Image of a man wearing a mask representing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

How Tech Can Help Social Distancing – Top 7 Tips Retail Stores Can Follow

Supermarkets are among the few places that have remained operative during the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of that, the number of delivery slots has been kept to a bare minimum to help limit social contact. With retail stores set to open within the next week, the logistical challenge is only expected to grow.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised people to limit the time they spend outside their homes as a means to curb the spread of the virus.

However, people have to step out to purchase medicines and other essential products and as time moves on we will need to begin to return to a new normal. The need to leave your home becomes more frequent particularly for those taking care of an elderly person. 

This is why it is important for retailers to introduce strict social distancing norms such as avoiding physical contact and regular sanitisation of the store.

At Doorway Services, we have put together our top 7 norms every retailer can implement in their store.

Let’s take a look!

Install Customer Traffic Flow Solutions

In order to ease the flow of customers, so that social distancing advice can be followed, many supermarkets find themselves using several members of staff to control the flow of foot traffic. However, what if there was a system to track and monitor this automatically?

Up and coming technology will automatically track the number of customers and entering and leaving your store. Although built with stores in mind, the tech can be used in any building where social distancing needs to be followed. 

Working similarly to a traffic light, green and red LEDs control the flow of traffic into and out of the store, telling customers when they can enter. The system can even work across multiple entrances and exits to ensure accurate data.

Adding Distance Markers on The Floor

Along with limiting the entry of customers in your store, you can also place distance footmarks on the floor. This ensures that there is zero social contact between customers.

You can also implement a one-way system in each section of the store to avoid overcrowding of customers in one aisle.

Ask everyone to follow the distance markers and help them disinfect their baskets, trolleys, and hands before entering the store. For additional safety, install protective screens between customers and your staff.

Introducing a No-Touch Policy

Having a “no-touch” policy in place is more like asking customers to touch only those products that they want to purchase. You can add directional barriers and signs to help customers shop with ease while ensuring they maintain the said 6-feet distance.

Encourage your customers to choose a contactless payment option or pay using their cards, as this ensures there is no exchange of cash.

To make sure every customer follows the social distancing norms, allow just one trolley or basket per person. You could also consider enforcing that customers wear a mask in store, similar to the rules used in the US.

Placing Physical Barriers

You can place physical barriers to prevent queue jumpers or limit the number of people at a checkout point.

These barriers can also be placed at till points to ensure that there is enough distance between your staff and the customer. If your till points are close to each other, then consider closing most of them. Check if the same is required for self-scan tills.

Using Single-Entry and Exit Door

Have a dedicated entry and exit point in your store. To ensure customers are using the right entry point, ask your associates to give them proper directions or place signage near the entrance.

Similarly, after your customers check out, direct them to the respective exit point, as this will help reduce the instances of them walking past each other closely.

Installing Automatic Doors

Manual doors require customers to use their hands to open the doors. During this situation, it is crucial to avoid physical contact with surfaces that are likely to carry the virus.

Instead, why not install commercial automatic doors in your store to completely remove the concept of pushing the door open with your bare hands?

As an added precaution, you can pair these automatic doors with a counting system, similar to that seen in point 1, to maintain social distancing. This way, you can restrict the flow of customers and ensure the creation of a safe environment within your store.

If you want to find out more about our automatic door installation and repair services, click here!

Providing Your Staff with Protective Gears

The safety of your employees has to be your top priority when running a retail store in a pandemic.

It is important to provide them with the necessary protective gears such as masks, gloves, and safety visors. This will not only help limit their social contact but also ensure they are protected from the virus at all times.

Contact Doorway Services for Commercial Door Installation and Repair

If you own a retail business, it is important for you to have all the above-mentioned social distancing norms in place. Assess your entire store and see how you can deal with the effects of this pandemic whilst doing your bit to curb the spread of the virus.

Get in touch with us to know more about our services.