Ebola, Flu, and Worried Retail Customers
This is a challenging season for retailers because the seasonal concerns about the spread of disease in public places has been amplified by the threat of Ebola. News stories of businesses temporarily closing in New York and Ohio because an Ebola sufferer visited bring the fears close enough to touch. There isn’t a way to predict how the Ebola scare could change the 2014 holiday shopping season but there are ways retailers can reassure customers who are worried about being safe in the store.
Fight Fears With Facts
The CDC has an extensive website with information pages suitable for posting in public restrooms. This makes it clear how diseases are transmitted and clarifies how Ebola in particular is dangerous if body fluids are touched. The virus does stay alive on commonly touched surfaces like door handles for several hours. In light of that fact, a cleaning regimen that specifically targets such surfaces can be posted to reassure consumers.
Other ways to help limit the spread of disease could be as simple as placing sanitizing gel dispensers and wipes around the store and maintaining a clean, well lit environment with good air quality. That kind of store just feels healthy to people.
Offer Other Ways To Buy Your Goods
Retailers that have several channels available for shoppers have a distinct advantage because they can offer other ways to buy from their business. Items can be purchased online and shipped to a nearby store for pickup, limiting exposure to public spaces. The purchase can even be shipped to the shopper’s home if desired. Call centers, catalogs, and mail order are old school ways to buy remotely but still popular among many.
Marketing campaigns can effectively target customers who may prefer an alternative to leaving their home this season.
Address Specific Issues If Necessary
Some stores might need to deal with specific issues. A public play area might benefit from added cleaning procedures, for instance. The tactics employed to counter public fears of diseases like Ebola or the familiar flu season need to be as specific as possible. Retail management is familiar with the challenge of being flexible to address changing concerns while maintaining normal procedures.
One way to equip retail management to meet the challenges is by utilizing an integrated retail management software capable of diversity. ChainDrive’s free live demo offers a starting point in seeing the possibilities the right software can provide. The free demo can be customized if specific issues are a concern for your enterprise, giving real help with retail pain points.