Besides the usual hand sanitizing stations and face mask policies, there are a bunch of different ways that vendors can help make their customers feel a little more safe while coming out to shop. From offering contactless payments to redesigning your booth area to reduce traffic, the possibilities are endless.
Restructure Your Booth
To help keep their markets open and encourage safe shopping, Robert Sieban, CEO of United Flea Markets (UFM), a company that owns and operates 15 different flea markets across the U.S., has encouraged the restructuring of fixtures in each vendor booth. In the past, consumers may walk around selling spaces under tents to view all of the seller’s merchandise. Now, vendors are encouraged to put a table at the front of their booth and display all of their products behind the table. Shoppers can then communicate safely with vendors and prevent customers from touching all of the merchandise.
Make Safety Measures Highly Visible
If you have a big enough selling space for customers to float through, it is a good idea to put up signs or stickers on the ground that dictate a one-way flow of traffic. If you offer hand sanitizer or gloves, put them up on tables or near the entrance of your booth where shoppers can easily see them. Whatever safety signs you may have, make sure they are placed in highly visible areas so consumers cannot miss them.
Wear Gloves While Handling Customers’ Products
Sellers do not need to wear gloves the entire time they are working, but it would definitely make shoppers feel a little more at ease if you slipped on some gloves while putting the goods they purchased into a bag, or while handling their cash or credit cards. It also helps vendors seem more trustworthy if they wear gloves while restocking or refolding clothing. There is no 100 percent guarantee that germs will not end up on the merchandise, but if consumers see you doing everything you can to make your booth a safe shopping space, they will be more inclined to make a purchase from you.
Offer Contactless Payment Options
Even though contactless payment options sound like they can be expensive, there are a lot of affordable options for vendors. According to Joe Scioscia, VP of Sales at VAI, systems such as PayPal Here and Shopify POS allow businesses to bring the contactless online experience into the physical shopping space, in a straightforward way. Sellers can also utilize POS systems offered by an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which helps to eliminate long checkout lines and automatically sets up customer accounts online, which gives consumers one more way to shop with you.
Vendors can also offer Venmo or PayPal payment options on site in case the touch-free systems are too out-of-reach for your business. Any type of contactless payment technologies help to take away the need to constantly touch and pass back and forth customers’ credit cards.
Position Product Racks/Shelving Farther Apart
According to a consumer study by First Insight, 68 percent of shoppers say that positioning product racks and shelving farther apart help to make them feel safer while shopping. Especially if your booth has additional space or tables, use that to spread out your displays and products. Any social distancing makes a huge difference.