READ MORE ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL IN 2020
- Bed Bath & Beyond Launches 'College From Home' Digital Destination
- Meijer's Back-to-School Survey Reveals Safety is Biggest Consideration
Create Personal Engagements Virtually
Despite the impersonal feeling created by wearing masks and social distancing, retailers need to establish a personal connection with their customers whenever possible. One way to do that is by telling customers how they are serving them in new ways through new products, services and practices that will help make them safer when shopping with their company.
Before promoting the items identified above, keep in mind what’s most important to back-to-school shoppers in the various age groups. As suggested earlier, shoppers with young children may be most interested in a retailer’s delivery services. How about offering free delivery on merchandise these shoppers are most likely interested in? For high school or college students, offering a discount coupon on a future visit when they use a retailer’s BOPIS service for their technology purchase, could be a winning combo.
Don’t forget about the loyalty program – this is the perfect place to deliver personalized offers as well as to test innovative new approaches to customer care. For example, allowing the most loyal customers to pilot a retailer’s new BOPIS, QR code payment or delivery service (all with added discounts and other incentives) before anyone else.
If a retailer demonstrates to its back to school customers that they are making their safety a top priority and empathize with them that they understand this isn’t the time for business as usual, it will resonate with shoppers. Even if they have to work out a few imperfections during the execution of these programs and services, customers will be far more forgiving if they feel that the retailer has their best interest in mind.
-By Sean Gunduz, interim director of product management & technical services, Business Systems Division, Epson America, Inc.