This has created more uncertainty. How willing are your customers to actually go out and shop? Even more important (to you): how willing are YOUR customers to shop with YOU?
So, here's an idea: Why not ask them? Really. Send them a short questionnaire.*
Keep these things in mind when putting together your questions:
- Ask about recent behaviors, not future intentions. (Eg, "In the past week, how many times have you shopped in a store or dined at a restaurant? What about visiting someone else's home or office or having guests over?") Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.
- Do they check online or call the store to find out ahead of time whether a particular item is available? (This is a Yes/No question. You may want to let them answer it for other stores AND for your stores.)
- Keep it short. Remember, this is just a basic attitude check. Your goal is to learn more about what they have done recently.
Then tally the results. And pay attention to their responses.
Our guarantee: there WILL be a surprise!
Next: USE the results! Use it to influence your advertising messages and in-store signage. Maybe change your hours, or improve your online access.
Most of all, feel more confident in the decisions you make about how best to move forward. Just a few questions of the people whose opinion matters the most can go a long way toward clearing that Fog of Uncertainty.
* Here is a link to a site that identifies 15 different places for free online survey tools. [No, we have no affiliation with that site or any of the survey sites. We just found this through an online search.]