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The new normal for retail: How Appointedd is helping retailers return to profitability

By Zoe Perl 05/15/2020

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The new normal for retail is something that is currently preoccupying brands, employees, shoppers, and anyone else who is involved in the retail industry. 

Over the past few weeks, Appointedd has deep dived into collaborative partnerships with some of the world’s best retailers, finding solutions to not just survive, but thrive in retail.

Given the extent of the impact COVID-19 has had on the retail industry, ‘normal’ still feels a long way off. People have other priorities, and need to feel safe and comfortable in their new routines before they start shopping again. 

For retailers, however, the pressure to return to profitability is huge. That’s why Appointedd have built a Shop Safety automated scheduling suite specifically designed to help retailers reopen safely, and return to retail profitability as quickly and smoothly as possible.

In this post, we’ll run through the five elements of Appointedd’s retail scheduling suite:

  • Up close and virtual
  • Zero touch personal shopping
  • Click and collect plus
  • Retail by appointment 
  • Buffer up

You’ll learn what each element is, how they work, and, most importantly, how they will help you smoothly transition to the new normal in retail and get back to profitability. 

Up close and virtual

Many retailers aren’t yet at the stage where they can engage with customers in person. Even those who are won’t be able to see as many customers as they might like. 

The next best thing is to connect with customers online, and make that experience as personalized as possible.

Up close and virtual allows you to engage with shoppers from their homes – via virtual personal shopping experiences, online showcases, and masterclasses. 

Appointedd easily delivers virtual appointments via powerful integrations with the biggest video conferencing platforms, including Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, FaceTime, and many more. 

Up close and virtual empowers you to deliver a seamless at-home shopping experience that builds a deep and lasting relationship with your customers. It’s also a great avenue towards profitability in the new normal for retail. 

Our stats show that up close and virtual boosts basket sizes at the same time as increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities – one of our major retail clients is reporting that virtual shopping is driving more revenue to the brand than all of its ecommerce sales combined.

Zero touch personal shopping

Personal shopping makes people spend. For high street retailers, it can increase the average customer spend by up to 300%. That’s why it’s so crucial to have that revenue stream available to you in retail’s new normal. 

With zero touch personal shopping, you can deliver an entirely bespoke, personalized shopping experience virtually, in a way that guarantees the safety of customers and employees. 

Your customers can book with you ahead of time, and you can start your consultation before the appointment to maximize value and offer a personalized, zero touch experience. Learn how Space NK are using Appointedd to offer virtual events here.

Appointedd’s fact-find service is built into the booking flow, allowing you to collect important information from customers on sizes, styles, colours, and any other details that will take your service to the next level. 

You can use our Smart Communications platform to send automated reminder messages prior to an appointment, and follow-ups afterwards to nurture the relationship with the customer. 

Online payment options and card reader integrations make it simple to enable zero-touch payments, meaning the entire personal shopping experience, from first contact to follow-up, is taken care of. 

Click and collect plus

Click and collect will be familiar to everyone in the retail industry. Appointedd is offering Click and collect plus – a way for customers to safely collect orders while enhancing your future revenue opportunities. 

Create bookable pick up slots that enable you to process click and collect orders quickly, efficiently, and safely. 

More than just enabling customers to order online and pick up in store, Click and collect plus presents you with opportunities to sell additional products and make recommendations.

The Appointedd Smart Communications suite gives you a direct line to every click and collect customer, and allows you to recommend complementary products or services to go with their order. 

For ultimate revenue maximization, some retailers even offer luxury personal experiences to high-value customers, for example a complimentary virtual styling session to give them a chance to use the makeup products they’ve recently purchased. 

appointedd retail widget with service selection images

Retail by appointment

As lockdown begins to ease and it becomes possible for customers to return to stores, the retailers who get back to profitability quickest will be those who make customers feel most comfortable with the return to in-person shopping. 

Welcome to the world of retail by appointment. In the new normal for retail, you can forget about queuing – it’s not safe, it’s not necessary, it’s not happening.

You can give your customer a luxury experience and show you take their well being seriously by offering them their own specific appointment time for a store visit.

Retail by appointment allows you to schedule every single store visit, ensure your team are on hand to maximize that time spent with the customer, and allows you to control the number of customers and staff who will be in store at any given time.

Retail by appointment not only offers customers a safe and personal services, the stats show it will help you on your road back to profitability:

  • Drives up to a 300% increase in average basket size
  • Captures 35% more appointments booked outside store opening hours
  • Converts up to 98% of customers from browsing to booked appointments

With retail by appointment, you can book in customers however you like – online, over the phone, or in-person – and ensure you give them the same brand standard experience however they engage.

Buffer up

Customers won’t be flooding back to your stores as soon as they reopen – they won’t be allowed to even if they wanted to. 

More than that, returning to in-person shopping is a big step. Customers may be concerned about their safety, and will need reassurances that your brand is taking every necessary precaution. That’s why we created Buffer up. 

Buffer up allows you to manage in-store sanitization with appointment buffers, and create a retail environment that customers feel comfortable returning to. 

As soon as COVID-19 hit, Appointedd started working closely with our retail clients to enable buffer zones to be added to appointments for safer in-store interactions.

These buffer zones allow time for the cleaning and sanitizing of the store, area, or asset before and after every appointment. They are now built into our scheduling software, meaning store safety can be built into your schedule. 

Sanitization buffers will be a necessity for all as we ease out of lockdown and into retail’s new normal. Take advantage of our technology, and our experience, to ensure your customers have a safe and efficient return.

Start getting to grips with the new normal to observe retail profitability

COVID-19 has changed the entire retail landscape. The good news is you’re not the only business trying to get a handle on those changes.

Appointedd’s retail scheduling suite will give you a head start: 

  • Up close and virtual
  • Retail by appointment
  • Zero touch personal shopping
  • Click and collect plus
  • Buffer up

All of the above were designed to help retailers like you return transition to the new normal, and deliver a safe, personal shopping experience that helps you return to profitability as soon as possible.

 

 

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