Get ready for the opening of retail

High street retail businesses have taken one of the hardest blows from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many shops are classed as non-essential and have therefore been forced to close their doors for the third time within a year. However, as we get closer to a roadmap to easing the national lockdown, it's time for retail businesses to think about how to prepare.

Opening up shop after lockdown requires careful planning; you'll need to ensure your space is safe for visitors, and that your staff are fully trained on new guidelines.

You'll also want to think about how to attract sales - both online and offline - to make up for months of lost revenue.

Creating a safe space

When planning your reopening, it's important to think about whether your space can meet health and safety guidelines. You may need to make adjustments to your displays and stock to accommodate social distancing. Also think about how you can help your staff and customers to maintain a safe distance while in your shop; could you introduce a one-way system, and could you benefit from barriers or partitions for tills and other interaction points?

Providing adequate training

You'll likely need to provide some extra training for your staff to introduce new health and safety measures. Your employees will need to know how they can help keep their customers safe, any guidelines over how many people can enter the store at any one time, and on what PPE and temperature checks are now required.

You should provide adequate PPE for your staff before they return to work. This needs to include face coverings and masks, as well as gloves in some industries. You should also think about health monitoring for your employees, as well as providing new guidelines over when they should not come to work.

Encouraging more sales

The past year has been incredibly tough for retailers - having a direct impact on bottom lines.  Many shops have stayed afloat by offering buying options such as click and collect, contactless payments, home delivery and pay in advance for services once they reopen. 

Consumers have grown used to these ways of shopping, and are likely to expect them even after stores open and it may take a while for some consumers to regain the confidence to shop in-store again, so ensure you continue to offer click and collect and contactless payments.

Also, think about how you can boost sales and increase revenue when they come into shop, such as countertop impulse buys. Most consumers won't spend a lot on an impulse buy, so by placing the right products at the checkout will encourage the customer to purchase on impulse, which all helps to increase your revenue. And of course, these can be tracked in your POS, so you know what items are selling well and what items are not, so you can swap if needed.

Seamless shopping

As part of your reopening plan, you should make sure the shopping experience is as simple as possible for your customers. 

You should make it's easy to physically navigate and find products within your shop; your customers are likely to want easy access to the things they want to buy. They won't want to spend longer than they have to browse around busy stores. 

Make sure your spaces don't create unnecessary traffic, and train your staff to assist customers quickly and efficiently in finding what they need.

Make sure your point of sale - POS system - supports this seamless shopping experience 

Does your POS system support contactless payments and integrated payments for safe, fast card transactions?  If not it's worth choosing a point of sale system that can not only process accurate, quick payments but also one that can manage both your in-store and online sales in just one retail system. A pos system that can redeem gift cards instore and online, run promotions, loyalty programmes and have the ability to email customer receipts.

An all-in-one retail system like ShopTill-e can save money and time by helping small and mid-sized retailers easily process and manage sales from all channels, creating a seamless experience for shoppers so they can shop however they like, as well as keeping important inventory in sync in real-time, for you.

These types of seamless experiences will help people gain the confidence to shop again, and can aid your shop's recovery from the impact of the pandemic in the longer term.

ShopTill-e prevents the need of using multiple systems to run and manage in-store and online sales, with its fully integrated cloud epos system and ecommerce platform, making it super efficient and extremely cost-effective.

And if you're looking for POS Hardware we have a range of options to choose from. If you would like to view some ideas that could work for your shop and counter setup then see our POS Hardware for more information.

Alternatively, sign up for your free trial today or book your personalise demo.

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