It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has affected every individual and business out there. From stay at home orders to social distancing rules for companies, the pandemic has completely changed our norms and routines.
As a small business owner, you’re likely struggling with ways to continue to serve your customers while keeping them safe and healthy. Whether you’ve switched to pick-up only or are trying to keep your customers physically distant from each other while shopping, finding a way to keep your business running smoothly under these circumstances can be a challenge.
While the safety of your customers is paramount, there are ways that you can keep your business open and serving your community without jeopardizing the health of your loyal clients. We’ve compiled three ways that you can follow social distancing guidelines in your grocery store, liquor store, dispensary, or other small business without sacrificing convenience.
How to Keep Customers Safe Through Social Distancing
Set Aside Times for High-Risk Customers
People over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions that put them at a higher risk for getting a severe case of COVID-19 still need to shop for groceries and other essentials. Setting aside an hour in the morning or at night only for these high-risk customers to visit your store can help to alleviate some of the fear your customers have about shopping with others.
During these hours, keep a limited staff on hand who are wearing masks and gloves to assist your high-risk customers, and be sure that you complete your store’s full cleaning and disinfecting regimen before the customers arrive at the store. You may even consider offering a small discount to these guests as a way of saying thank you for their continued support and loyalty.
Let Customers Schedule Times to Visit Your Store
If your retail location is physically small, you may struggle to adhere to social distancing guidelines with more than a few customers in the store at a time. Instead of making your customers wait in a line outside of your store, consider using online scheduling software or an app to let your customers book times to visit your store.
Installing a widget on your website or directing customers to a booking app can be an easy, convenient way to manage the volume of customers in your store at one time. Your customers can enjoy the convenience of not having to wait in line to buy groceries, pick up their food, or purchase alcohol. Scheduling apps can even be used beyond your customers – you can set aside times to receive deliveries or conduct regular cleanings.
Create Space Between Customers
Maximizing the space between customers and your staff is important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you have multiple checkout stations, leave a closed station in between each open one to help space out lines of customers. If your store has a self-checkout system in place, closing every other terminal can help your store properly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Additionally, use tape or paint to create lines six feet apart on the floor to distance customers while they’re waiting to check out. You may also consider putting a barrier between your checkout employees and customers – some stores opt for a plexiglass window separating staff from the customers, or you can place a line on the floor showing customers where to stand while checking out.
COVID-19 social distancing rules are certainly making things more challenging for individuals and small businesses alike, but there are ways you can still serve your customers while keeping them safe and healthy. If you want to keep your grocery store, liquor store, dispensary, or other small business open while adhering to social distancing guidelines, Flexbooker is here to help! Try a free trial of our online scheduling software today.