More Retail Strategies

Jennifer Polanz

Some additional help to further touchless or low-touch retail:

Q: To avoid contact with customers (and vice versa), what touchless payment options can I use?

A: There are two types of contactless payments:

Imbedded in the card, you’ll see this symbol.   
The consumer card must have this feature. It’s becoming more popular and gaining in the numbers, but it’s still being rolled out.

Mobile wallets—A couple popular ones are Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. These are the ones that allow you to hold your phone close to the credit card reader and it will process.

Most devices sold in the last couple years have these features available and there are a couple of things you need:

Hardware—Your device needs to have this capability or you’ll need a new one and in the short term that may not be an option.

Software—It needs to be able to process these types of payments; this is becoming more popular so you’ll need to check with your processor to see what’s available to you.

Also, you can turn off the signature required on credit card readers. You do have more liability, but something to consider. Only offer email receipts if you have that functionally.—Sam Kirkland

Q: How can I leverage social media to promote my business and offerings during the pandemic?

A: There are general brand-building ways and then there are brand-destroying ways to do this. Consider any response to be in one of these two categories and nothing to be neutral. Be honest and transparent. Talk about what people want to talk about as if you’re talking to one person at a time because you are.

Be positive and constructive. People don’t need to get their bad news from you, or any news for that matter, unless it pertains directly to doing business with you. Keep it positive and about what you’re doing to help others, and what you can do to help them. Use it as an engagement point from which to take the conversation to a different communication platform or a good ole’ phone call.—Sid Raisch

A: Cautiously. Many of your customers are likely more worried about their health and their family’s health. Ask yourself what you can do that’s consistent with who you are and what you stand for. What will your customers accept? Support?

Basic rule of marketing: “Satisfied customers tell our story best”—if a customer says, “Times must be tough for you, how can I help?” get them to post on every social media possible a big thank you to your store for allowing them to brighten their day, their house, their garden with the great plants they just bought. (If they post pictures that’s better!) If a customer is telling the world on social media how good you are to have such wonderful product available that’s a different message from: “I need cash, come buy from me.”—Bill McCurry

Read the full Q &A, called Retail Strategies for Responding to COVID-19, at GP