stores reopening best practices

Are Your Stores Reopening? Your Emails Should Communicate These 6 Things

Stay-at-home orders are being lifted all around the U.S., but of course, they vary wildly from one region to the next. While Georgians have been able to get haircuts, manicures and tattoos since late April, New York City only recently began reopening. If you have stores reopening, customers have questions. Looking at our own inboxes, we’ve compiled five of those questions your emails should proactively answer.

1. Are My Stores Reopening?

You may have hundreds of brick-and-mortar locations, but realistically, most customers only frequent one or two of them. You know which ones, too. This is where personalization, particularly dynamic personalization, comes in handy. Instead of broad announcements, Windsor Fashions has been sending location-based emails, letting customers know the status of the stores near them.

2. What Safety Measures Are You Taking?

Many consumers are hesitant to resume their pre-pandemic habits. Coresight Research found that 45% of people plan to continue avoiding malls and shopping centers, even with stores reopening. It can ease people’s minds if you spell out all the precautions you’re taking. In this email, formatted like a letter from the brand’s CEO and President, Nordstrom lays out its extra safety precautions, including providing customers with face coverings, limiting store traffic, cleaning more frequently, and waiting longer to put returned merchandise back on the floor.

3. Does This Extend to Employees?

Your extra preventive measures are meaningless if they don’t extend to your employees. Zales has nearly 800 brick-and-mortar stores, where sick people aren’t allowed to work. Before each shift, Zales team members must complete a health assessment before being permitted to work. Additionally, the jewelry retailer is requiring employees to wear masks, frequently wash their hands, and practice social distancing themselves.

4. How Is the Shopping Experience Different?

Many questions around stores reopening depend on your brand. If you’re a fashion retailer, fitting rooms are a factor. Here, INTERMIX announces that not only are stores reopening, but the luxury retailer is introducing new services to cater to changing customer behavior. For example, Intermix shoppers can consult with stylists online and shop by appointment to ensure a socially-distant fitting room experience.

5. Are There Click-and-Collect Options?

Click-and-collect shopping options like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup have skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic. Everlane now offers curbside pickup at its New York City stores. Because this is a new offering, the retailer outlined protocol, including a phone number customers can text with questions.

6. What About Returns?

With ecommerce increasing throughout the pandemic, returns naturally follow. As stores reopen in limited capacity, customers are going to wonder what that means for retailers’ return policies. Sephora is sure to include that in this reopening announcement, noting that the normal 30-day policy has been amended.

Stores reopening is just the beginning. To learn more about enhancing triggered messages, leveraging employee-generated content and capitalizing on curbside pickup, download Business Not As Usual: 14 Email Marketing Tactics to Test Now.

2020 Holiday Marketing Playbook

With all that has happened this year, we expect to see a holiday season unlike any other. That said, the time to start testing and building out email and CRM strategies is now. Along with our Retail Advisor, former JustFab VP Monica Deretich, Sailthru has developed this playbook to help retailers crush Q4 and beyond.