Are You Ready For The Next COVID Wave?
As the fall picks up, and we approach 52 million global cases of COVID-19 and surpass 1,275,000 deaths, COVID-19 seems to be here for the indefinite future, even as scientists work tirelessly on a vaccine. Across the United States, schools have implemented their plans for the fall: remote, in-person, and hybrid. Retail businesses continue to open and close, as local regulations and health conditions change. For example, just this week, Governor Larry Hogan announced updated health advisories, as Maryland surged beyond the 5% positivity rate the CDC and WHO recommend.
One of the main conversations, when it comes to gathering people in one space, circles around social distancing, and maintaining lowered capacity. This is true for schools, for work environments, and for retail stores. As state alert levels (and mandates) continue to adjust to the COVID-19 trends, it’s important to have a plan in place for how to account for new capacity maximums.
Many businesses are operating at reduced capacity across the world, and even when they are able to increase their capacity, sometimes, they have to reduce it as a response to an increase of COVID-19 cases.
One way to account for this is to have someone outside your storefront, allowing customers to enter and exit. Many retailers are following this strategy, and some have been doing so for months. But what should you be thinking about as you anticipate the potential surge of COVID-19 cases as many students continue at school and the temperatures drop again? Here are three things to consider.
Is It Safe?
One of the things at the forefront of customers’ minds right now is their safety. However, your plan is structured, it’s important to design it in a way that communicates to the customers that you value their safety and the safety of your employees. Social distancing, wearing masks, wiping down shared items such as carts, limiting capacity in stores: all of these activities assure the customer that their safety and health are of the utmost importance to your business.
Is It Simple?
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases worldwide and nationwide, so does the mental health toll on the general public. According to a town hall held by Healthline, “Experts say many are experiencing mental health challenges due to the many uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.” This increase in uncertainty means that retailers who prioritize simplicity and certainty will be able to appeal to customers who are looking for those attributes in an uncertain and unprecedented time. The solutions you design should be simple and easy to follow.
Is It Accurate & Easy?
Whatever plan you have in place for engaging with the limitations around how many customers can enter your place of business at a time, you want to ensure that it’s easy to execute and that it provides accurate data. It should be accessible to the necessary leaders and not require a special individual to operate it. There are many automated solutions that can assist with this. Some of them include software such as Facit’s Occupancy Control platform, which utilizes core software to provide accurate live data and markers (such as red/green lights) which signal to customers when to enter the store.
Here at Wycliffe, we offer multiples technology solutions to assist you as you continue to implement and pivot strategy for addressing COVID-19. The landscape of business is still shifting, as the pandemic continues, and we are here to walk with you and help provide the best possible solutions. Contact us today to learn more.
We are ready to review your technical needs and find a solution.