Interesting Insights: The State of Store Comms Teams’ POV

April 4, 2022

Zipline created the first-ever State of Store Comms Guide aimed at benchmarking the sophistication of retailers’ store communication across all retail verticals. Store Communications is the most historically overlooked and underserved piece of every retail organization… and we aim to change that. 

That’s why, together with Qualtrics, we surveyed 356 retail professionals working in Store Operations, Communications, and HR and ask them questions about their store comms team structure, technology, channels, and processes.

Here are some of the most interesting insights we’ve uncovered:

🤔 1. Where does Store Comms belong? 

When it comes to managing the flow of communications from corporate HQ to the field, it’s clear that companies believe successful Store Communication requires a dedicated team, where to put that team still remains a bit of a conundrum. The vast majority of Store Communication responsibilities sit either within Store Operations or Corporate Communications.

“Ultimately Store Communications needs to be centered around stores and being part of the stores’ organization in my opinion best enables this store-centric mentality,” says Katie Marks, Zipline Account Manager and store communications alum.

 🪴 2. Careers in Retail Comms? Time to go or room to grow? 

Retaining retail talent has been a topic of discussion for retail organizations from the frontlines all the way to the top level of brands around the world. But when it comes to retail communications professionals’ career development, there is even more to unpack. Our takeaway from the research we conducted? Companies need to look to define career paths and development opportunities for Store Communications team members.

Zipline was built on a foundation of deep retail experience. We walked in our customers’ shoes. One look at our case studies shows that many customers want to work with Zipline because we understand that Store Communications is underserved in the greater professional communications community. The fact that there is still a debate as to where Store Comms belongs in an organization indicates that a store communicator’s path is likely to be non-linear and leave many burnt out.

 But with proper career guidance and development opportunities, store comms as a career path is actually an incredible stepping stone to any number of leadership positions. In many ways, these members of a retail org are closer than most HQ employees to both the customer and store employees. 

“Companies that neglect to engage and retain store communicators through clear career paths risk missing out on future strategic leaders that have a true 360-degree understanding of their company.”

🤿  3. It’s time to dive deeper!

To break down the results of our survey, we’re bringing you the results of our first-ever industry benchmark report for Store Communications teams in a special three-part webinar series. Our first webinar kicked off last week and we covered:

  • What exactly a “Store Comms Team” is responsible for
  • Whether Store Comms should sit in Store Ops, Corp Comms, or somewhere else
  • How team structure impacts individual career growth
  • … and much more!

🚂 4. Employ technologies and processes that create a single source of truth

Communication is the train that brings initiatives from headquarters into stores where execution happens. If the track is broken, nothing gets to stores. In this way, communication is the conduit for enabling better brand experiences. Sure, it’s not as sexy as a new marketing or advertising campaign, nor is it going to immediately bring new customers or win awards… but it’s how brick-and-mortar can set themselves apart from their online counterparts.

Melissa started Zipline due to her frustration around not being able to find a tool in the market to serve her store communications challenges. She believes that communication is the missing puzzle piece in many organizations, aligning stores to drive better execution. That’s why communication is baked into our solution as the key component to drive store success.

Since championing for communication is the special sauce here at Zipline, that has infiltrated the culture of the entire company, impacting even the way that we support our end users. If you’d like to learn more about how Zipline can take your store communication teams to the next level, reach out today

👀 Download the full industry benchmark report to see more!

🎧 Get involved in the conversation by tuning into our webinar series! (Can’t make it? No Worries! Register anyway and we’ll send you the recordings AND the report)

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