How Social is Redefining Retail - Both Inside and Out

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When your employees are engaged and can communicate more easily, great things can happen. Check out this new whitepaper on how social tools are revolutionizing the retail workspace.

For more information, please visit http://www.tibbr.com/

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How Social is Redefining Retail - Both Inside and Out

  1. 1. How Social is Redefining Retail—Both Inside and Out
  2. 2. Phase 1: From Brick & Mortar to Online Stores – A Swiftly Changing Landscape The retail industry is evolving at a tremendous pace. Within the last few years, there has been an inexorable growth of e-commerce and mobile shopping. Mobile shopping influenced 5.1% of all retail sales in the US for 2012 (Deloitte), and e-commerce is predicted to make up 8% of total retail sales for 2013 (Forrester Research). In many countries, most shoppers still prefer to buy in-store. But now shoppers use the web to research more than half of all goods they eventually buy (internet analyst with JMP securities). This means retailers are looking at ways to develop their online pres- ence while still meeting the needs of in-store consumers. While some companies are quickly adapting to the changing market, the burgeoning influence of e-commerce is hurting some retail stores. Amazon’s online store now accounts for a quarter of all online purchases. This along with the economic crash of 2008 indubitably had an affect on some retail companies. Stocks fell significantly and some companies had to close storefronts and layoff employees. Circuit City and Borders were just two of the many casualties. With the swift change to online and mobile multichannel-selling opportunities, companies have to adapt quickly. Retailers are looking for ways to improve communication and leverage the knowl- edge of their employees to deal with the changing circumstances. 1 Mobile shopping influenced 5.1% of all retail sales in the US for 2012 — Deloitte E-commerce is predicted to make up 8% of total retail sales for 2013 — Forrester Research
  3. 3. Phase 2: Revving Up Internal Communications Whether it’s finding new ways to maintain a competitive storefront or strengthening their online experience, retail companies need to stay abreast of changing technologies and improve internal communication to maintain a competitive edge. Yet, many retail companies are struggling in both these areas and complain of lack of communication between stores and corporate headquarters. Lack of communication between stores has an adverse affect when it comes to meeting demands of product placement and fulfilling customers’ needs. According to Forrester Research Inc., 39% of retail stores experience a lack of response to meet demand for promotional products; 18% of retail stores can’t locate the key parties involved. This makes it much more difficult to meet customer needs for key products. Retailers need to be flexible and improve communication between stores to meet consumer demands. Yet, many retailers have limited store-to-store communication available, oftentimes with no corpo- rate email or mobile devices issued to the staff. This makes it difficult for store managers and staff to engage in meaningful conversations around item stock, new item acquisitions, product place- ment and so forth across stores. 2 39% of retail stores experience a lack of response to meet demand for promotional products; 18% of retail stores can’t locate the key parties involved — Forrester Research
  4. 4. At the same time consumers are becoming savvier. With the ability to access products, prices, rat- ings and other key info from their mobile device, shoppers have higher expectations for their shop- ping experience. In-store customer service needs to be ready for educated buyers. Lackluster customer service is often a direct result of poor communication from headquarters. Newsletters and company emails are often not enough to fully engage with employees. In the cur- rent environment, it’s important for corporate headquarters to understand the issues the staff are having on the floor so they can make sure their responses, overall brand message, understanding of product promotions and so forth are effective. Yet even in the 21st century, many retail com- panies lack this two-way communication. Store employees and corporate employees are discon- nected. Some of the most innovative ideas come from the employees that work with customers on a daily basis, yet these employees often have the least communication with their corporate decision-mak- ers. Retail companies need a way to leverage the insights of their employees both for increasing innovation at stores as well as in the e-commerce world. 3
  5. 5. Bringing 21st Century Collaboration to a Retail World Just like many shoppers are using the Internet and social media to enhance their buying experi- ence, retailers are starting to leverage the power of internal social communication to improve cus- tomer loyalty and their brand. 69% of retail companies are adopting social technology. Retailers are using private enterprise social networks to collaborate with employees both at headquarters and their stores. The social technology enables previously distributed employees, many without corporate email ad- dresses, to engage with each other. Better store-to-store collaboration allows them to share ideas for floor layouts, product placement, best practices for dealing with customer issues and so forth. Store managers can collaborate on out-of stock items and shorten the response time for customer needs. In addition, a private social network improves corporate communications. Rather than receive one-way newsletters, employees receive messages from within their social feed and can respond with questions in a more transparent manner, reducing the overlap and overload of emails directed to the corporate communications team. Employees learn about the latest product promotions, discuss new product lines and view high quality images of upcoming displays (which can also be enabled through CMS integration). 4 “ tibbr enables us to quickly connect people with the colleagues and information they need. Being able to subscribe to subjects within tibbr is a powerful way to stay current on the topics you care about most.”—Macy’s Chief Information Officer, Larry Lewark
  6. 6. Macy’s, a 167,000-employee North American retail chain with 798 locations, uses the tibbr en- terprise social networking platform to increase collaboration and provide relevant information to employees. “tibbr enables us to quickly connect people with the colleagues and information they need,” says Larry Lewark, Macy’s Chief Information Officer. “Being able to subscribe to subjects within tibbr is a powerful way to stay current on the topics you care about most.” Along with the development of social media, BYOD is making significant inroads in the retail and business world. Retail employees can use their mobile devices to access company updates from their enterprise social mobile app. Plus, they can share pictures and ideas for ways to improve product displays and more. At a food production company, for example, an employee provided feedback on a product label to the packaging team, and it was incorporated in time for the next shipment. Ideation and innovation can occur throughout the organization. When it comes to reinventing retail, especially in the new digital age, enterprise social networking works as a central place for brainstorming and sharing ideas as well as connecting employees from anywhere. By leveraging the collective knowledge of employees, ideas go to market faster, help- ing companies stay ahead of the competition, discover new ways to satisfy customers and build deeper brand experiences. sources Multichannel Retail Redefined. Gartner. 2010. http://www.junctionsolutions.com/files/documents/Gartner_MultichannelRetailRedefined.pdf The Dawn of Mobile Influence – Discovering the Value of Mobile in Retail. Deloitte. 2012. http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/RetailDistribution/us_retail_Mobile-Influence-Factor_062712.pdf Unified Communication Industry Study. Forrester Research. 2006. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/voicesw/ps6882/ps6884/prod_white_paper0900aecd80424544.pdf Death of a Salesman: Technologies Threat to Retail Jobs. Atlantic Monthly. June 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/06/death-of-the-salesmen/309309/ 5

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