2020 – Shifting Customer Priorities Bring New Challenges

Monica Anderson

06.24.2020

2020 – Shifting Customer Priorities Bring New Challenges for Merchants Across All Verticals

It’s safe to say that priorities have changed in 2020.

With an ongoing virus to consider, cleanliness and safety bumps right up to the top of the list where price, variety, and quality previously held the top spots. As priorities change for shoppers, priorities must change for retailers. Here, we will discuss 3 of the challenges that these changed priorities create for retailers in the COVID 19 world.

Challenge Number One: Make Customers Feel Safe!

“80% of consumers will decide where to shop based on how safe shop is” – Boots, Global Pharmacy chain

With non-essential stores and hospitality venues having been closed for months, they will need revenue now – and they cannot get that without customers who want to go shop again and who feel comfortable enough while there to spend their hard-earned dollars. Lining up at check-out locations that are close to one another, using a touchscreen display on self-serve kiosks or using other hardware, such as payment devices, that are being touched by hundreds of people a day will not feel safe if not properly addressed.

Challenge Number Two: Keeping Lines Short and Staying Productive

With the number of people allowed in the store at any one time being restricted, it is important to reduce that line outside, which will stop anyone other than the most determined shopper from joining. Stores need to be as productive as possible. Stores are tackling getting customers around the store effectively with things like one-way lanes and clearer navigational signage.  Still, a key point of congestion tends to be check-out. Scanning, bagging, and payment. Congestion is a bad word in more than one way – it adds to the time it takes to get a customer served and it causes many people to congregate close together. Retailers are having to think about moving POS further apart as well as creating more POS options.  With no check-out lines, customers are safer, feel safer, and they can leave quickly, allowing room for new customers.

Across many sectors, including hospitality and QSR, necessary actions to keeping equipment clean and disinfected is also making fewer POS available. Payment terminal manufacturers are continuing to advise that cleaning products should not be sprayed on the keypad or screen (these devices don’t like liquid!) and that terminals should be powered down when cleaned. In reality, this is unrealistic for daily operations, so with merchants not following these strict guidelines, there is already device damage and ongoing cleaning concern. 

Challenge Number Three: Keeping Your Colleagues Safe

The key asset of any company is its employees. As an employer, you have an obligation to keep your team, and by extension, your communities safe. The processes they go through each day will have to be rethought to consider their protection, from clocking in, to interacting with customers, to taking payments. We all have already seen the installation of glass or plexiglass screens at the point of interaction. Reducing interactions will also help – self-serve kiosks allow several people to pay or find what they need in-store without the need for face-to-face help. Self-service, however, brings its own challenges. We are back to high touch surfaces which require regular cleaning and disinfecting. Before the pandemic, how many of your staff were involved in cleaning the store and equipment? Likely only your cleaning staff who will have been trained in using the chemicals in cleaning products safely. Now, everyone is on the front line …

Today, as you address each of these issues – ENS is here to help. 

ENS Group

Having partnered with the retail and hospitality industries for over 20 years, ENS is excited to provide a portfolio of solutions to help you in this new world.

Using leading edge technology like UVC disinfection, high touch areas such as touch screens and keypads can be disinfected automatically – no staff time, no cleaning liquids, no downtime.

Additional POS can be located throughout the store on Mobile Safe to Pay carts. Custom designs can include glass safety screens.

The Safe to Pay handle allows payment devices to be used at a safe distance. Employees can clock in using a time clock that has been disinfected with UVC light.

ENS offers numerous Safe & Productive solutions, and with a team of designer and engineer experts in your industry, we can create solutions to fit your requirements allowing you to create a best possible environment for your customers and employees in the COVID-19 world.

Written by: Angela Barlow

Product Manager – Payment Terminal Stands and Mobile Solutions

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