With nonessential businesses re-opening across the country, companies are faced with the challenge of remodeling their store layout to make it more social distance friendly. The small business marketing firm OneLocal conducted a study that looked at what consumers want from stores in the future.
Unsurprisingly, safety is customer’s greatest concern, with 80 percent of the 1,072 respondents saying they would not enter a small business unless they complied with safety regulations. This means that moving forward, businesses—including spas and salons—are going to have to go the extra mile in ensuring the safety and comfort of their guests. What’s even more imperative for some consumers is that businesses are transparent. The survey found that 89 percent of consumers find it necessary that all businesses share their safety measures.
In an effort to ease the transition for medical spas, OneLocal developed a tool called COVIDsafe.services. The free online resource will be a place that North American-based medical spas and small businesses can access and share the latest COVID-19 regulations.
Maggie McIntyre, the director of operations at OneLocal, believes this tool will help with the common issue that small businesses are facing, which is the lack of foot traffic. “We’ve been speaking to small businesses, and even those who have since reopened, or maybe never closed at all, are struggling to get people through the doors,” said McIntyre. “People are saying ‘why should I walk into a store and risk my health when I can just order online?’ We’re hopeful COVIDsafe.services will give consumers an alternative to buying online because we truly believe that small businesses are the key to restarting the economy."
The tool will supply spas and small businesses access to their own tailored safety checklists to assist in navigating government regulations. Currently, there are a set of mandatory protocols that medical spas must state they are following before they can open up to the public. The tool will allow businesses to create a public profile for customers to see once they begin following protocols.
“We’re asking these small businesses to digest a lot of information, from a lot of different sources, and we feel this is a huge ask,” said McIntyre. “Not only that, but it’s unclear whether these businesses are being set up for success when they re-open. We think there’s still going to be some fear among consumers. After months of being told to stay home, people may think twice before rushing back into stores. Especially if businesses can’t show the precautions they’re taking.”
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