Edinburgh-based virtual booking startup, Appointedd, has launched Shop Safely, a post-COVID lockdown service aimed at helping non-essential retailers to reopen.
The automated scheduling service will allow customers to book in-store retail appointments, which could help retailers to manage social distancing, remove the need for queues and provide built-in safe sanitisation buffer zones between appointments.
The company has seen demand for its retail booking service soar by more than 250% in the last week as retailers seek to implement new practices to enable them to re-open once the nationwide lockdown is lifted.
Appointedd’s service works by giving retailers access to several feature clusters designed to ensure retailers can engage with consumers, and then adapt quickly and smoothly to the new normal.
These clusters are:
- Up Close & Virtual – engage with shoppers while in lockdown – via virtual personal shopping experiences, online showcases, and masterclasses
- Retail by Appointment – manage social distancing via Retail by Appointment, making customers more comfortable visiting non-essential stores and enabling them to do so quickly and efficiently
- Zero-touch personal shop – questions covering tastes, sizes, the event you are buying etc for so that items have been pre-selected for you when you turn up
- Buffer Up – social distancing and sanitisation
The retail industry has been under huge pressure, even before COVID-19 forced stores to close. Many have been faced with mounting costs, a large drop in customers and changes to consumer shopping behaviours.
Since Appointedd began running its Shop Safely service, basket values have increased up to 300% through engagement and improvements to shopping experiences.
Ian Shaw, Retail Director, Moss Bros said: “Across the retail industry right now, the safest way of serving the customer is with appointments. We know that we are going to need tighter scheduling to maximise both the value and safety that each appointment delivers.
“We’re confident that Appointedd gives us all the tools we need to do this effectively.”
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Leah Hutcheon, founder and CEO of Appointedd commented: “It has been an honour to collaborate with our retail clients to further develop our offering to the sector.
“The innovative ways we have seen clients such as Space NK, Mamas & Papas and Moss Bros use our technology to continue to engage with their customers has been inspirational in helping us shape our service.
“Having seen how our retail clients have adapted to lockdown has helped us design our Shop Safely solution to help them move back to business as usual.”