Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice from Experienced Shoppers
We know that shopping and delivering during COVID-19 can be challenging, and we want to help support you as you continue to support your community.
We asked experienced shoppers to share with us how they have been navigating shopping during this tough time, and we've compiled and summarized their responses for you below.
Experienced shoppers' advice on communicating with customers:
"Be positive and upbeat in your communication. Your tone will set the mood for the shop."
"In the introduction greeting, I remind the customer to be ready for substitution texts if they are available. I also tell them that we are all trying to work through this the best we can!"
"Start your intro text by thanking the member for their continued business and patience and let them know of any store limits you may know of."
"Attempt to group substitute texts if possible to prevent sending back to back messages, which may be overwhelming and go unanswered."
"Send photos of substitutes if possible."
"If at all possible, suggest a substitution. At this, something is better than nothing. Offer a different size or brand. Give the members options."
"For new customers, welcome them and explain how the communication and shopping process works. Let them know you are their personal shopper and are picking the items now based on their availability. Some new customers may think we have warehouse access."
"In the intro text, ask the customer to be by their phones as substitutions are common at this time due to item availability."
"Ask customers if there is anything they need that wasn’t available to be ordered in the app, and let you know you will check to see if it is available in the store."
"I've been calling my customers more frequently instead of texting them a thousand pictures. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call!! Especially if the customer isn’t answering your texts."
Experienced shoppers' advice on managing the increased order volume:
"Join your local group for the most up to date info for your stores/area and to connect with your Metro Lead."
"Bring insulated bags inside the store as lines may be long and this helps keep items cool/hot."
"Unfortunately, someone could walk off with it or remove items from your cart so don’t leave your cart unattended at this time."
"Use sanitizer before you shop, after leaving the store, before delivery and after. Your safety comes first."
"Place gaps in your schedule to help yourself get back on time if needed."
Experienced shoppers' advice on delivering orders:
"Customers now have the option to select 'Drop off' as a delivery option. If their order is not marked as such, offer to hand their order off at the door."
"Send a photo to the customer with each porch drop."
"Please attempt to deliver items within a reasonable time frame. Keep customer service consistent by delivering all items temperature appropriate and in a timely fashion while maintaining communication."
Experienced shoppers' advice on navigating the in-store experience:
"Wear your Shipt shirt. This is helpful for times stores have restricted store hours, store associates can easily identify you as a shopper and may allow you to enter. This will also be helpful if shopping multiples orders with regards to item limitations."
"Ask if they are ok with you selecting their substitutions if they are one of your regular members. Then, send a list of substitutions and deletions prior to checking out."
"Be courteous to store employees. Pay attention to product limits and share that with members before entering the store."
"Send photos of substitutes if possible."
Experienced shoppers' advice on staying healthy while shopping:
"Stay hydrated and take a break if you need to."
"Pay attention to your body and take yourself off the schedule if you don’t feel well."
"It's ok not to shop. Never feel obligated to get out there and work. Just remove yourself from the schedule, don't overexert yourself. The most important thing is your health and safety."
"If you are going to continue to work, be sure you're doing what you can to stay safe as well. Wash your hands frequently, wipe down your phone, wear gloves while shopping, use hand sanitizer after each order. Our members are trusting that we are doing our part to stop the spread."