Preparing your business for the holiday season is always stressful, but even more so this year due to COVID-19. Now, there are more safety considerations, fewer people are leaving their homes to go shopping, and consumers are cutting back on spending. Those are some significant changes your business will need to adjust to for a successful holiday season.
The good news is that you can do it, and we're here to help! Let's go over some safety policies and holiday marketing strategies your business should consider for the holiday season.
Health, wellness, and safety is a big deal this year due to the pandemic. In order to create a safe environment for your customers, changes may need to be made to your business or how you operate the business. Many businesses have already increased safety measures due to the pandemic, but a busier time calls for even more changes.
By now, we've all heard the importance of practicing social distancing. COVID-19 is spread primarily through the transfer of respiratory droplets from someone infected to someone uninfected, and standing six feet apart can help prevent the spread of the droplets. Many businesses have already taken precautions to ensure the CDC's social distancing guidelines are being followed by using signage and floor decals to remind customers to stand six feet apart.
While social distancing signage and floor decals are an excellent place to start, it may not be enough. In some situations, like in a busy store, social distancing is hard to follow. Some states have required businesses to set customer limits, allowing only a certain number of shoppers or a certain percentage of store capacity. Other businesses have scheduled shopping periods exclusively for customers who are 60 years and older to minimize their risk. Another strategy could be having an online sign up for scheduled shopping time.
You could also implement one-way movement within your stores. According to the Harvard Business Review, research shows that one-way movement "can be an effective method for reducing the number of close interactions among customers." Some stores have implemented one-way movement by placing arrow floor decals in the store aisles to showcase how you should be moving through the store. This might be something to consider as the influx of holiday shoppers begin to enter stores.
Touchless Payment Solutions
Sure-Touch Sticks & Keypad Stickers
Keep your customers protected from germs on keypads or touchscreens during checkout with tools for touchless payment! Many businesses rely on a keypad or touch-based terminal for checkout, but the virus can live on these surfaces and infect customers. However, with sure-touch sticks and keypad stickers, you can help keep your customers protected.
Sure-touch sticks act as an extension of the finger. Think of them as a stylus that works on touchscreens and keypads, so customers don't have to touch those surfaces with their fingers. On the other hand, keypad stickers are clear stickers that are placed over a keypad to protect customers from contagious germs while you collect payment. Keypad stickers are easy to apply, remove, and sanitize. These tools are used to help ensure that your customers are protected from contagious germs that could be living on your touchscreen or keypads.
Face Masks, Face Shields, & Sneeze Guards for Barrier Protection
While social distancing is a great place for your business to start, you should also consider using other protective tools. The CDC recommends that you wear masks in public settings, and over 30 states currently have mask requirements. Consider providing your employees with face masks to limit the number of respiratory droplets they expose customers to during interactions and protect them from customer's droplets. Additionally, you can require customers to wear masks to boost your business safety even further. Place a Mask Required Sign at the front of your door to let customers know that they can not come in your business without a mask.
Face shields are another product that can help increase safety. Face shields are not a substitute for masks, but they can potentially offer the wearer more protection when worn in conjunction with masks, particularly when performing close-quarters service.
Finally, sneeze guards are another product that offers a barrier of protection to boost safety. You'll typically find sneeze guards placed at checkout. This tool allows for close proximity interaction and transactions to take place while still featuring a barrier for protection. With so many holiday shoppers coming through your store, this tool gives them extra protection from being exposed.
The good news about all of these tools is that they are washable and sanitizable so you can reuse them. Important note, surgical masks are not to be reused, but cloth masks are washable. For information on how to wash your cloth or fabric mask, click here.
Since COVID-19 is primarily spread through the direct transfer of respiratory droplets from person to person, proper sanitization is vital due to surface transmission. For example, you may touch a contaminated surface and touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. According to WebMD, "the virus can live on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for two to three days." That means disinfecting surfaces at your business is incredibly important.
The CDC has guidelines on how to clean and disinfect during COVID-19. They even go in-depth about how to clean specific surface types such as electronics, so this is a great resource for your business. Consider having designated employees who disinfect your store during the holiday season. With more people in your business, that means more disinfecting is necessary.
Holiday Marketing Considerations
While making the proper preparations to increase safety at your business is essential ahead of the holidays, you'll also want to prepare for your holiday marketing. However, your holiday marketing preparations could be looking a little different due to the pandemic. Want to learn about some marketing strategies that will help you maximize your holiday season? Click here. When should you start marketing of the holidays? Learn more here. Need some inspirational gift card designs for holiday marketing campaign? Don't worry; we have you covered here. Want to see different holiday sign options that you can incorporate into your holiday season? Find out more here.
Preparing for the holiday season is unusual this year, but with these tips and considerations, your business can still have a successful holiday season. Need social distancing, mask required, or other signage and decals? We have you covered! We can also help you with custom holiday marketing tools. If there's anything we can do to help you prepare for the holiday season, please ask; we're always happy to help!