What can your Business do today to thrive in a Post-Pandemic World?

History has taught us that opportunity favors the prepared, savvy, and resilient, even in difficult times! The spread of Coronavirus has sent shockwaves across the global economy. COVID has profoundly affected every sector of retail business – whether you are in soft goods, hospitality, or finance. Many are left wondering, ‘What comes next?’. Shopping During the Pandemic As the world navigates this new standard, additional precautions are put in place in many physical locations. When local conditions allow for retail stores to open, they confront a variety of guidelines that vary by state. Yes, the future looks different from past years. However, you can position your business to thrive if you understand your customer’s motivation moving forward. The strategies you implement today can set you on the right path for success post-pandemic. Contrary to concerns, brick-and-mortar locations are still relevant. People have been shopping for goods and services online, and even during the pandemic, the desire still exists to return to the experience of in-person shopping.

The State of the Industries

During the pandemic, many of these industries have opened in some capacity and with new restrictions to keep the businesses alive, and some expect to surge post-pandemic. As we all adjust to a new normal, Retailers are expected to provide an easy and efficient store experience that customers love while implementing many new rigorous procedures that prioritize the safety of store associates and customers. Here are what some industries and what they are doing at the moment to keep their doors open:
  • Dining out – Mainly outdoors or take-out, but many establishments have seen a 25% allowance indoors and more to come with areas that experience winter.
  • Entertainment – (concerts, movies, theater, attractions, and museums) Although Hollywood’s lights have gone dark, different parts of the business are slowly trying to reinvent themselves during this crisis. Movies and theaters are starting to open, and attractions and museums have capacity restrictions, face-covering requirements, and social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Salons, spas, and beauty establishments have capacity restrictions, sanitation requirements, and face-covering requirements.
  • Gyms, dance, and yoga studios have capacity restrictions, sanitation requirements, and face-covering requirements.
There is a pent-up desire for the social and experiential aspects of shopping: seeing merchandise or products first-hand and interacting with the retail environment and personnel, especially now because that ability was taken from all of us in 2020. Customers know they can get what they ‘need’ by clicking; quarantining has created more of a desire for an ‘experience.’ Retail – from banks to boutiques – will need to be prepared to meet these criteria:
  1. Making customers feel safe by following sanitary and spacing guidelines
  2. Clients want a low-touch, hygienic environment – from contactless pay to automatic doors.
  3. You are giving shoppers an experience that feels unique to your brand – from atmosphere to customer service.
  4. Authenticity – connecting your brand to the community and the world at large.

How can you create a welcoming environment to bring people back to your brick-and-mortar?

While there will be demand in these consumer segments, customers will have expectations for hygiene, safety, and health. Consumers have and will continue to support the businesses and brands they love. However, even well-loved, established brands will benefit from a re-assessment – from brand image and messaging to point-of-sale environment, customers are craving a new, fresh approach; streamlined processes; minimal touch points; brands that exhibit a genuine concern for customer well-being; and offering something fun and unique.

Positive Signs Ahead

To help your facility reopen safely, many solutions for distancing, wayfinding, and signage are available. Shoppers can find safety measures that have become familiar in the COVID-19 age like:
  • Plexiglass barriers at registers
  • Signs and floor decals encouraging physical distancing
  • Hand sanitizer stations
The most common examples of what has been implemented so far to provide a safer experience for those visiting one of their favorite stores. In anticipation of the re-openings and the return of customers, this is the time to spruce up your interior environments too. From bold, bright large-scale graphics to custom-built architectural elements, ID Associates can help you create a unique customer experience that satisfies the need for healthy practices! And don’t forget signs that reference safe practices!

Drive-Thru, Curb-side, contact-less pick-up will remain popular.

Research shows menu boards influence 56 percent of customers, and 74 percent said an easy-to-read setup is a top priority. Operators talk to length about streamlining the ordering process. And one of the quickest routes to a positive ROI might be where diners do most of their purchasing. Restaurant brands should invest in easier-to-read menu boards. A digital board will allow your location to change a menu item easily, but you also need readability. Design and function go hand-in-hand. In addition to the readability of the menu boards, online apps for many restaurants have become popular regarding contactless pick-up. As a retailer, display proper signage at your location when a patron has to pick up their food from your site. Some suggestions are: 
  • Signage Displayed on Doors
  • Walkways with arrows to show the flow of traffic
  • Food cubbies or shelving to hold your order or designated tables at the entrance

Don’t forget your Exterior Signage – Time to Spruce it up

Is your exterior signage looking dull or dirty? As part of PSCO Sign Group, ID Associates and their Maintenance team will restore your sign to its original brightness with cleaning and replacement lighting components. Customized maintenance plans are available for proactive care against simple wear & tear, including inspection, painting, lighting component replacement, and cleaning. Our field service is a phone call away with quick and responsive emergency repairs to restore your sign nationwide. Most issues can be resolved within 48-72 hours. If you haven’t switched to LED, now is the perfect time. LEDs are brighter, save money and last longer.

Keeping your facilities business-ready is always a never-ending job.

PSCO Sign Group’s systems help you achieve confidence by simplifying your newly complicated and important cleaning routines with efficient, easy-to-use, practical solutions for routine cleaning and maintenance, wayfinding, and communication. Learn how PSCO can help you increase productivity, avoid downtime, and communicate expectations, keeping your building clean while facilitating regular business operations.

Talk you’re to a PSCO Sign Group expert when drafting your post-pandemic recovery plans. Our signs can be used to announce, advertise, excite, and inspire. Creative signage can be a high-impact, low-cost solution to your post-pandemic success!