As the economy starts to gradually open up for business after the extended lockdown, many businesses are wondering how they will trade in this new social distancing environment. With several experts predicting that societies will need to social distance until 2022, how do you get business done in this ‘new’ normal? One solution is using technology, such as digital signage, to overcome the difficulties.

1. On-the-Go Content

Communicating effectively to customers and staff in-store is essential during a health crisis. “Instead of handing out pamphlets or communicating face-to-face, an ideal way to communicate would be to use in-store digital signage. It’s a medium through which retailers can update information instantaneously and use graphics and videos to make the content dynamic enough to be noticed.

“Not only can retailers communicate up-to-the-minute government messaging re the COVID-19 pandemic but they can also use it to share retailer-specific messaging relating to in-store hygiene standards or promotions,” says Chris Day, Managing Director at Moving Tactics, the leading South African digital signage solutions company.

2. Controlling the Number of Shoppers In-Store

As businesses open again, controlling the number of customers in a retail or restaurant environment will be crucial. One way of doing this is to use a digital footfall counter that will electronically monitor the amount of people entering a venue. When combined with digital signage, such as a single screen at the entrance, retailers are able to communicate to waiting customers what the store’s capacity is at any given time and indicate when they can allow more customers to enter.

3. Digital Drive-Thru Menu Boards Replace in-House Dining

As Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are not as yet allowed to open their in-restaurant dining areas, digital drive thru menu boards are playing a bigger role in informing consumers as to what’s available. They allow for menu flexibility and provide restaurateurs with an opportunity to upsell and promote special deals to their drive-thru customers.

4. Digital Training Medium for Staff

Despite the fact that companies are unable to hold workshops or training programmes, it is crucial that staff get adequately and appropriately trained to handle the current trading conditions. According to Kevin Bierman, Head of Digital Signage at Moving Tactics, digital screens can be used in stores and restaurants to do just this. “If you have screens in-house, it’s a great opportunity to start using them to train employees so that they stay up-to-date with regulations and company policy during this period”.

5. Maintaining Social Distancing

Enforcing social distancing in-store can be difficult, especially when it comes to queueing. One way around this is to employ a Virtual Queue solution, which allows customers to check in, maintain their place in line, and be notified when it’s their turn for service. Ultimately, removing the need for customers to physically stand in a queue, and at the same time, keep shopping.

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