The New Retail Playbook

Your guide to building trust with today's shoppers.

In the blink of an eye, the retail industry changed. The majority of retailers closed their doors to adhere to shelter-in-place orders. Big box and grocery retailers barely kept up with demand while non-essential retailers were left with excess inventory. Digital shopping surged.

As restrictions lift, you may have already reopened your doors or are planning to do so. Regardless of where you are on your journey, this playbook will help you adapt today and prepare for future unexpected events while building a new level of confidence with shoppers.

The New Retail Pillars
Based on insights from leading industry experts and conversations with our customers, our approach is built on four pillars: store safety, contactless experiences, empowered associates, and relationships with shoppers in a digital-first world.

Chapter 1: Ensure safety at your store

Chances are, your reopening plan took into account best practices from grocers and other essential retailers that mandated personal protective equipment (PPE), staggered schedules, thorough cleanings, and designated hours for at-risk shoppers at the height of the pandemic.
In this section, learn what else you can do to ensure everybody feels safe and secure at your stores.

Keep everyone safe during the reopen process

Salesforce created to provide advisory services and technology solutions to help companies stabilize and reopen safely. The Workplace Command Center is a single hub to make informed decisions on how to monitor, adjust, and manage reopening based on public and private data. Track return-to-work readiness with the Employee Wellness Check. Customize and deploy surveys based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and organizational needs.

With visibility into wellness data by geography, store location, and employee health status, you can make more informed decisions. This includes optimizing employee scheduling with the Shift Management capability. The dashboard provides visibility to determine capacity, plan, and ensure compliance. At the same time, employees have control over their availability, so managers can stagger and schedule shifts based on availability and wellness.

Require PPE at your stores

According to the Salesforce Snapshot Research Survey, conducted May 1-15, 2020, 54% of people say they would personally require PPE for employees and 45% would require it for customers in order to return to normal in-store shopping behaviors. Give store employees high-quality face masks and gloves. Clearly communicate — and enforce — that PPE is required to enter the store. Have back-up supplies on hand for anyone who needs it.

Learn more about how to source PPE on Trailhead, our free digital learning platform with customizable trails.

Perform temperature checks at the beginning of each shift and offer on-site testing. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, track potential exposure with manual Contact Tracing. Send alerts to employees with instructions on what to do to minimize spread. Institute a rule that the infected employee cannot return to work until cleared by a medical professional.

Be meticulous about cleaning

Add hand-sanitizing stations throughout your store, including the entrance, fitting rooms, and cash wrap. Ensure each store has an over-abundance of supplies, such as a multiuse cleaner. Create safety checklists for associates and store managers to ensure all cleaning protocols are followed each day.

Create your health and saftey requirements checklist with our free template.

Enforce capacity limits

Based on safety guidelines, your store may only be able to maintain a certain percentage of your customer capacity. Weigh these constraints with shopper perception of safety. Shoppers are more likely to feel safe in a store with strongly enforced capacity limits. Retailers can use Lightning Scheduler to streamline appointment booking while keeping shoppers and employees safe.

Rethink store layouts for social distancing

Sixty-two percent of people say they would personally require social distancing measures to be in place prior to returning to a store. Rethink your store layout to adhere to social distancing.

Minimize the chance of people gathering by reducing the amount of displays and overall merchandise on the floor. Add floor markers and signage to help shoppers maintain social distancing. Construct physical barriers to protect store staff as well — sneeze guards or partitions, for example — especially in areas where people tend to gather, such as the checkout counter.


More Resources


Write a COVID-19 V2MOM

Create an actionable corporate strategy for reopening your office locations.

How to Source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Discover a general framework for sourcing PPE for your organization’s needs.

Create a COVID-19 Employee FAQ

Make a one-stop-shop on your COVID response and office reopening procedures.

Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

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