How to Set Up Bookable Shopping Windows for Retailers
As a retailer, you may be looking for additional ways to maintain safe social distancing when customers visit your store in person. To help you serve these customers, consider offering bookable time slots using Square Appointments.
Square Appointments is simple for your customers to use — just share a link to your online booking site to have customers schedule in-store shopping, drop-offs, pickups, or even a video call to help them make a selection. Your customers can also schedule their appointment through your existing website with a booking widget or button, through your Instagram account, or via your Google Maps listing.
How to get started
Step 1: Activate Appointments
Using a desktop or laptop, find Appointments within the side navigation bar on Square Dashboard or navigate to squareup.com/appointments/ and log in with your primary Square account.
Step 2: Set up your shopping options as services
Within the Services section of your Appointments Dashboard, create services like “30-minute personal shopping”, “60-minute personal shopping” and so on to allow customers to select their preferred shopping time. For each time, be sure to select the correct duration of the service (e.g. 30 minutes) and optionally block extra time (e.g. 10 minutes) after each reservation for cleaning etc.
Keep the price set to $0.00.
Step 3: Create your shopping windows as employees
You can create capacity limits per time slot by creating new “employees”. Find Staff within your Appointments Dashboard and create one “employee” for the number of customers you wish to schedule at a certain time slot (side note: We hope to update this terminology for shopping windows in the future). Create each window by creating an “employee” and naming it (e.g. ‘Window’) in the first name input and the number (e.g. ‘1’) in the last name input. For example, if you would like to allow a maximum of three (3) customers to book at any one time, create three new employees.
You will need a different email address per table (a legacy of this being built for human staff), however you can keep the same phone number per staff.
Once you’ve created the desired number of “employees”, find Settings > Calendar & Booking within your Appointments Dashboard to turn on the option to remove staff selection from your online booking site. This is recommended if you want your customers to pick a type of appointment, like ‘60-minute personal shopping’ but don’t want them to see or pick ‘window 1’ or ‘window 2’ in order to book the appointment.
Step 4: Create your online booking flow
Find Booking Site within the Online Booking section of your Appointments Dashboard to set up your online booking flow and learn how to share the link with your customers, embed within your existing website, and even add a booking button to your emails.
If your site is powered by Square Online, you can easily add your booking options from your Square Online Overview page site editor by adding Square Appointments as a menu item to your navigation bar.
Step 5: Confirm your booking preferences
Find Settings > Calendar & Booking within your Appointments Dashboard to set up your booking preferences, such as whether you want bookings to be scheduled on a certain time (e.g. half hour) or how far in advance customers can book an appointment.
Step 6: Customize your customer notifications
Find Settings > Communications within your Appointments Dashboard to customize settings related to customer notifications, including an optional message in the email notifications and setting how far in advance to send customer reminders via text message and/or email.
We also recommend downloading the Square Appointments app to manage your appointments from a mobile device or iPad, available from the App Store or Google Play Store.