Simple Ways to Welcome Back Your Customers Post-COVID-19

As COVID-19 mandates start to lift and parks, beaches and businesses reopen, traffic in your stores is sure to pick up. During this post-pandemic period, it’s important for retailers to reconnect and engage with customers as well as ease their minds. Here are some simple ways to provide a warm welcome back.

Reiterate Your Cleaning Regimen

Keeping your stores clean remains critical. Create signage letting shoppers know that you’re continuing to do all you can to protect them from germs. Provide details covering your process for sanitizing high-touch surfaces, updates to your HVAC filters or any other steps you’re taking to keep them safe.

Dmitry Kalinovsky/

Revisit Your Pricing

Shoppers are the first ones to notice prices increasing and with many of your customers seeking employment opportunities, now’s the time to consider lowing prices and providing special offers. Customers have become more aware of pricing on items such as eggs, paper products and cleaning supplies. Why not point out that you have recently lowered your price or provide discounts where possible. A “Welcome Back Bonus Sale” is a great way for fashion retailers to move stale or old inventory as well as help customers save.

Share What’s Changed

Let customers know if anything is different about your stores by creating signage, social media graphics or emails. Make sure you update your website, social platforms and Google listings and consider contacting the press.

  • For newly reopened stores – maybe you now have senior hours or new hours, it’s imperative your customers know about these new hours.
  • C-store or QSR retailers – maybe you’ve reopened public restrooms or resumed self-serve beverage areas. Keep customers in the loop.
  • If beauty and fragrance testers and food and beverage samples have been removed from your stores, make sure to tell customers that these try-before-you buy items will return once the dust settles. Right now, their health is key.
  • Are there limits on how many customers are allowed into your stores? Have purchasing limits on grocery items such as paper towels, eggs and milk been lifted? Let the public know.

Reward Loyal Customers

Maybe you’re a clothing or beauty store retailer just reopening your store. Your shoppers continued buying items online, reward them with a special “Welcome Back In-Store Offer.” For grocery, c-stores or QSRs with shoppers who have avoided physically entering your stores, but actively ordered delivery, think of unique ways to thank them for their loyalty through signage and special discounts.

Keep Doing What You’re Doing

NACS reports, “The number of online orders for at-store, curbside pickup by customers jumped 208% between April 1 and 20 compared to a year earlier.” With that in mind, continue enhancing curbside pickup. Perhaps add permanent curbside signage or extend this to include onsite or on-lot delivery to customers’ cars.

Keep promoting the use of delivery and payment apps as well as find ways to innovate and better the experience. Grocery store retailers saw a dramatic rise of 160% and 218% in the number of grocery delivery apps downloaded during the COVID-19 outbreak. All retailers saw online delivery surge 82% a week after stay-at-home orders came.

Jason Gardner, founder of payment processor Marqeta, told Bloomberg Markets that since the pandemic began, contactless payments increased ten-fold. “I believe that because of the coronavirus, people are going to move more to contactless.” If you accept mobile payments in your stores, consider creating incentives or exclusive rewards if you aren’t already. Make sure your stores’ technology continues to support contactless payment.


We understand these are uncertain times, but there are so many innovative ways to welcome back or reward your customers. GSP’s retail marketing experts are available to discuss new ideas. Feel free to reach out to your account manager directly or contact us.

Do Your Customers Know What's in Stock Through COVID-19?

According to a recent Shopkick survey, 47% of shoppers said they’re stockpiling essential items because of COVID-19 concerns. These purchases include food items and water (93%), toiletries (74%), cleaning supplies (58%), and medicine and health care items (45%).

Letting customers know you have what they need is one of the easiest ways to enhance the customer experience. Right now, most shoppers are uncomfortable being out and about. Simplify their shopping trip by calling out what’s available, here’s how.

Rethink Product Placement

With shoppers looking for toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies, keep these items near the front of the store or in an obvious area. Create a COVID-19 survival section with top-selling items. For example, keep 24-packs of bottled water near windows so customers approaching the store can see you’re well stocked.

Update Your Social Media Pages

If one or more of your store locations now have an item back in stock, post an update on your Facebook or Twitter pages. This also makes it easy for your customers to spread the word to their neighbors. Many of your customers are using the Nextdoor app to alert their neighbors of trucks unloading at their local grocery stores or if they’ve noticed a store with plenty of eggs or toilet paper.

