Retail: addressing consumer fears of the physical touch

Retail: addressing consumer fears of the physical touch

  • March 31, 2022
  • in Blog
  • 95

While more than half of UK shoppers want to return to shops, 59% will be more cautious about physical touch and 49% will feel uncomfortable in groups of more than seven[1]. As such retailers need to focus on optimising their cleaning and hygiene practices to increase consumer confidence and improve footfall.

With the transmission risks of everyday interactions remaining an ongoing concern for consumers – particularly as we enter the UK’s flu season – understanding best practice for cleaning and disinfecting ‘high-touch’ or ‘high-risk’ surfaces is imperative for retailers.

A recent survey commissioned by Pelsis Group found that 87 per cent of people think the hygiene of the places they visit is more important to them than before the start of the pandemic[2].

While 75 per cent of those researched said that being able to check the hygiene protocols of public and commercial premises online and actively see stringent hygiene and cleaning procedures taking place, would make them more likely to visit[3].

Especially at a time of heightened concern about public health, it would seem a deep clean outside of operational hours is no longer enough. By taking a more proactive, flexible and highly tailored approach, that includes the full analyse of your operation and cleaning regimes, a clear picture of site requirements can be attained, and cleaning practices optimised.

Through our extensive experience of operating in the retail space, we have identified the critical actions leaders must take to manage hygiene, reassure shoppers and mitigate disruptions to store operations.

Initial insights

Particularly in the highly diverse retail industry, no two premises are the same. Having a clear picture of aspects such as anticipated footfall, average occupancy rates, as well as areas which may need additional attention such as high traffic touchpoints such as door handles, stair rails, lift call buttons, amongst others, can help shape strategies that focus on the areas that will matter most to customers and staff alike.

All cleaning contracts should begin with a thorough assessment of business operations and priorities. Only then can you select the appropriate solutions and cleaning services to meet the requirements of the business.

By staying on the cutting edge of innovation and investing appropriately, we use the latest systems and technology to create complete schematic floor plans, quickly identify the main issues on site, and develop accurate cleaning strategies for any building.

Optimised touchpoint cleaning routines

The way teams are deployed should be based on the insights delivered from the initial assessment. Gaining a clear and comprehensive picture of a site (or multiple sites) will make for the easier identification and deployment of cleaning services, such as restructuring shift patterns to ensure touch point surfaces and critical areas are cleaned at suitable times, and at regular intervals.

Once the structured plan is agreed, regular touchpoint cleaning will form part of the cleaners daily cleaning schedule. To facilitate routine touchpoint cleaning, SBFM provide a suite of specialised COVID-19 fogging equipment and a core team of highly trained cleaning operatives to deliver a periodic programme of sanitisation fogging cleans to high footfall/high touch areas. This approach negates any need for call outs and additional costs for reactive infection cleans.

To reduce your costs, improve standards and offer greater transparency, SBFM grade buildings and areas within them, delivering appropriate standards and targeted cleaning for critical areas.

The perfect product

Of course, delivering a thorough clean of all touchpoint surfaces – be that rigorous cleans of door handles, stairwell handrails, display areas, elevator buttons, or washroom surfaces – necessitates the use of the most effective cleaning products. Even more so in an era of heightened hygiene awareness, with new regulations and protocols entering the industry.

At SBFM we continuously work to source and deploy the most suitable cleaning products to not only deliver highly effective disinfection practices, but also comply with current hygiene legislation designed to stop the spread of harmful pathogens. 

By using products with the BS EN 14476 certification – including Selgiene Ultra, Bio Hygiene Cleaner Sanitiser and Duomax General Purpose Cleaner – our cleaning operatives can eliminate several viruses including norovirus, poliovirus, adenovirus and influenza, due to the antiviral ingredients.

Monitoring performance

Evaluating performance is a crucial step in any cleaning contract. Effective quality control ensures excellent cleaning standards, and a visible cleaning presence are being delivered across all retail sites, in turn, increasing customer confidence.

Our knowledgeable management team constantly monitor all aspects of your service – assisted by operational data analysts – leveraging a wealth of data to maintain a clear picture of performance, identifying opportunities for continual improvement and adding value for clients.

We provide exceptional transparency about day-to-day operations, overall contract performance, and financial detail, via a comprehensive performance management toolkit. This means we can improve the service, meeting, or exceeding standards across all sites.

To see how SBFM can optimise and enhance your existing cleaning strategy, and mitigate consumer fears of the physical touch, contact our expert team or visit: