Saying that things have changed as a result of the pandemic would be an understatement. Some businesses have gone, some have paused, while others have experienced enormous growth. And just as we’ve gotten our bearings, the world is preparing to shift yet again, leaving businesses asking themselves what to do to prepare for the future. Like many other companies, our virtual waitlist app has been intertwined with the ups and downs of the pandemic and we’re carefully watching to see what happens next.
We’re thrilled to be featured in Silicon Valley Revs Up for a ‘Hot Startup’ Summer, an article written by Wired magazine, which suggests that the answer at least in part, is to make the most of it:
“As millions of Americans get vaccinated and states lift restrictions around gathering, people are preparing for a Great Reopening by summertime...The advice we’re giving founders is, in some ways, quite similar to what we put out a year ago: A lot’s changing, so seize the moment.”
But what does this actually mean? How can businesses coax customers back to physical spaces and make them feel safe? And conversely, how can they manage a new rush of people who’ll want to be out and about?
Our queue management system has been fortunate to have experienced rapid growth since last year. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what the post-pandemic world will look like and how to best serve our customers in the near future. We too are preparing for the Great Reopening and believe there will be a rush of people wanting to do all the things they haven’t gotten to – shopping in physical stores, traveling, and going to concerts, plays, and other entertainment venues. We’re here to help you create your virtual waitlist so you can manage the crowds and make customers feel safe.
Physical retail space will be more important than ever
This past year e-commerce has seen an uptick with more people shopping from home, but the physical retail experience is still very important and is about to become even more so. In a survey conducted last year, Shopkick found that 82% of consumers are more inclined to purchase an item after seeing, holding or trying a product in a store. But businesses are also realizing that customers want more than a physical space containing merchandise – they want an experience. Forward-thinking retailers are preparing to capitalize on that.
A business that’s prepared to seize the moment is Lululemon, who said they’re “planning to dedicate 10 percent of its store fleet to experiential stores – one such venue, boasting 20,000 square feet, opened in Chicago last summer. Along with clothing, the store has a restaurant, rooms for meditation and yoga, and lots of pillows.”
While creating an incredible physical store experience is a great way to get customers back into your store, there are other ways to make people feel special that require less time and capital. In addition to our virtual waitlist, Waitwhile has an array of features – from curbside pickup, to VIP concierge services – that can help customers feel safe and make it possible for your business to manage wait times and capacity.
How Waitwhile can help
We’re incredibly fortunate to have been able to help hundreds of businesses navigate the pandemic. Our queue management system has been pressure tested and we know that it works. Today, we feel that we’re uniquely positioned to help businesses transition to our new reality. Here are a few examples.
We have no doubt there’ll be a lot of people who won’t be ready to go out and shop in physical spaces. They’ll appreciate having an option to order remotely and pick up their items via curbside pickup, a service that’s very easy to add with Waitwhile.
Virtual waitlist for checkout lines
A big downside to physical retail is having to wait in checkout lines. With Waitwhile, customers can either join a checkout line remotely and continue browsing until it’s their turn to pay. Or pay directly from their phones without having to wait in line at all.
In-store shopping appointments to make customers feel like VIPs
Instead of making shoppers wait to be assisted, they can make appointments with your staff in advance or once they arrive at your store. This will save them time, keep your space less crowded, and make them feel like VIPs all at the same time.
Store events and product releases
Waitwhile’s ability to directly message customers about upcoming special events and promotions in combination with its virtual line management capabilities, make it a great tool for creating buzz-worthy store events and product releases that come off without a hitch.
We hope that soon the world will go back to its new normal and people will feel safe being together again. But while shopping in physical stores, listening to live music, taking flights to foreign lands, and giving hugs are all things we can’t wait to do again, we believe we’re not alone in thinking no one’s missed spending their time waiting in line. We hope that you’ll go out and seize the moment. We also hope you’ll let Waitwhile’s waitlist app help keep your customers safe, happy, and moving right along. Some trends are here to stay.