Many state and local governments have deemed pet specialty retailers “essential” businesses, which allows stores to keep their doors open to pet parents. But, as many retailers are discovering, just because you’re open doesn’t necessarily mean they will visit your store.
Here are a few tips that can help you adapt your business and still stay socially distanced.
Adjust your hours for the safety of your shoppers and staff
Consider following in the footsteps of major corporations who have designated special shopping hours for vulnerable populations like senior citizens and at-risk groups.
Shorten hours open to the public to give your staff enough time to thoroughly clean and sanitize your store each day.
Add curbside pickup to your business model
Offering an alternative shopping method like curbside pickup can help mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Before starting your curbside service, make sure you have a plan. After you determine how you will take orders (over the phone, through email, etc.), delegate duties like taking orders; picking and packing products; and delivering pickup items to customers to specific employees. Create an inviting pickup station outside your store with clear signage and instructions. Most importantly, let your customers know about your curbside service by sharing the news with your social media followers and email subscribers.
NOTE: Employees should exercise enhanced sanitation measures when packing orders and follow all government guidelines when interacting with customers at pickup.
Go cashless if you can
To further limit your employees’ exposure, go cashless. Request that customers use a credit or debit card when making in-store purchases and take payment over the phone for curbside orders. If you must accept cash, instruct employees to handle money with gloves and place it into a plastic bag for at least 24 hours to mitigate exposure.
Explore home delivery options
With home delivery, you can provide pet parents with everything they need without them ever leaving the house. You can enlist a third-party service to deliver products from your store or further reduce the risk of exposure by using Animal Supply Connect, a free service that allows you to sell products on your website and ship them from our warehouse directly to your customers.
No matter what changes you make to your pet business during these unprecedented times, Animal Supply is here to support you. Together, we can help keep pets and our communities happy, healthy and safe.