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Even with the vaccines, we are still navigating in a pandemic world, and that's likely to continue over the upcoming months and even years. Retail consumer behaviours have changed in the wake of the pandemic, and while it's too early to tell for certain, it's likely some of these changes are going to remain even in a post-pandemic world. As you operate your new Canadian retail franchise or prepare to open it, here's what to keep in mind.
Make sure your customers are informed
If you have a physical location, it's important your potential customers know which locations are open and what your hours are. This may sound simple, but it's a challenge many businesses have failed at. Keep your website accurate and updated so your customers are satisfied and don't feel inconvenienced. In addition, make your safety protocols and hygiene items clear on the website. This can help convince cautious customers to patronize your location.
Adjust your layout
To help ensure customers are socially distant when they shop, you may need to tweak your interior layout. Spreading out display racks and designating aisles as one way, for example, can help create more space between your shoppers. You can also consider how to use currently unoccupied space in your store, and you can place popular items in a way that helps eliminate the chance of crowding. You could, for example, put your most popular items toward the front of the store so that people can get what they need quickly and make room for other people. When the weather permits it, open windows and doors to help bring fresh air into your location.
Bring in mobile pay and contactless pay if possible
Contactless and mobile pay were on the rise before the pandemic, and it's only become more popular since then. It's very convenient for your customers and also safe in this environment. If your franchisor doesn't have mobile or contactless pay options, it's time to discuss these technologies with your franchise representative.
Hire to meet the demand
One of the bigger questions coming up in the retail sector is just what consumer demand is going to look like in the near future. This, of course, makes it harder for businesses to plan for staffing. Create some protocols and policies that allow you to get staff on demand if possible, whether it's via a local staffing solution or having personnel on standby.