Department stores can use appointment scheduling to encourage footfall and reverse years of decline.
Department stores and malls are destinations in their own right: a place to shop, catch up and unwind. For years, they were the ‘go-to’ shopping experience for teens, busy parents and the ‘one-stop-shop’ retiree. In recent times, however, these cultural bastions have been in decline. A recent Washington Post article revealed that 200 department stores have closed in the past year and a further 800 (half the US total) could close in the next five years.
The pandemic deprived department stores of their physical appeal and the accelerating emergence of online shopping also hit them hard. Department stores and malls need a silver bullet: appointment scheduling.
Department store customers want appointment scheduling
Qudini’s May 2021 consumer survey found that appointment scheduling with department stores is becoming increasingly popular. 77% of department store customers want to be able to book at least one type of appointment. These included booking a slot for a make-up and beauty treatment (35%) and arranging a store visit to view luxury clothing when the shop isn’t crowded (30%). 43% of customers said they would be more likely to schedule an appointment compared to before the pandemic.
Almost a third (32%) of consumers who want to schedule appointments do so for safety reasons. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a sharper focus to department store retail choreography. With shoppers almost equally as interested in saving time (29%) and being able to plan their day better (24%), the appeal of appointments will likely outlast the pandemic. It’s the competitive boost that department stores need as they face an existential threat.
93% of customers that have used an appointment service in the last year said it had at least one positive impact on them. This has included driving them to make a purchase (24%) and making them more likely to return in the future (29%).
Putting these metrics into tangible numbers:
A department store with 200 appointments per month, per store (with an average transaction value of $54) could earn an extra $99,600 per store, per year.
Cost-effective returns for department stores
The pandemic has hit many department stores’ bottom lines, but deploying appointment scheduling technology is simple, rapid and cost-effective. We asked consumers what type of appointments they’d like to book. The three most popular methods involved resources that most retailers already have – a phone number, a website and shop floor staff:
- By calling the store (30%)
- The company’s website (27%)
- Through a store associate in-person (20%)
Department Stores only need to equip their locations with the right software, facilitate appointment scheduling from their website and train in-store staff in order to boost appointment traffic.
What’s more, our 2020 survey found what type of appointment scheduling department store customers want:
- 29% want to check-in from their phones and collect online orders from the curbside or storefront.
- 28% want to use virtual queuing systems – i.e. via their phone or QR code.
- 28% want to be greeted by a host with a tablet. The host can take their name, provide them with an estimated wait time and let them know when their turn arises.
Schedule an appointment with Qudini
To drive appointment traffic to your stores and boost customer sales, experience, loyalty and advocacy, schedule an appointment with Qudini to find out more.