How to Keep A Retail Store Clean and Hygienic and How Technology Can Help

January 17, 2023

Making a solid first impression is vital if you want to increase your business’s traffic and gain loyal customers. According to several reliable data providers and research companies (such as Forbes, Statista, and Research and Markets), a customer takes up to 10 seconds to form the first impression about an establishment. According to these reports, cleanliness is a standout factor in forming first impressions of retail stores. The studies underline that it’s pretty challenging to sway a mind once that opinion is cemented. 

Needless to say, keeping your shop clean at all times should be a top priority in order to succeed and improve the customer experience at your establishment. Depending on the type of your business your store may need continued help keeping it clean, or perhaps once a day is enough, but how can you know for sure? You can always trust your gut, but you may end up spending way more than necessary to keep the store clean, or worse, not clean enough that you’ll drive some customers away. The latter is easily avoidable, and as a decision-maker, you should never forget that most people talk about “bad experiences” when shopping. Not treating a spill right away at a restaurant can cause more harm than you think.

On top of all that, keeping your establishment clean and hygienic sends a solid message to existing and potential customers, demonstrating professionalism. This is especially true, following the global pandemic and lockdowns that came along with it. Governments worldwide now enforce stricter safety and health rules, and people are more educated and aware of why cleanliness matters. 

Now that we’ve established that offering a sanitary and safe environment is extremely important for a business to succeed and grow, comes the question of “how to keep a store clean” and which technologies can help in this area. Going with the right one will help you grow your company, maximize your revenue, and help you cut unnecessary costs.

How to Maintain Cleanliness and Hygiene in Stores

First things first, you need to create a checklist and determine which areas of your store need regular cleaning. Coming up with the list itself is pretty easy. You have the exits, entrances, and checkout areas; depending on the size of your store you may have a service area, restrooms, offices, storage, breakrooms, kitchens, and the list ever-goes on. 

This is where people counting comes into play to make it all easier for you and your establishment. These sensors may not be able to detect dirt or spill, but a modern, accurate and reliable traffic counter can show you how the footfall traffic is at your store, how many people come and go, which areas get more visitors, and more. Plus, if you pick a reliable provider, you can get accurate and actionable visitor data in real time or generate reports covering a specific time of the hour, day, week, or month. It all comes down to your choice. You can also compare data with previous periods or compare them with one another if you have other locations.

Knowing the number of people entering and exiting your stores and when they do can be a life changer, and it lets you optimize your staff’s schedule accordingly. Not only can you redirect your resources and provide a better service to your customers, but you can also use accurate and reliable traffic data to reduce energy costs across the establishment. Solutions like zone analytics can help you discover which specific areas pull in more people and cause clutter. You can then identify the reasons for said mess and take action using your traffic counter’s meaningful insights. 

For instance, if you’re running a clothing store, you find out your peak hours through people counting and online visitor analytics, have more staff to attend to customers and clean the mess visitors leave behind. A clean and neat store will always have a higher chance of converting window gazers into customers as well. 

Discovering when you need the extra workforce is great for your shop and staff. They won’t be overworked, nor will they make avoidable mistakes. You’ll be able to offer better customer service, improve visitor experience overall, and take the proper steps to grow your business and brand. Plus, if you want to dig deeper and invest in an extra sensor, you can use real-time occupancy data to eliminate long queues at your stores, significantly improve your relationship with customers and leave a lasting good impression.

Determine If You Need A Dedicated Cleaning Team 

As the owner (or the manager) of the establishment, you need to find out if you need a whole team of people to keep it clean, hygienic, and sanitary at any given moment. Perhaps, your existing staff can cover the easy bits like spills and dust, allowing you to outsource the significant cleaning bits. 

Places like restaurants and food-providing establishments require constant cleaning. Every corner needs to be extremely clean to ensure no germs, bacteria, or dirt is transferred to other people. Of course, there’s no way you can completely eliminate them, but you can make sure to keep everything as clean as possible, follow your country’s health guidelines, and ensure your customers’ safety. This again comes down to understanding when your business would be pulling the most customers, when the peak hours happen and which entrances get used more often. The questions will vary depending on a number of factors, but the answers should almost always come from actionable and factual traffic data.

The same logic applies to most other stores, though, just not as severely as the food industry. Making a checklist for not only zones but areas and items to be cleaned within these zones also helps convince customers and shows that you take pride in your work. Think about the customer journey and where it starts. Unless your visitors find you via an advertising campaign, their guest experience will start with your storefront, where you heavily rely on digital signage to grab their attention. You can’t have your display dirty and dusty, can you? Even the simplest details can drive the customer away. You can’t always be there, but your people counting sensor can be. 

If you need help getting started, you can go ahead and reach out to us for a demo. We’ll get you connected with one of our people counting experts to get you exactly what you need, inform you on how you can leverage people counting to grow your business and maximize your revenue.