After investing your time and money into building a company e-commerce site to serve your internal customers, the critical time finally arrives: launching your new corporate online store. Having hosted the “grand opening” of many branded merch stores in our 20+ year history, we have a few tips to getting started on the right foot. In fact, many times, we write introductory emails for our client’s team to help everyone get acclimated to the new program. Whether this is something the marketing department wants to send or we use the email marketing feature of the ROBYN Company Store Solution, it pays to get folks on the same page!
We have helped launch many corporate e-stores over the years, and the knowledge we have gained makes it easier for you – and your users – to not only navigate the new e-store, but to understand how it can become an integral part of many activities throughout the company.
The single most important thing marketers must do with their new Marketing Closet is to tell people about it! Post it on the intranet, send out emails, have notes inserted into paychecks… You’re a creative marketer. Find a way to get the message to your audience because they don’t know what the company merchandise store is or how valuable this tool is going to be for them.
Of course, this type of communication isn’t limited to just the initial launch. The Email Marketing feature of the Advanced Company Store is a fantastic way for ROBYN’s clients to continue to connect with their team about new products, sale items or advanced features being added to the store (such as variable print added to standard literature). Whether managed by you or your ROBYN Client Care Specialist, this is a great way to encourage your team to use your new branded merch store.
2. Incentivize them to use the e-store
When you launch your store, you want to encourage participation. There are several ways to do this, but the most effective method we have found is to give each employee a unique coupon code for a free item or a substantial discount when the store is launched. Not only does this ensure participation from your team, but it also makes their first experience on the new site a positive one.
And, ROBYN can make this really easy for you to manage (and measure!). Our team can either create usernames and passwords for each of your employees and email directly to them or we can simply send instructions to each person about how to get to the site and create their own unique username and password. Either way, your team will be excited to use your branded products store.
Many of our online corporate store clients have us send unique coupon codes to their employees throughout the year. Whether it is to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or to reward team members for achieving a goal, your branded merch store provides a fantastic – and measurable – way to show the company’s appreciation (much better than a gift card!).
3. Ask for feedback
This might be the most important component. Many team members will have ideas about what products should be on the company merchandise store, how things should be organized or other payment options that were not included at the time of the launch. Encourage them to share this information!
We recommend explaining to your team in the initial email: “This is our entry into having a branded merchandise store, and we need your feedback to make it better!” We like to think of it as the 30-60-90 process:
First 30 days – a good accumulation of ideas and feedback
At 60 days – store tweaks/modifications (part of our service)
At 90 days – a new infusion of modified apparel items
Online surveys provide a fantastic method for users to give feedback and for you to measure the results… and ROBYN can manage the whole process for you! From styles of apparel your team would like to see added to categories of items they think should be included, our surveys include multiple-choice, open-ended responses and voting mechanisms. In the Digital Age, this is how you ensure you are meeting your customer’s needs!
We have found that when a company includes their employees in the process of launching their new online corporate store, the usage goes up dramatically over the long haul. The process includes communicating with them, offering incentives to try the e-store and asking for feedback. Sounds like just good ol’ marketing, doesn’t it?
Posted on Thu, April 25, 2013
by Brian Blake