In result of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing policies around the nation, many major stores and restaurants have stayed afloat through curbside pickup. What used to be a featured option in an establishment just months ago is now absolutely essential to keep a business running. As social distancing and stay-at-home orders are relieved across the nation, several law officials are opening up more retail stores with the condition that it is curbside pickup only.
What does it take to open your store up for curbside pickup? Take these four major tips to guide you as you prepare to open your doors up again.
Although in-store pickup is not an unfamiliar concept, the idea of curbside pickup is brand new to many businesses. Developing the right strategy to smoothly run your store is critical. This will mean paying attention to staff and newly designated roles, whether there will be a specific pickup lane or if the cars should wait at specific parking lots, how you’ll manage pickup time windows in realistic quantities, and so on.
These are not situations you’ll want to think about when the time comes, develop a strategy, and plan how pickup situations are meant to run beforehand.
Your Website and E-Commerce Platform
Avoiding as much physical contact as possible is the point of all of this. Your customers and you both have one goal: a quick and simple process. Having an updated website with the proper notifications on new curbside pickup policies is extremely important so that they know what to expect at their point of arrival.
An extremely important thing to keep in mind is your site’s online store, the eCommerce website needs to be updated regularly. Having the proper information online will avoid any mishap in-person, thus avoiding a need for risking both the employee and customer in a longer contact period.
Curbside Pickup Signs, Banners & Displays
A proper website or thorough phone call will not always do the trick. Make sure you have the right physical reminders for display at your curbside location. This could mean a sign or banner that reads a message “CURBSIDE PICKUP,” or be used to display instructions such as “PICKUP AREA” for your customers to know where to drive up to. Your signs can even provide a way to continue your friendly customer service with a “Thank You” sign at the exit area.
These displays are essential to help your business stay visible, especially in town center situations. They will also make sure your customers have the information they need to keep the process quick and efficient.
Online Communication and Marketing
Customer service might be running through your mind as you consider your curbside pickup strategies. How do you avoid putting your employees and customers at risk without compromising a friendly experience? You might want to consider flyers with your social media handles and a subscription invitation to your packaging, social media, and email marketing are absolutely essential to staying connected to your customers in a climate of social distancing.
These places will be where most of your customers know to contact you, ask questions about a product or service, get a heads up about the latest sale or understand what’s new at your store. Constant social media and email marketing will also keep you visible to them. Whether they decide to shop at your business right now or not, staying connected to them anyway will make sure these customers are still with you when times are different.
States have varying strategies to which establishments they will let open up, meaning every business’ curbside pickup is different. In an article discussing varying curbside pickup procedures, Business Insider broke down how different stores remained open. As long as the goals of safety and efficiency are sought after when creating your plan, your curbside pickup will run smoothly.