16 September 2020
Each year the StorIQ Customer Success Team hold our annual Customer Day – an opportunity for retail leaders to come together, share best practices and give their input into the StorIQ roadmap.
In previous years we brought our customers to London, taking them on retail safaris, hosting workshops and of course going for a drink or two to network at the end of a productive day.
This year we had to do things a little differently. Social distancing and travel restrictions meant getting our customers together from across the UK and Europe in one room wasn’t possible.
But we know how valuable the day is to our customers and the StorIQ team. Instead, we hosted the event on Zoom, because we still wanted our customers to have the opportunity to come together and share their experiences and successes from the Covid-19 crisis.
It turned out to be a brilliant day.
The day kicked off with an opening note from our Managing Director Amy Bastow on the state of retail and a look back at the last 12 months at StorIQ. We then heard a presentation from two of our customers who shared the innovative ways they have been using the StorIQ Platform to support their teams in recent months. We held a workshop for all our retail clients to discuss their successes and challenges, as well as their strategy for the lead up to peak.
Finally, we topped off the day with a roadmap session, where we showed our customers our development plan for the next 12 months, and gave them the chance to provide feedback on specific features as well as register their interest to trial new features.
And with so many industry experts in one (virtual) room, we got some amazing insight into the state of retail in the post-covid landscape and the ways our customers are innovating to combat these challenges.
In fact, they had so much to say that we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you.
1. The top 3 focuses for retailers right now
We surveyed the group of retail leaders to see what their priorities have been over the last 6 months.
The 3 most consistent focuses were:
Health and safety is – of course – at the forefront of every retailers mind. Being able to get all their sanitation checks online has made a huge impact of the efficiency of our customers retail operations. Not to mention the ability to easily track things like PPE in store, to help manage the levels throughout their estates.
The shift from focusing on traditional KPIs like sales and conversion vs new challenges was apparent. The current climate is making them take a step back and think about what is driving customers to stores.
2. Only agile companies will come out on top
In our most recent white paper “The Retail Recovery Plan: Reduce cost and drive productivity in your retail operations” we argued retailers need to adopt an agile communications strategy.
As part of our Customer Day workshop, we discussed more generally agility and flexibility in the workforce. The times are uncertain, and it’s difficult to predict what will happen over the coming months.
But, what exactly do we mean by agile?
The word agile began life in the technology sector, but in recent years we are beginning to see a wider variety of companies adopting the terminology. To put it simply, an agile approach is one that can respond, adapt, and change reactively while still working towards the same goal.
The retailers we work with believe that the flexibility to respond and adapt within a retail organisation is the key to it’s success in the coming months.
3. Engaging teams is the key
As we mentioned earlier, one of the top 3 focusses for our store teams in the coming months is keeping staff engaged & building morale.
As part of the day, we had a demo from one of our customers, showing how they are using the platform to inspire and engage their retail teams.
Store teams have returned to the same jobs they had at the start of the year, but that job looks very different. There are new ways of working to learn and because of health and safety, there isn’t much margin for error.
For them, engaging content can help combat information fatigue and improve the engagement and uptake of new policies.
Our customers are sharing content in multiple formats, whether it’s a video announcement from senior management, or a well created communication featuring images, gifs and formatted text.
4. Focus on the customers’ needs and priorities
Our customers are taking the time to understand the needs of their customers in the new retail landscape. They cited that cleanliness and ease of movement around the store were top priority.
What is relevant to the consumer now has changed a lot in the last 6 months. Where previously short queues and speedy checkout were the priority, now retailers are focusing on store capacity management, layout and fixtures, removing capsule display tables as a way to adapt to new expectations.
They’re also launching new services and technology in direct response to the crisis, for example video fitting appointments.
5. Footfall is down, shopping with purpose is up
We’ve all seen on the news the dramatic decline in footfall in major cities and in some of the UK’s most desirable shopping locations. However, some of our customers did note that while footfall was low, conversion was up – sometimes more than 50%.
Looking for clear communication, easy photo gathering and advanced task management? Why not schedule a demo with StorIQ? Click here to see what our platform could do for you!