How to let your customers know that you are open again
The first tentative steps to reopening non-essential businesses are being set out by the Government as part of the 3-step roadmap plan. Some retail shops will be allowed to open from 15 June with some hospitality services being permitted to open their doors from July. Non-essential retail businesses include clothes, shoes, toys, and furniture shops.
Stores now have a couple of weeks to prepare for opening and to ensure that the premises are COVID-secure by putting social distancing procedures in place, so the public feels safe to go back to the shops. In this article, we look at the ways you can let your customers know that you are once again open for business. The word will need spreading about date and times of opening and that you have all the health and safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Ensure your customers and staff feel safe
- Update your website
- Update your Google My Business
- Share on social media channels
- Send out a newsletter
- Run promotions
- Communicate a consistent message to let customers know that you are open
1. Ensuring your customers and staff feel safe
Your primary concern will be for the health and safety of your customers and staff.
The Retail Mutual has a dedicated coronavirus hub with lots of information that will assist you as a retailer to understand what you need to do to help make your premises COVID-secure.
Key things to consider are:
- Adopt hygiene practices
- Stock up on hand sanitiser
- Invest in PPE for your staff
- Implement social distancing procedures
- Use clear signage to help customers
2. Update your website to convey key information
The internet has played such an important role during the coronavirus pandemic, from being a portal of information and guidance to giving a platform to independent retailers who temporarily closed their doors.
Use your website to publish all the important information regarding your reopening plans, including dates and times, and all the measures you have put in place to provide customers with a safe shopping environment.
3. Update or set up Google My Business
Google My Business is an ideal way to increase your online visibility and the only cost associated with it is some time to set it up. You can post your new opening times and extra services and use your profile to convey your safety messages.
If you do not have Google My Business set up yet, click here for our full step-by-step guide.
4. Share on social media channels
Social media is the perfect platform to have a conversation with your customers, whether that be speaking to existing ones or reaching out to new ones. Some key things to remember when using social media are:
- Maintain a consistent message on the platforms you use
- Use platforms which are best for you and your business
- Post frequently and continue to do so after you have opened
If you are looking to create a Facebook page for your business but don’t know where to start, click here for our step-by-step guide.
5. Send out an email newsletter
If you have a mailing list, this is a great way of sharing information and you can also include special incentives, discount codes and any loyalty programmes that you have. Your customers will probably appreciate an update, particularly if you are sending meaningful and valuable information.
Decide how often you want to send your communications out, as it is important not to bombard your customers. Include helpful content that can be skimmed and is concise, and give your customers the opportunity to let you know how they are feeling and what they are thinking.
6. Run promotions
Whilst you will be looking to grow your business, you also want to bring your existing customers back to your store. You could run a promotion for your loyal customers, which would not only bring in revenue but also make your customers feel special.
As you reopen, you may find you have stock which is still fit for purpose but needs clearing out to make way for future seasonal stock. Ways to do this would be to offer discounts, launch a sale or run a Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) promotion.
7. Communicate a consistent message to let customers know that you are open
Communication with your customers is important so that they know you are open and are aware of what you have been doing and why they should come back to you. The situation is challenging and as a business owner, you will have to adapt and be flexible to your customers’ requirements and recognise that there could be growth opportunities. Use all the channels available to you to communicate with your customers and aim to build up a relationship with your returning customer base.