In many countries, lockdowns have left businesses with no choice but to close their doors. This means small businesses can’t operate as normal and are losing vital revenue. But we’ve also seen companies adapting and finding innovative ways to offer their products online. A great example is this German bakery now taking orders via their online shop and offering next day delivery, and this London bar delivering cocktails to your door.
We want to support you to adapt to these challenging times with all the features you need to keep your business running online (even if your physical doors are closed). That’s why we’ve added a new Local pickup option, so you can offer contactless pickups to keep your business going and your customers safe. So what can you do to adapt your business to the current situation?
Offer customers the choice of local pickup
With all of us social distancing, this is the perfect way to keep sales up whilst keeping yourself and your customers safe. You can now give local customers the option to pick up their package outside your shop door (or wherever you choose) with special pickup instructions like the location and collection time.
Once you confirm their order is ready for collection, your customers will get an automatic pickup confirmation email with the details you’ve included.
What should you include in your instructions?
- Pickup address. Add the address where you want the customer to pick up their merchandise. It may differ from your store location so be sure to make this clear. If the place is a bit hidden try giving extra hints as to how to find it e.g. the yellow door on the right.
- Collection time. To avoid more than one person collecting at a time, you can give each customer a specific time slot via email or text. Alternatively, you can offer pickups within a certain window e.g. between 9 am – 1 pm and use chalk to mark out queuing spots with a 2-meter distance in between, in case more than one person shows up at the same time.
- Pickup instructions. If you’re selling heavy goods like furniture, make sure to let the customer know that they might need a car or van to collect it.
What are the advantages of offering store pickup?
There’s no need to charge shipping costs or find the best delivery company. So you won’t have to raise your prices—which your customers will love!
Customers can pick up their orders when it fits their schedule. Or during special hours that suit you! It’s also the perfect solution for heavier goods like furniture that need to be picked up with a car.
We’re all missing out on human connection right now. And while you can’t change social distancing, you can build a stronger connection with your customers by having them see your store rather than with a delivery van. Your personality is what makes your small business unique. Let it show!
Where to put up your pickup point?
You may want to try different methods depending on whether you live in a big city or a small town. Here are a few ideas:
- Your physical store. If you have a physical store, you ask the customer to call or knock when they arrive then drop the goods outside, or ask them to come and collect their order in-store.
- A garage/storage container with a coded lock. Do you have a garage or storage container that you’re not using? You can leave your goods ready to collect and send customers the code for the lock in your special instructions.
- A coded locker. Does your area have a delivery or pickup station? You can do a quick search online and use their lockers to place your goods in, ready for customers to pick up.
Tip: Add a map on your website showing your store’s pickup location.
How does it work?
To offer the store pickup option in your Dolphin shop:
- Log in to your store.
- Go to Store > Overview > Shipping and Tax.
- Under Local and domestic shipping select the new Local pickup option.
- Click on Save and Publish your website!
If you’re a Creator user, you can also use the Local Pickup option. Here’s how.
Find a way to start shipping your product or service
If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, it could be time to get creative and find a way to offer your products or services via your online shop—especially when it’s time to get your store ready for the holidays.
You can sell monetary gift cards or offer a “put-it-on-my-tab” option, e.g. $20 vouchers to use in your store, restaurant or hair salon when you reopen. It’s best to offer monetary vouchers to avoid tax implications at the point of sale. Customers can buy these as gifts for friends and family and just redeem them when you reopen. This offers a way for your regulars to support your business and brings in some much-needed cashflow—even while your doors are closed.