Creating an online company store for your employees creates an opportunity to expand your brand’s reach, build loyalty, foster engagement, and ensure greater consistency in how your brand is communicated to the broader world. From a budget perspective, it’s also a cost-wise decision since you’ll be streamlining corporate purchases through a centralized promotional products distributor.
Setting up an online company store is also a lot easier than you might think, especially when you find the right partner for the job – one who can assist you with your strategic planning to make sure that the promotional product offerings you have in your online store meet the interests and demands of your market.
E-commerce success for your branded merchandise requires a steady stream of engagement from your most valuable customers – your employees. So, what are some of the best ways to get a solid handle on who will be frequenting your company store and what they’ll be most interested in buying? First, let’s dive into a few key ways to gain a better understanding of your employee buyers, your business partners, and their needs. Then, let’s discuss some of the important functions your store should provide to your employees.
Understanding what motivates your buyers to shop for branded merchandise is the first step in creating a successful e-commerce experience. Because your store will be offering promotional products, you maintain control over how the company brand is represented on these items, but your employees will be the ones who decide which items ultimately get purchased. Take the time to run some focus groups and get to know the various stakeholders in your organization and what their needs are prior to launching your online store. Departments like HR, sales and marketing, and other stakeholders will be able to offer valuable feedback as you make plans to launch a new store.
Additionally, you can gather insight into your employees’ priorities by conducting an online survey. If you’ve had a company store in the past, consider your pain points and review performance data with your new provider to better understand what went well and what needs improving with a new webstore.
Company stores aren’t one-size-fits-all, but they do frequently have a few things in common, including:
Your company store will hopefully be used by just about every employee group in your organization, although some groups are likely to frequent it more heavily than others based on their role. Here are a few common ways your eStore provides value to your employees and how they may use it:
Now that you know who will be using your store and what they will most likely be looking for, it’s time to ensure that their shopping experience is simple and that the tools and technology behind your store enable them to have the shopping experience they expect.
Staying relevant to your buyers is important for ongoing company store success. A key way to know that you are continuing to meet your employees’ needs is by relying on active reporting and dashboards to monitor shopping activities. Data can help you stay on top of employee user trends and overall store performance. Ensure your eStore partner offers usage reports and meets with you regularly to discuss what is working well and what can be improved.
Based on the data, your provider will offer insight and recommendations to keep your products fresh and on-point with your buyers’ needs. We recommend refreshing your product mix at least twice a year. If changes to your consumer base occur due to new hires or employee layoffs, let your provider know that as well. By maintaining an ongoing dialogue with provider and routinely evaluating consumer behavior as your employees shop your store, you can make strategic adjustments to the promotional products you offer.
Make the most of your investment in an online store by staying in step with your employees’ needs and taking the time to truly understand their goals and objectives for using the company store. In doing so, you’ll gain better control over spending and enable more efficient purchases of company-wide branded merchandise.
At Foxtrot Marketing Group, we know that employee awareness and ongoing engagement is key to your online company store success. When done well, your company store will serve as more than just a practical resource. It will also help turn employees into brand fans and company advocates. For help getting started with your online company store, get in touch with us.