While the 2020 pandemic certainly had presented a number of issues and inconveniences for both businesses and consumers, it is worth taking a look at new processes that your loyal customers may find beneficial moving forward.
The curbside pickup
Pre-ordering an item to pick up at the storefront is actually pretty convenient if you ask many. Seniors and parents with kids in tow are just a few that have been able to take advantage of this convenience. Shopping online for groceries has allowed customers to plan ahead and budget while comparing prices within minutes – saving time and money. During COVID, curbside pickup is helpful for those looking to keep away from busy shopping malls and looking forward to post COVID, many customers may be looking to keep the curbside convenience.
The New Method of Choice - Pre-order for Pickup: 76% of consumers agree that having the ability to buy online and pick up in store has been one “positive” of COVID-19, 33% strongly agree, while 24% disagree1 .
Six feet apart
You likely haven’t heard many people tell you they enjoy long lineups and being crammed into busy shopping malls or events with a bunch of strangers. It’s safe to say that most of us feel much more comfortable with a little space. In addition to increased reservations, We’ve seen restaurants adapt a more personal dining experience, with partitions and extra space between seated guests. Entertainment venues have been turning to online customer reservations, allowing a small group to enjoy their experience in their own space - especially nice for parents at children activity centers - and that's got to mean less collisions at the local trampoline park, right?! Who really wants to go back to the old ways of strangers bumping into you while out in public? Even once we all get through the COVID times, it will be understandable that people may continue to be cautious moving forward and appreciate their personal space more than before. Does your business allow ways for your guests and customers to keep distance now and moving forward?
Local small businesses who may not have had much of an online presence pre-COVID have really stepped up their online and social media game this year! Realizing that they could no longer rely on storefront marketing and walk-in traffic, small retailers quickly recognized they needed a way for their customers to find/purchase products virtually. Restaurants that previously didn’t deliver – now do. small local businesses created online order forms and implemented e-transfers to better serve their loyalty customers. It came from necessity as we all panicked to find ways to make it work and now that consumers have their favourite products, food, and even services at their fingertips, it’s been a welcome addition for many.
What can you do next?
Out of all the negative that has come from our COVID experience, we can really take a look at what we’ve learned. Maybe we will discover that not all retail changes have been bad. If you’ve read this article to the end, it is likely that you are a business owner and to have come this far, it is no doubt that you have had hard decisions to make, additional stress to endure, and still struggle with unknowns. What can you do now while we wait out the remainder of this pandemic? Ask your loyal customers how their experiences are – or how they can be improved. Continue with online communications and customer appreciation to your loyal patrons. Remind them that your business is committed to their customer service and you value their feedback for a better experience. We will get through this together!
Looking forward to better days ahead with you all!
1Source: Tango 2021 - Consumer survey was conducted between March 10-15, 2021 and drew 2,017 completed responses from US adults ages 18 and older across the country. https://tangoanalytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Tango-Survey-of-Omnichannel-Consumer-scaled.jpg