Retail Trends After Lockdown – Shopping with Appointment
The world looks dramatically different than it did just a few weeks ago. COVID-19 has forced the closure of many stores across the nation, cancelling in-person meetings. We may lack a crystal ball, but it’s highly likely that some form of social distancing will linger for months as more severe stay at home orders are extended through April and into May.
- It’s assumed that consumers will be warry of large crowds in the immediate post-Coronavirus atmosphere. To help ease the transition period, appointment scheduler can be ramped up to demonstrate how the brand would keep the customers’ safety needs in mind.
- In the short-term, an appointment scheduling platform can be rolled out quickly to help bridge immediate challenges, while in the long-term, help administrators find new efficiencies for scheduling everything.
Many companies like TimeTrade and some brick-and-mortar stores in China have already adopted it so as to maintain social distance. Malls, Supermarkets, jewellery stores, apparels stores, other essential as well as non-essential stores can adopt the appointment scheduler to maintain social distance and safety of both the customers as well as the employees.
A system that helps customers schedule store visit appointments easily allows customers to schedule and update appointments via web-based systems/apps. The technology is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Customers just need to fill up their basic contact information and choose a day and time on calendar. After that they will receive a QR code which they need to show at the store and boom the appointment is set!
- It also offers the ability to accept online payments and send automated notifications like SMS reminders and appointment confirmation. Appointments can be easily rescheduled or modified by the customers anytime if needed.
- Enabling customer scheduling also helps prepare employees. This gives stores or brands more visibility into the number for visitors for a day & helps a workforce in transition be best positioned to welcome customers. It will also address employees’ safety and crowd control concerns.
Dave.AI also offers an Intelligent appointment scheduler tool to pre-book online appointments for store or mall visits. The system also captures the vehicle number and details so that they have a valid appointment to show to authorities while traveling. The system is already being implemented by leading supermarket chains in the country.
It also offers a virtual assistant/chatbot that can guide and help the customers with their queries. In case of malls, the bot can answer queries on store availability, opening/closing times or product availability in stores. It also answers basic Covid-19 related queries with information sourced from WHO and ICMR.
Brands can use online appointment scheduler to drive foot traffic back into their stores and branches by creating personalized experiences for customers. As a result, businesses can strengthen their customer relationships which creates more revenue and loyalty. It is one of the ways to reach consumers in the short-term and understand what will resonate when the doors are fully open again.