As coronavirus case numbers fluctuate across states, so, too, do store openings. Retailers looking to create a successful, long-term reopening strategy will need to combine both in-person and online approaches, that can weather changing restrictions on businesses. With that in mind, Salesfloor has launched a “Post-COVID Bundle” of tools to support such strategies.
Salesfloor’s mobile application is designed to support store associates as they serve consumers, but the current environment requires new forms of assistance. For instance, providing up-to-date inventory information is helpful when the shopper is in front of the associate, but hard to leverage for an e-commerce consumer. In order to continue to provide value to customers, associates need new methods of engagement.
“As retailers begin to reopen their stores, there is a heightened need for solutions that bridge the gap in how associates serve and sell to online customers.” said Oscar Sachs, CEO at Salesfloor. “This bundle addresses our customers’ needs and helps them navigate the post-COVID world, where an increasing number of consumers prefer to shop online.”
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The Post-COVID Bundle includes three digital tools that supplement the existing clienteling suite: Live Voice and Video Chat; All-in-One Appointment Manager; and Event Management.
Shoppers browsing online will be able to initiate a phone call or video chat with store staff, through a Salesfloor Connect widget placed directly on the retailer’s e-commerce site. This builds on the platform’s original capabilities, which include live chat, e-mail and SMS communications, and is expected to be useful for customers wishing to view product in a 3-D format.
The Appointment Manager function is designed to support one-on-one shopping experiences for consumers. Once the domain of luxury retail, shopping by appointment is growing in popularity as consumers and retail employees observe social distancing guidelines. Associates can book and manage appointments for shoppers, to take place in-store, over the phone or on video chat, to accommodate customer preference.
Many retailers are being tasked with forecasting foot traffic amid local restrictions, in order to organize staff schedules and create a safe environment in-store. Appointments can help to clarify how many shoppers are expected on a given day, while alternative communication methods can ease pressure on stores as they adjust to new safety protocols.
The last feature in the Post-COVID Bundle is the Event Management tool, which can be used to create events both online and in-store. Associates can record important event information, share invitations with select customers in the Salesfloor system and track RSVPs, all through the mobile application. Events can take place in-store or virtually, to adapt to the capabilities of a given store or retail network.
While recent surveys have shown that consumers are interested in returning to stores, the uncertain conditions suggest there may be a slow shift back to brick-and-mortar as shoppers assess the risks. Therefore, having strategies that support physical stores while still catering to online consumers is critical for success.