If you’ve found yourself increasingly drawn to shopping options that don’t require you to leave your home or car, you’re not alone. Throughout the course of this pandemic, online ordering has become much less of a want, and much more of a need. Perhaps you never thought of your business as requiring an online ordering option. Well, things have certainly changed. More people are looking for a buy online, pick up in store option (or BOPIS) as a way to limit risks during this pandemic. It’s safe to assume that some of these changes may be long lasting, as online ordering can be quite convenient.
Having an online storefront opens up your business to your existing customers, and also lets you attract new ones. We’ve already noted how online ordering was an increasing trend before the coronavirus pandemic. In our pandemic and post-pandemic world, online ordering is more important than it ever was before. Businesses who can pivot their goods and services to be accessible online have been doing better than those who can’t or won’t. Now is the time to set up your online store front if you haven’t already.
Online ordering sets you up for success in the customer service department.
It may not feel like customer service, especially if you’re used to face to face interactions, but showing your customers how much you value their safety is truly customer service at its finest. Every step you can take so that your customers don’t have to is a service. If you offer a buy online, pick up in store option, take it up a notch with contactless pickup. Offering to walk your customer’s orders out to the curb or the trunk of their car is a valuable service now, because it’s one less interaction they need to have.
You don’t have to offer everything for online ordering.
If you’re not used to offering online ordering, give yourself an adjustment period. Restaurants might consider beginning with a limited menu for online orders and ramp up to a full menu once your system is running smoothly. Retailers may require a minimum purchase amount for delivery and pickup options, and likely need to include some framework if a specific item is unavailable. Let your customer decide if they would be willing to accept a similar item, or if they would rather forgo that item. And of course, take stock of products with better margins.
Remember to take a breath and be gracious.
It can be especially hard to be kind to one another when interactions are happening via email and phone calls, but if someone does have a negative experience with your online ordering platform, do all you can to make it right. Even if your customer ordered the wrong item to begin with, they may just need to feel heard and understood. This may be a new experience for them as well, so make sure you’re compassionate when interacting with your customers.
We’re here to help
Setting up an online store front might seem especially overwhelming right now. Whether you’re just starting your online store or need to modify it to include some additional options to help you through this pandemic, we’d love to talk to you about how we can help. Contact us today!