Create “In Stock” Signage

If you’re a convenience store retailer, shoppers who typically rely on your store for tobacco and lottery tickets, may not realize you stock certain items. Signage with clear messaging helps. Various signs can be made listing each item and placed near the store entrance or register. Changeable signage can be designed and created to allow store managers or team members to swap out items currently in stock.

Whether you’re looking for “What’s in Stock?” signage or other creative POP ideas. Let us know. We’re here for you.

Your In-Store Messaging Must Change Due to COVID-19, Here’s How - Part 2

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) changing the way your stores operate, keeping customers in the know is critical right now. Part 1 of this two-part blog series touches on signage and POP that helps inform and guide during these trying times. Here are some easy ways to help reassure shoppers and show you care.

Reassure Customers

Surely you’ve updated your cleaning standards to align with CDC guidelines. Do your customers know? Reassure them with signage, flyers and/or social media messaging that highlights how you’re keeping your employees and shoppers safe. Let them know how all surfaces are cleaned and sanitized frequently. Groceries are quickly running out of paper supplies, bread and eggs, reassure potential shoppers they can count on you for stocked items they may be searching for. Use interior and exterior signage to remind patrons that you’re there for them with the essential items they need.

Show You Care

Your customers may be feeling anxious, exhausted and confused during this difficult time. Like you and your employees, life and routines have changed. Shoppers who may have relied on you for fuel and lottery tickets, may now be counting on your stores for grocery items and hot meals. Let them know their community c-store is ready to serve with messaging that shows you care. Start with signage that reminds customers to keep their distance. Create and promote free offers for area healthcare workers and first responders. Though you’re always doing your part within the community, let shoppers know you’re still actively contributing.

We’re all in this together. If looking to adjust your messaging, create helpful signage or develop ways to guide your customers, please let us know. We’re here for you.

5 Ways Stores Can Enforce COVID-19 Social Distancing

Social distancing is the “new norm” but retailers and shoppers say maintaining that six-foot distance at grocery stores can be challenging. Grocery stores and convenience stores are doing their best to follow social distancing guidance from the CDC.

Retailers are getting creative in their fight to prevent customers from standing within six feet apart from any person for more than 10 minutes. Some stores are placing carts or chairs six feet apart or using electrical tape placed on the floors as guides to help shoppers know where exactly they can safely position themselves while others are creating graphics and POP to assist.

How Can Retailers Implement Social Distancing?

Here are five ways retailers can help keep shoppers safe in their stores during the Coronavirus crisis.

    1. Floor Graphics or Floor Clings
      Floor clings or floor decals are one of the easiest ways to direct and remind shoppers to keep their distance. Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, slip resistant, durable, and adhesive floor clings are made from a variety of different substrates. Retailers can even chose eco-friendly materials to meet their sustainability goals.

    2. Creative Cutouts of Your Products
      Using oversized cutouts featuring graphics of your most popular products makes for a fun, lighthearted way to keep customers from inching their way closer. To prevent this, a doughnut shop in Seattle created large cardboard versions of their delicious doughnuts for customers to hold while placing to-go orders.
    3. Shelf Talkers With Clever Sayings
      Shelf talkers, flags and wobblers are often used to promote products, and they still can, however they’re also an easy way to remind customers to “back off.” You can use standard verbiage to instruct shoppers to distance themselves or use memorable phrases, sayings or song lyrics such as, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me – Please allow six feet between you and your fellow shoppers.”
    4. Standees, Aisle Invaders or Aisle Violators
      Developing larger die-cut displays, standees, aisle invaders or aisle violators is another creative and smart way to keep customers following CDC guidelines. Standees provide plenty of messaging real estate to include additional safety tips and are ideal for the lines forming outside of grocery stores.

    5. Designated Area Signage & POP
      With makeshift drive-through solutions becoming more and more popular for foodservice, proper signage is key. Customers that may already feel frazzled over this new setup may need direction. Consider creating signage with clear direction so customers know how and where to pick up and pay. If you offer cashless payment options, this is also the perfect opportunity to remind shoppers they can use your app, Apple Pay or Google Pay to avoid touching and exchanging bills and coins.

