It is no longer a surprise to walk into your favorite store or restaurant and be greeted by signs at every turn that explain new rules, regulations, and instructions. Whether it’s arrows directing traffic, or posted recommendations to social distance, or wearing a mask, the methods used to run a business have drastically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. How can small businesses adapt, especially when, in many cases, rules about social distancing or occupancy limits can have a devastating impact?
Customer and Staff Safety is the Governing Concern
Keeping everyone’s safety in mind is the key concern today, and is quickly accomplished using click and collect. The other benefits of click and collect include sales numbers that return to or exceed their normal numbers, which was a common occurrence with early adopters of the click and collect strategy. The use of click and collect allows customers to place orders online for pickup at their convenience and has the potential to forever change the small business landscape.
Click and collect puts the safety of customers and employees in each other’s hands. A click and collect strategy allows staff to do their jobs, but within the limitations set by their own comfort level and that of the customer. The mutual effort towards safety in any encounter helps mitigate potential risks and allows both parties to do business almost as normal but on the terms and conditions that are set when the boundaries for the engagement are defined at the moment of purchase.
Online Websites Expand Brand Reach and Open New Markets
The logical starting point for offering click and collect services is your online presence. Customers need a way to access your products, menu items, or services without being physically present at your business. And although restaurants have managed well using paper take-out menus and phones, these are difficult to keep track of and rarely are seen as attractive marketing tools for drawing in new customers.
The most effective use of a website for online ordering is when a business is provided a POS-integrated template. This provides the business with important features that boost the attractiveness of the business to a customer. For example, orders that are received through this website scenario will be more accurate and will not get lost in the shuffle. Also, the seamless data integration provides more information that offers greater insight into the business and its customers.
Sales Data Provides Deeper Levels of Predictive Analytics
Introducing new channels of interaction between your customers and the products and services you provide will also introduce new inputs of sales data. Possessing the tools to properly utilize this data in order to create successful communication and coordination of order placements and the eventual pickup or delivery of these items is only a part of the puzzle. In fact, the additional channels of information flowing into your POS system can yield something even more valuable.
Previously unavailable bits of information, such as abandoned carts and item views, will help you gain a better perspective on what your customers are seeking. The additional depth that will now be available in your reporting and analytics will also help you to accurately determine and compare your in-house and online bestsellers. Having this information on hand will present you with new proactive sales and inventory management options that can be leveraged to drive in-house and click and collect sales.
Inventory Management is Improved
The ability to handle higher volumes of data and from multiple sources provides new ways in which inventory can be managed. Through the influx of new information, you will gain innovative abilities to fine-tune your click and collect services through your new ability to know where each product needs to go even before you accept delivery. Also, staff will be able to operate more efficiently through the separation of click and collect tasks from your routine, in-house tasks.
Inventory can then be sorted into two points of departure:
- Items for in-store sales
- Items for click and collect services.
Separating the two gives you the ability to have dedicated staff managing both while using the same data and reports to track sales and to ensure the proper use and dispersal of all items. So instead of staff scrambling around the store and backroom to fill orders, they can remain focused on one area without concern of running out of product or jeopardizing anyone’s safety.
Take the Pressure Off of Staff
It cannot be denied that COVID-related restrictions have taken a toll on all of us. With many people facing uncertainties in their jobs or becoming highly stressed due to short staffing or health concerns, it is vital that you keep your staff at ease. The greatest asset in your business during these times are your employees, and keeping them safe while reducing health risks and the stress many of us are facing is something that click and collect technology will help to achieve.
The click and collect requests that come from your website will likely mean fewer customers in your place of business. This provides an easy win in terms of the overall safety and stress levels of staff, who will be freed of “new normal” tasks, such as disinfection efforts or the enforcement of masks or social distancing. Physical interactions will be safe, as staff can use mobile technology to coordinate and reduce customer contact, relieving much of the pressure from their already burdened shoulders.
The Benefits of Click and Collect Start With the Right Technology
As click and collect rapidly becomes the norm in small and large businesses alike, the need becomes pressing to deploy the technology that supports this new strategy. Innovative POS technology will give you the ability to leverage valuable customer data and forward-looking data analytics to devise a contactless strategy that adds a layer of convenience and safety. This will help your business to thrive despite the times because if your customers feel safe, they will turn to you to fill their needs.
In a period of change, talech has a number of POS solutions that can help your business adjust operations smoothly. From reaching new audiences to engaging with your existing customers more often, we give you the tools to adapt quickly and with confidence.
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