Everything Is Drive-Thru Now: Retail becomes takeout.

Retailers benefit by taking cues from the hospitality industry — especially full-service restaurants — that quickly switched to takeout, delivery, and drive-thru only models to meet current regulations and remain operational. Essential Retailers have been hit hard as well, but for the most part, have been able to pivot operations to stay open. With future regulations and requirements unfolding daily, retail business owners can stay ahead of the curve now. Implement proactive changes that distance transactions, eliminate hand-to-hand contact, and build consumer confidence.

Forced closures and concerned consumers are top of mind for most retailers. It is a hard truth: consumers are anxious. People are apprehensive about venturing out. Building consumer confidence comes right behind carefully following official CDC protocols. Even though retailers work hard to follow official requirements, some shoppers still feel vulnerable. People are limiting time in public to take care of essentials, and many consumers may simply forego services or products to reduce exposure to others.

Make time for your customers through pre-orders, pickup, or delivery options.

Mitigate today’s additional challenges by giving consumers confidence-building options to continue patronage while meeting any official restrictions on retail businesses. All levels of your operations can be integrated seamlessly with emerging tech solutions designed for these challenges.

Maintain sales—open or closed to the public.

Speed up in-store transactions by eliminating touchpoints with cash-handling kiosks or add customer-connecting capacities to your retail operations with online ordering and curbside pickup. Turn your retail business into a takeout and pickup operation.

Quick Service Retail

Develop a drive-thru approach to your retail business to recapture customers by creating quick, low-contact ways to shop.

Some customers feel most comfortable only interacting with businesses for the briefest moments. In-lane cash kiosks offer layered benefits: contactless tech eliminates the need for hand-to-hand payments, which speeds up transactions and makes cash accounting errorproof. Free up your staff’s resources to provide faster service instead of swiping bankcards or counting change. Eliminate the middleman, let the customer handle the payment.

Offer time-saving online order, curbside pickup options.

By offering online order and in-store or curbside pickup, customers have an additional way to shop with your store that also satisfies their health and safety concerns.

Some retailers use social media to promote new arrivals or special offers, and some retailers extend that service to include convenient curbside payment & pickup options to online orders to keep sales flowing. Clothing retailers are starting to provide the same drive-thru service for returns or exchanges, meeting specific criteria that can ensure proper safety protocols.

Keep your (s)pace.

Create a distance-friendly environment in today’s new normal. Use tech that measures how customers flow through a store, where they linger or gather in groups.

Most people who are venturing out are maintaining 6 feet of distance; help patrons keep their space while you get back to business responsibly. Capacity management with products like FastSensor ADAM keeps customer traffic flowing and prevents congestion. This tech tracks and alerts operations to help keep shoppers distanced, which can reduce your legal liability with active social-distance monitoring.

Learn how and where to place employees at different times based on the data or know when additional registers are needed in a retail space. By using real-time tracking of data emitted from personal devices, this tech can respect privacy while providing up-to-the-moment data on the proximity and concentration, not just capacity, of shoppers.

Stay open even if doors are closed (to the public).

Other retailers need to close their doors to the public to address their health and safety concerns for their staff and themselves. Consumers have fully embraced and often even prefer shopping online for anything and everything. Retailers that have closed to the public, for now, can add online shopping and ordering option integrations through their POS to keep shoppers engaged and purchasing.

Transform to Quick Service Retail

Retailers can gain insights from the challenges faced and overcome by those in the hospitality industry. Retailers also have the benefit of additional time to implement changes should official regulations require more restrictions on their operations.

It’s hard to find a quick-service restaurant that rivals Chick-fil-A’s use of tech; the restaurant chain is known for face-to-face ordering utilizing tablets and outside Wi-Fi to line-bust drive-thru rushes efficiently. The strategy first started among local operators in Houston and rolled out later to locations nationwide due to effectiveness. The company met COVID challenges head-on and continued their signature drive-thru technique by making simple changes.

The tech that was once for managing large crowds and long lines can now be scaled to fit any size operation. By building consumer confidence and adding distance and speed to all transactions, next-generation tech will transform operations into quick service retail now and be there to manage the crowds of tomorrow.

Stay ahead of the curve and make proactive changes to streamline operations and meet customers’ concerns. Get back to business.

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