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Author: Wayne Hockley | Posted May 07, 2020 | Retail


Small Business Retailers Struggle with how to Reopen – in a Safe, Affordable way after COVID-19

State and provincial governments are laying out plans for retailers to be able to reopen in the coming weeks. The owners of these retail operations are trying to figure out how to re-arrange their stores to accommodate the new “post covid” realities. As owners look ahead, they are wondering can they afford to reopen. Part of this question will be – what are the new post covid realities and what are the implications for the staffing costs to run the store safely? Are there options on how to keep your staffing costs low and still run the store effectively?

Some reopening considerations small retailers are facing:

  • Due to the size of the store, how can we rearrange it so we can safely physical distance our customer experience?
  • How can we allow for a safe interaction between customers and staff?
  • How do we “manage” the maximum number of people in our store – while working from our POS system at the back of the store without having additional staff?
  • Are there ideas on how to facilitate “curbside pickup” without increasing staff?
  • Should we say “credit only” to limit physical distancing concerns?
Canva Small Business Closed For Covid 19 Lockdown

One of the limitations we face when trying to answer the questions above is the location and permanent nature of the payment system – usually at the back of the store. If it was possible for a staff member to be positioned at the front of the store, then they could interact with paying customers and manage the number of people coming into the store at the same time. Would it be possible to check stock, place orders for items not in stock, do price checks and take payment from a mobile device like a tablet or phone? If it was, then this would allow staff to both take care of customers, manage the number of people coming and going from the store. They could also receive curbside orders and prepare those for customers.

One example of a system that does just that is the mPOS (mobile POS) system from NaviPartner. It is an affordable, quick implementation solution that would facilitate these concerns and open new areas of opportunity in the future. Of course, every store, every layout and every jurisdiction carry its own regulations for reopening – but freeing up your staff to take orders, manage customer access and curbside business are new realities that will be with us for the foreseeable future. Covid-19 has changed the retail market. We need to help our staff see we are taking their safety seriously and our customers need easy options on how to interact with us. The mPOS system is an example that you can grow into. Today you can start with just the “basics” but in the future you can add new efficient features to suit your new business realities. NaviPartner’s solution facilitates an online shopping cart experience, it makes rewarding customers with loyalty programs/points easy, it makes managing your costs, PO’s and expenses and reporting all from one easy to use system. If you have internet access at your store, then this system let’s you quickly incorporate these changes with very little upfront cost – then you pay one low monthly fee.

If you are facing the questions asked above – then if you take 2 minutes to watch this video introduction on mPOS perhaps you will see how a mobile POS can help you meet your new business reality.

We know that this is a difficult time for many retailers, we hope that by sharing these ideas today we have stoked some ideas or possibilities for your successful re opening. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to our team.