customer time in-store

For customers seeking a particular service, wanting to pick up online orders or looking to purchase a particular product, time-slot booking software can drastically reduce their overall time in-store.

This way they can book appointments with store associates if they require expertise, or select a time-slot to pick up an online order, without having to line up in a queue outside the store.

3) It allows retailers to better manage store associates

Asking customers to prebook their visits means store teams can better manage their customers, as it staggers the number of visitors throughout the day. On the shop floor, staff will stay busy throughout the day without becoming overwhelmed, and head office and store management teams will be able to prepare for busier periods and better allocate resources in advance.

4) A better customer experience

Allowing customers to enter your store at a time that best suits them, without having to queue up outside to enter, creates a far more enjoyable customer experience – and it also creates a calmer, less chaotic atmosphere inside the store.

With an online booking system, there will be far fewer customers in-store, giving customers more space – your staff will be calmer, too. In fact, many high-end brands and designer retailers are dramatically reducing the number of customers in-store to create a more relaxed environment that helps customers to feel safe.

5) Customers will return again

A recent Qudini survey of 2,000 UK consumers found 72-81% of customers were avoiding trips to non-essential stores in the weeks leading up to the lockdown, suggesting that consumers will be skeptical to visit stores even after the lockdown eases unless retailers implement effective social distancing measures.

However, if you can prove to your customers that you are taking the lockdown seriously by implementing stringent social distancing measures and utilizing the latest digital technology to better manage customers, then they will be far more likely to visit your stores, and keep coming back.

Find out more about why many leading retailers are using Qudini’s out-of-the-box appointment scheduling software to allow establish visit time scheduling during Covid-19:

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