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Retail opportunity: Ensure safety, communication

Retail opportunity: Ensure safety, communication

Q. As an HME retail store, what are the three most important things I need to do in this COVID retail reality?

A. No retailer could have planned for 2020. It was crazy and unprecedented.

When stay-at-home and lockdown orders rolled out in March and April, the HME industry, including retailers and providers, were deemed essential businesses and able to stay open. Even so, there were limitations that required continuous shifting and pivoting to keep the HME store open, surviving and thriving. 

Here are the three most important to-do’s for HME retailers:

Safety first

Have protocols in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers, and be sure this is well communicated. Be willing to provide curbside delivery, parking lot consultations and even Zoom calls to make everyone feel safe, while providing your valued products and services. 

Have clear and accurate store hours

It is very frustrating to drive to a store or restaurant only to find them closed, but their websites stated they were open. Be sure to have clear and accurate hours of operation on your actual store, website, Facebook page, and on Google and map searches. If your physical store hours are limited, but you are open by phone, email or text, be sure to communicate that, as well.

Don’t use COVID as an excuse

We are all living though COVID together, so making excuses because of COVID is annoying to the customer in need. Instead, make it clear to your customers and community that, “We are here for you and ready to help.” Make your marketing and messaging positive and proactive with how you and your staff are ready to help your customers.

Sue Chen is CEO, NOVA Medical Products. Reach her at [email protected]

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