With frenzied holiday shopping days quickly approaching, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is recommending that businesses ramp up their COVID-friendly shopping options.
Overall, Canadians are closely divided between saying they will shop online (41 per cent) or in-store (59 per cent), according to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This means that businesses need to be prepared for safe and successful in-person and virtual sales, said Karla Laird, manager for community and public relations at the BBB.
“Successful retailers will be those who adapt to our quickly changing business environment and understand what a more digital world means for how they interact with consumers,” Laird said. “At the same time, businesses must also plan for the one-third of consumers who are still struggling with technology.”
For those who do plan to do their shopping in person, the degree of safety measures businesses have in place will determine where they go. In the PwC survey, 78 per cent agreed with the statement: “I plan to do my holiday shopping in places where I can see measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of shoppers.”
The BBB is recommending that businesses improve their online presence and consider adopting more flexible payment options, such as PayPal, as soon as possible. It also suggests trying an outdoor pop-up shop, offering curbside pickup and going cashless.
While B.C. has yet to make wearing masks mandatory, Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that it is expected that residents wear masks in public spaces. There has been no official statement made on Christmas gatherings, but experts are advising that people prepare for a scaled-back holiday season.
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