Stop communicating with your stores… Start communicating with your people.

January 22, 2021

At Retail Zipline, we understand how important good communication is to creating a memorable customer experience. And empowering retailers to create great in-store customer experiences is what gets us going each and every morning and keeps us charged throughout the day. That’s why we jumped at the chance to partner with Coyle Hospitality Group to conduct a study to explore the experience of shoppers and employees in today’s retail environment. We went into the study looking to understand how consumers felt about holiday shopping and whether retailers were providing a festive shopping experience amid pandemic, but we found MUCH juicier insights. Want to see? Read on…

How Brands Engage Their Employees Matter

Based on our analysis of the data, we learned that how you engage your employees matters. In fact, there is a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and performance. Companies with a 3.5 or higher on glassdoor performed 15% better overall in the study than those companies with less than a 3.5 rating. Bringing a brand to life means aligning the people who make up an organization, from HQ to the storefront. Since employee happiness drives better store engagement, Zipline prioritizes people-first communication that promotes engagement throughout your team. Specifically, by combining comms and task management, Zipline helps employees feel more connected to the brand. We call this providing ‘the why’ behind ‘the what’: Your employees need to know why an individual task is important in the larger picture and why their role is critical, too. They want to see how the actions they’ll be taking for an initiative will impact the business as a whole. With visibility and clarity, the individuals in your organization can understand and adopt philosophies that tangibly impact the customer experience. That’s why we believe it’s important for retailers not to separate the information people need to know from the instructions of what they need to do. The two are intricately linked. Want to learn more about our research study? Download the complete Retail Zipline report here and request your brand or category data.

Help Employees Feel More Connected to the Brand

To be honest, we weren’t surprised to find the correlation between happy customers and happy employees. We have all had experiences working for companies where we felt aligned and part of something special. The companies that get this right give employees a voice and empower them to embody the organization’s brand. We’ve seen first-hand how companies that have strengthened their messaging and communications see increased engagement and cost savings. Lush Cosmetics is an exemplary leader in generating internal “brand love” through compelling storytelling and creative campaigns. “We want to understand our audience and the demographic of the people working in our shops, who are young and mobile,” says Lush Cosmetics retail communications program manager Lindsay Nelson. “The content has to feel light, fun, and engaging for them, even if it is still operational information.” (Read more about how Lush invested in communications.) The retailers we work with at Zipline all have strong brand identities – ones their employees identify with and value. That’s why we make it easy to customize the look and feel of the Zipline platform as well as content via fonts, colors, images, gifs, embedded videos, and emojis. When internal communication reflects a brand’s external persona, it’s easier for employees to connect the dots and bring the essence of that brand to life for customers.

The ROI of Happy Employees

Keeping top talent engaged can have invaluable returns on investment. Beyond the countless intangible benefits of fostering a great workplace, there is a measurable value in how employee happiness impacts the bottom line.  Great Place to Work estimates that happy workplaces average 3X revenue growth, 50% less turnover, and 3X higher performance in the stock market. At Retail Zipline, we understand that investing in employee engagement is the key to lower turnover and better in-store execution. One of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is probably “low employee turnover” and it should be. In addition to the costs of recruiting, onboarding, and training new hourly store associates, the time spent on constantly replacing store employees can be costly, as well. We help retailers these costs by making our solution as easy-to-use as possible (no incremental training required!) and also enabling two-way communication between stores and HQ and keeps everybody connected and promotes healthy feedback.

The Importance of Communication in Times of Uncertainty

Covid-19 brought with it new standards for health and safety, and in the midst of these ever-changing rules and regulations, many retailers realized how important an effective, streamlined communications program was to their business. But the truth is, store communication has always been the unsung hero of a thriving retail business. As your organization continues to adapt to today’s new normal, it is crucial to select a communication platform that not only features built-in task tracking but also promotes employee engagement at its core. Melissa Wong, Co-Founder and CEO of Retail Zipline knows that this matters now, more than ever. “If today’s brick-and-mortar retailers can bring their brands to life in authentic, memorable ways while also delivering on a new promise of speed and efficiency, then they can win.” Zipline was built to solve the unique challenges of communication in retail organizations. Reach out to learn more about how you can stop communicating with your stores and start communicating with your people today.
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