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If you’d like us to brainstorm or develop additional signage, clings or POP to assist your stores with social distancing, let us know. We’re here for you.

How Can Retailers Thank First Responders, Nurses and Medical Personnel During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?

Last week, NACS sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security urging the agency to designate convenience stores, their suppliers and distributors as critical businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenience stores and grocers are doing whatever they can to help support customers, especially those on the Coronavirus front lines such as first responders, police, military personnel and medical workers.

Special Offers for Special Customers

You may have noticed some of your local businesses stepping up and providing free or discounted meals or beverages to customers in the medical field. Texas burger chain, Mighty Fine made headlines for providing free takeout meals to police, paramedics and medical workers in uniform. Participating Dunkin’ and Circle K stores are offering free hot and cold beverages to health care professionals for a limited time.

Making Your Message Memorable

Make sure your special offers are visible to first responders and medical workers just purchasing fuel. They may not need a coffee now but can always stop by on their way to work tomorrow as well as spread the word to their coworkers. Create clings or signage for your front windows. Customers will most likely take a photo of your sign and share it on their social media pages.

Keep Them Moving

Looking for new ways to honor local first responders and health care workers? The following are some ideas to help keep these customers moving during this difficult time.

  • Offer lunch discounts or free beverage with purchase
  • Create a Fast Pass for helpful heroes allowing them to get in and out faster  
  • Provide free delivery to area hospitals, sheriff’s offices, firehouses and more

We’re all in this together. If you’d like us to brainstorm or develop additional promotions geared toward first responders or medical workers, please let us know. We’re your partner and are here for you during these challenging times and always.


Feel Good News

In addition to helping first responders, see how retailers are helping senior customers and families, as well as assisting their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

Adjusting Your Marketing During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis

As retailers, you’ve dealt with everything from severe weather events to sudden changes in FDA rules and regulations. However, you most likely have yet to encounter a crisis as monumental as the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here are some quick and easy ways to adjust your marketing strategy during the current pandemic crisis.

Thank First Responders & Medical Workers

They say, “Not all heroes wear capes” and our first responders, doctors and nurses are proof of that. These professionals are leading the fight on the front lines and could use a bit of kindness and extra encouragement. Create “thank you” signs to show your gratitude or take it a step further and create coffee or foodservice discounts or offers for those in uniform.

Call Out New Safety Policies

New CDC guidelines are changing the way you do business. As always, your customers’ peace of mind is a priority. From new store hours to new food handling policies. Reassure your shoppers with signage that keeps them in the know for example:

  • Curbside Takeout Now Available
  • Due to Recent CDC Guidelines, Our Dining Area Is Temporarily Closed
  • To ensure the safety of our guests, the roller grill is closed. Please visit the counter for all hot dogs, taquitos and sausages.
  • The safety of our guests and team members is important to us. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, we are suspending the use of reusable cups at this time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
  • During this time, we request you use our mobile app to order ahead. Thank you for your cooperation.

Alert Customers of Staple Items in Stock

Place signs in prominent areas reassuring customers they can find sought-after items such as bottled water, paper towels, bread and milk. Remember, there’s a chance your average customer depends on you for beer, snacks or tobacco items. They may not know your store supplies staple items their families need.

Tout Your Takeout

Customers know you sell chips and candy, but are they aware of your award-winning chicken, biscuits and mac and cheese or how about your beloved specialty pizza? With restaurants closing, your customers may be seeking alternatives. Let them know that when it comes to dinner time, you’ve got them covered with hot, packaged meals they can easily take out. Step it up and offer curbside delivery during this difficult time as well as promote your prepared meal offerings on social media.   

Focus More on Exterior Than Interior Messaging

Social distancing means consumers are trying to minimize their time in your stores. Consider shifting more of your messaging to exterior signs that shoppers are more likely to see and that let them know what you have before they enter the store. Consider banners focusing on staple items or feather flags advertising grab-and-go lunch options.


We know these are challenging times for our industry. We’re proud to support you in your efforts to serve the communities in which you operate. Whether you need assistance in developing new exterior messaging, better promoting your packaged foods or simply downsizing your program, please feel free to reach out. We’re here to help.