For businesses affected by a COVID-19 closure or shelter in place order, curbside pickup for online sales is an additional way to earn income and maintain customer connections from a safe social distance. Click here to read a letter from our CEO, detailing how Vagaro is here to help your business get through this crisis.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Plan your curbside and in-store pickup process
- Prevent communication mishaps
- Pair your Online Shopping Cart with our live stream integration for a unique online shopping experience
With many of us sheltering in place, online shopping has become the new normal. But as online purchases increase so do the wait times for deliveries. So, what can we do when clients want their orders faster than they can be shipped? This is where curbside pickup comes in! This option allows customers to purchase online and opt for pickup rather than a delivery. The client’s order is then followed by a confirmation email, announcing the location and pickup time for their items. This can be a great alternative for your small business because it keeps you profitable while limiting physical contact with your customers.
Planning for Pickups
As you consider offering curbside or in-store pickup, also think about how you will coordinate the pickup process at your location. By planning your pickup process ahead of time, you can clearly communicate with your customers about what they should expect.
Here’s a checklist covering all aspects needed to properly plan for a curbside pickup:
• What pickup schedule makes the most sense for me, my employees, and my clients?
• Where does it make the most sense for my customers to pick up their orders? How can I clearly describe this location?
• Are there several parking spaces that can be clearly designated as pickup spaces? Or will this be a drive-through style arrangement?
• How will employees know when a customer has arrived? Can they see the arrival area from a window or a security camera?
• Will my customers need to enter the store, or will employees bring their orders out to them curbside?
• Will employees be placing orders directly into the trunks of your customers’ vehicles or will they hand them off with minimal contact?
• Will temporary signage help signal to customers that they’re in the right, or wrong, place?
• How will the products be packaged to avoid spillage, breaks or leakage? How will the packaging enhance the pickup experience?
• How will I handle rescheduling a curbside pickup?
• How will I manage product returns?
• How will I announce that I’m now offering curbside or in-store pickup?
Get the Word Out
Making sure your clients know about your new curbside or in-store pickup option is an extremely important step in encouraging your customers to shop with you online! Hanging a banner in front of your business can help spread the word while also generating interest among potential new clients. Email and text marketing announcements are another a great way to keep in contact with your existing customers. Adding a curbside pickup FAQs section to your website or Vagaro listing page can help answer common questions and prevent miscommunication.
You can also help prevent misunderstandings by reviewing and updating any automated email or text marketing messages that are set to send after product purchases. The previous information that may have been applicable weeks or months ago may no longer be accurate as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Taking a proactive approach to reviewing all your messages can help avoid customer confusion.
Enhance the Experience
After updating your automated messages, it’s a good idea to check your product listings. To create an effective and enjoyable online shopping experience, make sure that your existing product information is up to date. Try freshening up your online store by adding a variety of products, like fun customized kits! Here are just a few examples:
Customized “To-Go” Color Kits: These can help keep your color clients away from the dreaded box color. Don’t forget to include all the extras they’ll need, like gloves, mixing sticks, and disposable color brushes.
Spa in a Box: Provide your customers with a fantastic way to relax and unwind from within their own homes. Think bath bombs, salt soaks, essential oils, and a tea candle.
Put It in a Ponytail Pack: Everything your customers need to get by until they can see you again—dry shampoo, moisturizing masks, color-depositing shampoo & conditioners, or tinted root spray.
Beard Buddy Bundle: Because many of your barbering clients are going to be sporting a beard for a while, why not help them care for it? Include beard oil, beard wash, and a gentle exfoliator or travel-size bottle of SPF.
Fit Fam Package: Try including protein powder, a customized nutrition and workout plan, and a water bottle with your gym logo. You can even include a way for clients to “check out” equipment like kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, or yoga gear.
Offering in-store or curbside pickup for online product purchases is a great way to generate income and keep in touch with your clients while following social distancing guidelines. The benefits of curbside pickup can last well beyond the crisis, as these options can remain a convenient way to cater to on-the-go clients after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Visit our support page for step-by-step guidance to get your Vagaro account set up to start streaming!
Images and Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro