5 Retail Communications Platforms for Multi-Location Brands
The challenges are mounting. Staff shortages, supply chain issues, and a pullback in consumer spending all threaten to upend retail in 2023. According to one recent survey, 46% of UK retailers are re-evaluating their strategies for physical stores, and many are moving local store locations to take advantage of cheaper rents in less urban areas. If there is one thread that runs through nearly all the challenges retailers are facing in 2023, it’s communications. Using the right enterprise communication platforms, retail brands have an opportunity to reduce staffing woes, improve customer retention, and even minimize ongoing supply chain issues.
Communications platforms designed specifically for multi-location retail brands can be used to communicate corporate policy and day-to-day objectives to store managers and provide associates with tools to streamline operations and enhance marketing initiatives in the moments when shoppers are most likely to convert.
Here are five popular communications platforms designed for multi-location retail brands.
Zipline’s retail communications software brings messages and tasks together to create personalized daily checklists, calendars, and newsletters for local store associates. The comprehensive platform is designed to be used by store leaders, frontline associates, district managers, and c-suite executives. It includes task management tools, a resource library targeted by location and role, and a survey feature that corporate offices can use to understand what’s going on at the store level. Zipline is used by retailers like Rite Aid, Sephora, and GAP.
Opterus is a store information and execution management solution developed to improve retail enterprise communications. Retailers like Dollar Tree, GNC, Nike, and Dylan’s Candy Bar use the company’s web-based retail portal to communicate with local store associates and provide those employees with timely direction based on real-time operational changes. Opterus provides local store teams with tools to support corporate initiatives and marketing goals through a mobile social collaboration app called Holler. Using Holler, store associates can create group chats within their stores, and they can also view company news feeds with pictures, videos, and status updates coming from the corporate office.
Staffbase makes internal communications available to every retail employee, no matter which store they’re at or which device they’re using. Through their own internal communications apps, corporate executives have the ability to push updates company-wide using instant notifications or target their announcements to associates at specific store locations. For example, retailers can notify associates about upcoming sales or promotions happening at their stores, or they can send out updated training modules based on an employee’s role within the organization. Staffbase is used by brands like Adidas, Max Mara, and Marks & Spencer.
Workvivo is a retail communications platform designed to drive organic collaboration between c-suite executives and frontline associates. Often described as an employee engagement platform, Workvivo creates personalized activity feeds within a mobile app, where employees can access company information and communicate with peers. Corporate offices use the app to instantly share critical information company-wide, ensuring that important updates aren’t overlooked in memos or emails that could easily get lost. Workvivo also makes it possible to identify which associates haven’t reviewed critical information announcements, so local managers know who they need to speak to in person.
SellPro gives multi-location retail brands a way to engage, train, and inspire employees to create the types of in-store experiences their customers want to have. Corporate offices can connect with retail employees through a mobile app, pushing out everything from surveys and memos to “microlearning courses” that associates take to earn prizes and rewards. Leaderboards are used to motivate employees to provide better customer service. Resources like product information and company protocols are all stored within the app and available to associates at any time. Measurement tools also give executives a way to capture trends in employee engagement over time and based on store location.