Grocery stores and supermarkets are accustomed to being a central part of their customers’ lives, but in the age of COVID-19, many brands are finding that they are the only destination for customers—outside of their homes, that is.
These stores are among the few specified “essential” businesses that remain open so home-bound customers can keep their fridges and pantries stocked. This is an important lifeline for customers, but it also presents a set of challenges—and opportunities—for grocery store and supermarket brands.
Here’s a comprehensive list of key elements brands should master in order to provide excellent, essential customer experiences:
Rethink Employee Roles
The pandemic is forcing so many of us to rethink our processes and see if they still work in this unprecedented scenario. As grocery stores and supermarkets reflect, it will become apparent that they will need some employees to perform different tasks. For instance, where one employee may usually help to pack bags at the cash wrap, they may now need to disinfect carts as shoppers are finished using them. Additionally, businesses should dedicate more staff to fulfilling online orders, as pickup and delivery options will be more heavily relied upon.
Go Out of Your Way
Customer stress levels are up for obvious reasons. Any little thing you can do to make their lives easier or more convenient will therefore go a long way in the world of COVID-19. You could open up more pick-up time slots, assign extra cleaning duties, or even go the extra mile of dedicating specific shopping hours to the most vulnerable communities. Making customers feel cared for now will create a sense of trust and loyalty that will far outlast this pandemic.
Let Customers Know Their Health is Your Priority
When customers step out their door to go anywhere, they have a lot on their minds: Do I need a mask? What about gloves? How can I be sure I stay six feet away from strangers? Is this store disinfecting regularly?
The most important thing grocery store and supermarket brands can do is show customers that you understand their concerns and are doing everything in your power to keep them safe and healthy. Doing something as simple as posting an employee to wipe down carts and pass them off to shoppers as they enter the store will be effective. Even asking cashiers to wipe down credit card machines after each and every customer will have the desired effect. Why? Instead of telling your customers you are taking extra precautions, you are performing those precautions right before their very eyes!
COVID-19 may be creating incredible amounts of uncertainty, but if it is doing one positive thing, it is proving that we are able and willing to do what it takes to keep each other safe.
Grocery store and supermarket brands have the opportunity to lead the charge; if they take up the mantle, they are sure to capture the long-term loyalty of customers for years to come!
Looking for ways to show your shoppers how much you care about their health and safety? Check out this article that walks through the specific steps you can take to create a stress-free shopping experience!