Retail drives much of the national economy and accounts for trillions of dollars spent each year. Recent closures have caused those numbers to fall, but as malls and stores begin to reopen, consumers will start spending again. In addition to clothing, home goods, accessories and beyond, they'll be looking for one key thing: knowing they can shop safely. Companies can ease their fears with the right communication and innovation.
Retailers aiming to win back foot traffic can begin by building trust. If it's apparent to consumers that a store takes the recommended health and safety guidelines seriously and enforces them with employees and customers, they're more likely to trust that store — and return in the future.
Whether you're reopening or rethinking your protocols, consistent messaging is key.
Showcase the new face of retail
Shopping will look different for the foreseeable future. When consumers approach or enter a store, they'll want to know that the store values their health and safety. Communicating the guidelines in place and altering — or at least marking — the store layout will help them feel assured that their shopping experience will be safe. Visible communication helps forge a relationship between shop and visitor, turning browsers into buyers.
There are several forms of innovative printed communications that get important safety messaging across in clear and concise ways. Once you know the message you want to convey, you can work with a print expert to select the appropriate method for displaying your message.
Make your health and safety commitments visible both outside and inside
Before customers even enter a store, you can set a clear, recognizable tone for them. Some retailers are getting creative by using parking spaces or portions of parking lots to orchestrate product pickup for shoppers who prefer to stay in their cars. To indicate how and where shoppers should pull up to receive their purchases, it's important to have large, readable signage at the storefront and at each available spot. You can even place QR codes on signs that communicate with smartphones and allow shoppers to alert you that they are waiting. Helping customers avoid confusion by using print signs to guide them will ensure they have a smooth and safe shopping experience, even outside the store.
Inside, printed posters and banners are ideal for communicating overall expectations. Do you require shoppers to wear masks? Will you limit how many people can be in the store at one time? Do you want to publicize your cleaning and sanitizing regimen? Displaying these messages on vibrant, brand-centric posters or banners in visible places helps ensure that shoppers take note and abide by the rules.
Use wayfinding and creative cutouts to encourage social distancing
One way consumers can stay safe while strolling through stores is by social distancing. That is difficult to enforce on its own, but floor decals spaced six feet apart can help people know exactly where to stand or walk. Decals or markers can guide shoppers through a store so there's one-way traffic, or they can be placed strategically in the checkout line to avoid crowding.
When shoppers are ready to check out, you can use innovative printed cutouts of your products at the counter to create distance between shopper and employee. Some retailers have swapped the standard Plexiglas divider for colorful prints of their merchandise that create a safer shopping environment while simultaneously providing beneficial marketing. Consumers will learn that the brand values their health and safety, and encouraging shoppers to social distance with the right communication and the right tone will help build long-term trust and loyalty.
Work with a trusted provider
However you choose to creatively communicate your health and safety messages, you can turn to FedEx Office to take care of the printing and delivery. We can provide printed communications as well as insights into best practices for placement and materials so your customers can shop and spend safely, and you can focus on winning back foot traffic.