TimeTrade recovery package gives retailers appointment options

  • May 26, 2020
  • imc

Massachusetts-based SaaS provider TimeTrade has launched a retail recovery package to enable safe shopping via virtual and in-store appointments.

It supports multiple appointment types for an unlimited number of locations, allowing flexibility for retailers as they adapt to shifting consumer preferences and local market dynamics.

The package can be implemented in days, is designed to help retailers in all categories prepare for store reopenings with a proven method for pre-scheduled appointments that promotes safe, physical engagement policies for customers and staff, while also driving store sales.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can immediately offer customers virtual or in-person appointments at a time when stores are just beginning to reopen, many with restrictions for occupancy and social distancing. Given health concerns and the patchwork nature of local a regulations, the consumer transition back to shopping in physical stores is likely to be a dynamic and unpredictable one.

The package gives retailers broad choice about how they want to implement appointments, as well as the flexibility to expand as local guidelines, customer demands or store operational requirements change.

Equally important, appointment scheduling offers a clear call to action for customers that can be used across all marketing channels – online and offline – alleviating confusion about how customers may shop, and instilling confidence in a brand’s efforts to create a safe, contact-reducing experience.

“For many retailers, the coming days will determine not simply if they can reopen, but if they can survive the incredible business disruption the pandemic has created,” said Bill Clark, CEO of TimeTrade. “While in-store shopping is likely to look very different from pre-pandemic days, retailers must work aggressively now to build an action plan for their return. For brands in categories ranging from specialty apparel, to home furnishings, electronics and bridal, online appointment scheduling has become critical for enabling safe, predictable and profitable retail experiences.”

The package is available in three versions: virtual only for phone and web-based appointments; limited store access for both virtual and in-store meetings, as well as kerbside or bopis (buy online pickup in store) fulfilment appointments; and a full enterprise deployment that extends the other package options to include customisations for named resources and personal calendar connectivity, single sign-on, in-store queue management and more.

Retailers that deploy the offering will join Best Buy, Sephora, Lowe’s, Sprint and David’s Bridal that already use TimeTrade.

Intelligent appointment scheduling allows retailers to meet customers where they are – online, on their mobile devices, through search engines or on the phone. Customers can book anytime, connecting with the right team member in the right location to meet their specific needs.

TimeTrade’s clients report that pre-booked appointments drive three times more in spend per visit versus walk-ins.

Offering pre-scheduled appointments lets managers match employee availability and physical space limitations with customer demand, making workforce planning safer, simpler and more efficient.

TimeTrade’s package options allow retailers to implement a method that meets their needs today, and then grow as conditions and customer needs shift, with support for unlimited store locations.

“How retail brands respond during this pandemic, and the provisions they make for both customers and staff, will be remembered far beyond the immediate crisis,” said Clark. “This presents a unique opportunity for retailers to demonstrate their commitment to safety, consumer choice and convenience as they reopen stores. We’ve led the industry in appointment-driven shopping for more than 20 years, and TimeTrade remains the only scheduling provider with the experience and the expertise to make retailers successful in this critical time.”

TimeTrade is a SaaS provider of complex enterprise scheduling systems. Founded in 1999, it now has more than 500 enterprises and 10,000 businesses among its customers and TimeTrade’s Scheduler has helped these customers schedule more than 750 million appointments across banking and financial services, retail, technology, education, and services industry verticals. TimeTrade is a portfolio company of Clearhaven Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm.