In Covid-19 times, businesses large and small are under pressure to make necessary changes to comply with appropriate social distancing rules to service customers. Currently, critical businesses like grocery stores are struggling to moderate and manage customer in-store traffic and reduce the number of people actively shopping at any given time in the stores. This is also frustrating to customers who are dealing with long lines to enter stores and equally worried about risking their health if active number of customers in a store is not moderated.
We expect to see all businesses to feel the pressure to find ways to support these controls when the Shelter-in-Place policies are lifted. Small and large businesses like florists, bakeries, restaurants, nail salons, hair salons, religious sites, grocery and retail stores, department stores etc will need automated ways to moderate store customer volume. Current manual approach cannot scale and costly for businesses and offers poor customer experience and concerns. Also, the volume of customers that can be accepted can change daily or hourly depending on store capacity, number of available associates to service, store hours of operation and busy times. This can become more frustrating to customers and stores as we businesses move to full time operation.
Our goal is to serve businesses and customers enabling efficient and automated store visit scheduling, by providing a ready to use mobile app for multiple stores accessible by the customers. We want to offer convenience and also support optimization of the scheduling to help businesses effectively manage the store entry to maximize their sales while ensuring Covid-19 compliance.
Features for customers and businesses for first release will include:
0. Register or create login account with the app ( allow FB or Google login option)
1. Ability to look up participating merchants or stores for shopping.
2. Quick view of available shopping or booking slots for the selected store.
3. Ability to book, cancel or update a preferred slot for store visits.
4. QR code generation for each booked slot.
4. Alerts on booked slots for store visit.
5. Allow customer to enter the store using their QR code at the store entrance system offered by the business upon showing up for their available slot window.
6. Rate experience or share feedback with merchant.
1. Create an account for the business and register the store to offer store visits scheduling.
2. Allow store administrator to specify days, weeks and months offered for scheduling and slots windows offered and customer capacity for store visits per slot.
3. Allow administrator to update or cancel slots if there are unexpected circumstances due to Covid-19 issues.
4. Ability to view customer bookings for store visits.
5. A mobile or iPad QR code scanning page to provide at the entrance for scheduled customers to enter with no touch or manual intervention.
Extended features in future releases:
1. Allow large businesses with multiple stores to upload via spreadsheet stores info to reduce manual entry process. This will handled manually by company and automated for self-service by the business through administration tool.
2. Allow stores to provide promotional deal info when they are booking or looking at stores to visit. This helps both customers and businesses.
3. Optimization of slots and scheduling based on in-store capacity, number of checkouts to offer maximize the sales opportunity.
4. Extend the capability for no touch, pre-order, pre-pay and pick up model. In case of very small businesses like farmers market merchants, we want to offer a special service to allow them to upload their products and pricing for pre-ordering. When the customer visits the farmer's market, they will have the order ready at the merchant tent for pick up.