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How Retailers Keep Employees and Customers Safe from the Spread of Coronavirus

How Retailers Keep Employees and Customers Safe from the Spread of Coronavirus

March 31, 2020

What Retailers Can and Should Be Doing to Keep Customers and Employees Safe—Now and After the Crisis Has Passed

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have a responsibility to maintain service without risking the spread of the virus or putting your customers or employees in harm’s way. This responsibility will continue long after the worst has passed, and all businesses are open and back to normal.

Whether you are offering limited access or if your business is temporarily closed, there are things you should start doing now and continue to do after the crisis is over to help maintain a safe environment for all moving forward. This blog offers some tips every retailer can use.

1. Utilize Resources Like the WHO, CDC, and NRF

During times of health crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources. First, they provide credible, factual information that you can’t necessarily count on elsewhere. Second, they will keep you up to speed on what the latest guidelines, providing helpful resources like workplace reminder messages on hygiene best practices, including guides and printable downloads. Another resource for retailers is the NRF, which is constantly providing updates on how the pandemic is affecting retailers and providing guidance you can trust.

2. Make It Easy to Keep Hands Clean

Some of the more commonly and frequently discussed tips to keep employees safe cannot always be easily done during opening hours. For an example, advice from WHO and CDC urge frequent hand washing, but that might not be so easy for someone manning a check-out line in a store. The backup plan is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (which is not as good as handwashing, but it helps), so keep those available at key points like entrances, exits, and points of payment. WebstaurantStore has many touchless options to choose from easily online;  check your current supplier’s catalog for possible comparisons.

3. Institute Clean Routines for your Store

The WHO provides an 8-page Workplace Ready Health Crisis FAQ guide with some low-cost measures to prevent the spread of infections at the workplace. Here are some easy ways to start fast:

  • Disinfect frequent touch objects: doorknobs, remotes, devices, countertops, etc. A simple email to remind the team to wipe up after each interaction, starting/ending shifts, opening/closing the store – as frequent as possible can help encourage these habits.
  • Generate more ventilation during any gathering that cannot be done remotely by opening windows and turning on fans.
  • Be creative! Design contests or amusing awards for cleanliness achievements and milestones to encourage consistent actions.

4. Encourage Online Shopping

Even with all the safety measures you can take, the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is by limiting or eliminating human interaction. Promote traffic to your eCommerce site by offering free shipping with no minimum threshold, creating online-only promotions, offering double or triple points per purchase…whatever you think will resonate with your customers.

If you don’t have an eCommerce channel yet, you should pop one up—fast! Catch consumers on their devices more frequently while they are being asked to stay at home. Retail Dive shares a Red Points report that says 58% of consumers are already buying more online and 73% will increase their online shopping during this outbreak.

Although online reports indicate many retailers are beginning to drastically reduce normal hours, Increasing eCommerce sales means you’re “always open”, keeping hours convenient for the consumer and keeping your staff working. You’ll need to change to a business model that is more focused on shipping, but that can be done.

Quickly start up a basic site in minutes through Shopify using their templates and themes. Also consider utilizing services like WJD Designs, which offer quick standups on premium digital content services, like websites, graphics, and videos.

While many of these seem second nature, it is easy to get busy, distracted, and overwhelmed.  During this time, we are reminded why these actions are so important to maintain. Someone once said, “Safety is the only cheap and effective insurance policy.” Get prepared—and reach out to experts with the tools and technology to help.

Contact ArcherPoint to discuss getting your retail business online or optimizing what you already have in place so it can handle the increasing demand that is sure to continue increasing for the foreseeable future. Learn more about ArcherPoint’s Channel Sales Manager (CSM), which can give you everything you need to manage every aspect of your eCommerce business.

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