How to effectively communicate a face covering policy

Navigating how to incorporate face covering policies at your business

Though NRF’s research and other national polls have shown a majority of Americans wear face coverings in public, there is still a group that’s resistant to do so. As face coverings become required in more retail stores, how can retailers effectively communicate their safety policies and avoid conflict? In this week’s Retail Gets Real podcast, SKDKnickerbocker Consultant and Media Strategist Bill Knapp describes how the issue of requiring face coverings became contentious and shares how to best communicate safety precautions to customers.



The first step, Knapp says, is to provide reassurance to customers with visual cues that the business is committed to safety. Customers should see staff members social distancing, disinfecting surfaces and wearing masks correctly. Another small gesture that resonates is to thank customers for wearing a mask.

Masks have been proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19; though wearing them is inconvenient, focusing on the tradeoff of keeping businesses open could be a powerful motivator.

“You want businesses to stay open, you don't want to slide back. And I think this is particularly powerful now,” Knapp says. “Stores are beginning to open up. People are getting haircuts. It's a big relief to people. They don't want to slide back. And that desire to keep it going is, I think, a powerful sense people have.”

Listen to the full episode to learn more about how businesses can craft their messaging around safety measures.

More from the podcast

A closer look at 2020’s Top and Hot Retailer lists
Retail Gets Real episode 191: Insights on digital, omnichannel, technology and customer experiences.
Read more
Halloween provides an escape from 2020
Retail Gets Real episode 190: More than 148 million U.S. adults plan on participating in Halloween this year.
Read more
How Shopify consolidates the ecommerce experience
Retail Gets Real episode 189: Helping local retailers get online faster and more efficiently.
Read more