Preparing for Pandemic Holiday Shopping: 7 Ways for Retailers to Keep Customers and Staff Safe

An unprecedented holiday season is just around the corner, bringing with it a whole lot of uncertainty. And with 20% of retailers indicating their future is dependent on how well they do over the holidays, it’s more critical than ever to ensure it’s as smooth and successful as possible.

With that in mind, one thing is for sure: retailers can’t get complacent when it comes to keeping customers and staff safe – and ensuring they feel safe – during the busiest shopping season of the year.

Here’s how you can do it.  

7 Ways for Retailers to Keep Customers and Staff Safe During the Holidays 

There are no two ways about it: the holidays will be unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. As a retailer, you’ll want to consider taking the following steps. 

1. Implement Curbside Pickup 

If possible, you may want to implement curbside pickup – either by allowing customers to order online and pick up in person, or by allowing them to call in, place an order, pay by phone, and pick up at the store.

This way, you’ll be able to retain customers who might not feel comfortable entering stores. 

2. Keep Your POS Machinery Clean 

Your POS terminal is going to be seeing a lot of traffic this holiday season. And with such a high volume of contact, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re keeping your payment systems clean.

You can do this by:

  • Using screen and keypad cleaners like the  Ingrenico Screen Cleaning Wipes (Wet/Dry) and EZ Screen/Keypad Cleaning Wipes (Wet/Dry) that offer dual cleaning to safely clean any pinpad, monitor, LCD, or plasma screen. They offer a wet wipe to clean and a dry wipe to remove any moisture or residue.
  • Keeping your electronics clean, from cash registers to keypads, using something like our Electronics Sanitation Wipes, that can keep your electronics clean without the risk of damage.
  • Putting POS terminal covers on all of your payment pinpads so that they can be cleaned frequently without being damaged.

If you’d like to learn more, check out our blog article that dives deeper into this topic. 

3. Maintain Social Distancing

A study recently showed that 62% of people would require proper social distancing measures to be in place in order for them to return to stores.

As per Government of Canada guidelines, this can be done using Physical Distancing Floor Decals that make it easy for people to abide by the two-meter social distancing best practice. 

You can also use Directional Floor Decals to turn aisles into one-way walkways, allowing you to avoid having large crowds packed into small spaces. 

4. Utilize Germ Shields and Facemasks

You can also increase the safety of your POS area by incorporating Acrylic Germ Shields that create a physical barrier between customers and staff. 

And while many cities require masks to be worn in indoor spaces, you can consider offering high-quality reusable masks for all staff as well as making cost-effective disposable masks available to customers.

5. Implement Safe Entry Procedures 

According to the Government of Canada, it’s important to implement safety procedures for customers entering your store.

This includes determining the maximum number of individuals, including both staff and customers, allowed in the store at any given time and then limiting entry to allow one person to enter for each person who leaves.

One way to determine this number for your store is to calculate either one person per 2 square meters or 4 square meters of retail floor space. 

You may also want to have staff situated at entrances and taking customers’ temperatures prior to entering the store using a Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer. In this instance, a normal temperature is considered to be about 36.4 C or 97.5 F. A fever is considered anything above 38 C or 100.4 F.

6. Keep Hand Sanitizer Handy 

Hand sanitizer is an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 so it’s imperative that you ensure your retail store has hand sanitizer conveniently located at entrances and throughout the store.

We recommend stocking up on a number of hand sanitizer dispenser stations so that customers are encouraged to clean their hands frequently during their visit. 

7. Get Ahead of Your Preparations Early 

This year is unprecedented in many ways and we can expect holiday shopping patterns to follow suit. In fact, 30% of consumers say they expect to start their holiday shopping earlier than usual this year – even before Black Friday. 

That means it’s incredibly important that you don’t wait until November or December to start planning your holiday shopping safety measures.

In order for this holiday season to be as safe and successful as possible for both retailers and staff as well as customers, you need to ensure you’re taking the right steps to keep everyone safe.

If you’ve got questions about the best products for your retail store, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our experts are here to help.