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Reopening has a lot of challenges and sadly social distancing is just the tip of the iceberg. That's why a lot of companies are turning to technology for help.


Paperless receipts

'Contactless' is the word you hear most these days; contactless payments and delivery are becoming normal. For your in store customers, though, it's all about limiting contact. One very simple solution is to offer paperless receipts, emailed directly to your customers. They retain all of their rights and you've provided proof of purchase.

You're even saving money on your printer! 


Managing queuing

We've all seen the queues - simple signs make them a lot more manageable. One way systems and maximum occupancies are possible solutions, but the shopping experience is going to be affected.

If you're looking for something more complex, a few agile tech companies have positioned themselves to offer technical solutions. One promises to track numbers of customers in-store, and use digital signage to control those waiting. 


Book appointments

Another way to manage your queues is to remove them completely. Turn your website into an appointment booking service. Simple diarising and presentation of options can make things extremely easy for your customers; just take a look at Cookes Furniture.

No queues, no stress, no upset customers. 


Managing the workload

One way or another the effectiveness of your staff is going to be reduced. Whether social distancing limits the number of people in the office, or you have people on furlough, your maximum man-hours will be reduced. You might find your to-do lists have shrunk too, but there are a lot of functions that are going to have to be done regardless.

Accounts and invoicing

You want to get paid, and HMRC are still going to want their share. A lot of companies are used manually taking orders from one place and entering them into a second accounting database. Switching to a fully digital process where your systems automatically speak to one another will save your company time as well as removing any chance of human error.

Marketing

Whether you're uploading product feeds to Facebook and sending updates on social media, there are always ways to streamline your processes. The first step is to make sure you have an automated product fed if you need one - this gives you easy access to your catalogue on other platforms, for Instagram to Google Shopping.

At the same time, services like HootSuite offer a great shortcut to social media management. Rather than posting in half a dozen different places, you just post in one. Hootsuite would then automatically post everywhere on your behalf.