Practical tool for stores during coronavirus: SMS services!
Minimize the loss of turnover in times of corona
We are still in restrictions due to the coronavirus, but fortunately, merchants can again have personal contact with customers and buyers (at an appropriate distance). Since the decree of January 31, 2021, it is now possible for stores and businesses to reopen their doors under specific conditions. These conditions include, among others, a regulation of the number of people allowed in the store at the same time, a size limit to the premises, and a strict opening time. Some businesses such as hairdressers, driving schools, real estate agencies for example require much more regulated opening conditions. Whether it is for a classic store or for a business more severely affected by the coronavirus, any opening requires some skills in terms of logistic organization, and the SMS is a very useful tool to keep this process on track (coronaproof).
Click & Collect
To accommodate retail during the Corona crisis, customers can pick up products they ordered online or by phone in-store. This was first allowed for restaurants, and the exceptions of big box stores deemed too big to close such as IKEA. The order must be picked up outside; customers are not allowed to enter the store. Customers are also assigned a time slot, so that the store is not overcrowded and the number of contact moments is kept to a minimum.
However, there are other rules that you as a business and as a customer must consider. For example, the distance of 1.5 meters, minimal or no physical contact if possible, 1 person per 8 m2 and the other basic rules of the Corona must be respected.
Communicate clearly with SMS
For many people, shopping via Click & Collect is a novelty. So from a service perspective (from the merchant to the customer), it makes sense to frame this shopping process well, because it’s with an extra service that you can stand out from the competition in these tough times. But how exactly does this work?
It’s simple, with an SMS message. SMS is one of the most accessible ways to communicate virtually with customers, because we know that an SMS is opened and read within minutes. Unlike email, which has a much lower open rate.
“With an SMS as a reminder of the appointment in the store, the number of no-shows will be minimized, which is a good thing, now that the number of customers who visit your store at the same time is much lower”
Send an SMS of the purchase to the collection point
Customers using the Click & Collect service can receive a digital confirmation of their order via SMS. Confirmation of the time slot for order collection can also be communicated quickly and simply by SMS. Forgot the time? No problem. At the beginning of the time slot, you can send a reminder via SMS to ensure that the customer will arrive in time to pick up the order. It’s fun and reliable for both the store and the customer!
Visits by appointment
Since January 31, merchants such as libraries, driving schools, cultural businesses, hairdressers, can – under strict conditions – receive customers in their stores again. This is only possible by appointment under the following conditions:
– Schedules: The customer must make a reservation (online or by phone), the hairdresser for example, will grant a time slot to the customer to come, so that it does not cross many people, and that the traffic is fluidified.
– 1 customer for 8m2: 1 unique customer for 8m2 in a store can be present at most (except for children under 11 years old). If the store has more than one floor, the following rules apply per floor.
– Maintaining the basic Corona rules: The other Corona measures must of course be respected. For example, a distance of 1.5 meters must always be maintained, including in the queue, and masks are of course mandatory as well as hand disinfection with hydro-alcoholic gel at the entrance.
Fewer no-shows for appointment shopping
SMS also makes it easier for customers to get around during appointment visits. This gives your customers the confidence to come in for their visits safely. Not only can the appointment confirmation be sent by SMS, but a reminder by SMS on the same day will also be appreciated by your customers. Especially since time slot purchases need to be planned and supervised very carefully. For you as a retailer, an SMS reminder also has advantages, as it minimizes the number of no-shows and therefore your possible loss of turnover when customers are not present.
SMS service for the retail sector
By sending relevant SMS messages at the right time, you almost literally take your customers by the hand and guide them through the buying process.
In France, stores of less than 20,000 m2 can stay open from 6am to 6pm in compliance with the safety standards mentioned above. Communicating about hours, rules or even the fact that you are open with business SMS doesn’t have to be complicated. With Spryng’s simple SMS API, you can do it all. Wondering if the turnover and service level of your store(s) can also increase with SMS? As an SMS specialist in the Netherlands, Spryng can give you tailor-made advice without obligation. Send an e-mail or call us for more information: email@example.com or +31 20 770 30 05.