Stores close? Customer scans choice by window and gets item at home

Corona keeps Dutch stores locked. An entrepreneur responds creatively: customers can also choose the products through the window, with scanned codes, and then get the items delivered at home.

โ€œ If customers are no longer allowed in, we will bring our interior out,โ€ says Diek van Tol, manager for online sales at Shoebaloo, with offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Maastricht that have changed their appearance. In front of his shops there are mostly young people who compare sneakers and scan the matching code with their smartphones.

Van Tol: โ€œWith the staff we came up with this idea ourselves, without advertising agencies and the like. We tried to be resourceful in this huge crisis.โ€


says he has nothing to complain about selling online. โ€œThere we have not seen a decrease in the coronamas at all. In fact, those online sales have only risen.โ€

Turnover from the stone branches, of course, declined drastically in the last few days, after the cabinet announced that all stores in the Netherlands had to be locked up until 19 January in order to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

With his team Van Tol worked on a practical alternative. The windows of the shops of the branches, for example those on the Amsterdam Koningsplein, are pasted over the full width. On it are images of about a hundred types of shoes and accessories, each with a separate order code.

If you walk past it, you can scan the desired shoe with your smartphone – via an app that reads a QR code – in this way. Afterwards, consumers choose the right size and color on their smartphone, order them and pay for them. Then the shipment will already be put in motion.

Longer shopping

โ€œVia PostNL, UPS and our own delivery service, your shoes that you scanned in front of our shop window will come to your homeโ€, says Van Tol.

The plan tastes like more, he says. โ€œThis alternative also works out well, you can now shop much longer, 24 hours a day and seven days a week,โ€ says the manager. โ€œWe‘re investigating whether we can extend this to other stores.โ€

Van Tol does this for Shoebaloo, but says he likes it when other retailers take over the idea. โ€œFor many retailers this may also be useful, or it inspires them to do something else with it. We’re all in a very annoying time and in the same boat. I hope this can help fellow entrepreneurs come up with ideas, so that they continue to sell in the same way.โ€