It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic presented unique complications for business leaders in the DTC ecommerce space. For human resource (HR) executives, attracting and retaining talent in the era of the “Great Resignation” was (and remains) a challenge. For team managers, keeping employees engaged, happy and productive in a 24/7 work-from-home environment continues to be tricky. For both HR and management, dedicated online employee stores presents an ideal solution to these challenges.
What Is an Employee Store?
Online stores are a workplace benefit available exclusively to a company’s employees as a reward for their loyalty and hard work. Top-tier online stores often give employees access to steep discounts on an exclusive catalogue of a company’s products. Many company stores extend the same special pricing and deals to an employee’s immediate circle of family and friends.
Employee stores have recently become preferable to discount programs, which open companies up to employee discount abuse and promo code and coupon fraud. Instances of discount fraud abuse by both employees and customers can be as high as 35%. U.S. businesses lose approximately 5% of their gross revenue to fraud each year.
Employee Stores Benefit Employees and Brands
Just as a business’s customers want to feel valued, so do its employees. Offering deep discounts on products and services is a proven way DTC ecommerce brands can show employees that they care. Happy employees are generally more productive and engaged and show more pride in their work. Companies that foster positive company cultures are also able to attract talented workers who are likely to stick around. Even better, happy employees can lead to better and more satisfactory relationships with clients and customers.
Engaged employees can also lead to a better bottom line for DTC ecommerce companies. Businesses with high engagement rates see an average of 20% higher sales and are 21% more profitable than their less-engaged peers. Since building an online store platform can be relatively cost effective, an employee store can often yield a tremendous ROI.
Five Benefits of an Employee Store
Online stores can be a win-win for companies and their employees and offer an invaluable tool for HR and management professionals. Here are five other reasons opening an employee store is well worth the investment.
A Better Way to Reward Employees
Small touches that let employees know they are valued and appreciated can be incredibly effective. Employees appreciate being able to pick gifts that mean something to them rather than receiving something random. Letting employees choose their own gifts from an online store is a great way to make rewards or incentive programs more meaningful and personal. In fact, studies show that an effective incentive program can increase employee performance by 22% on average.
Global Can Go Local
Huge global DTC ecommerce companies can localise their dedicated online stores, so employees get a better, more personalised experience. For instance, companies can offer employees trending products that are popular in the countries or cities they are working from. Offering localised branded swag also gives employees a sense of pride in their particular work location, which can dramatically boost employee loyalty.
Ordering Becomes Easy and Streamlined
Having a dedicated employee ecommerce store eliminates the need for promo codes and keeps employee information separate from the brand’s main CRM. Streamlining the process also cuts down on processing time and manpower. Making the process faster means employees receive the products they want in a quick and timely manner. The result, of course, is happier employees and a greater adoption of branded merchandise.
SSO Systems Help Prevent Fraud
Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication service that allows employees to use one set of login credentials to access multiple sites. Typically, these credentials are company user IDs and passwords. An SSO system allows employees to log in to a company’s site and navigate to the company store while staying logged in the entire time. The shopping experience becomes more efficient, and it makes managing user credentials for admins much easier. Security-wise, it prevents fraud from employees sharing a promo code with anyone outside of approved family and friends.
They’re Environmentally Friendly
An employee store can help boost employee morale and reduce environmental waste at the same time. Giving employees access to inventory that would otherwise be dumped or destroyed lessens the amount of waste and contributes to a brand’s sustainability efforts. Direct shipping from a single store location is also an eco-friendlier way to handle product deliveries and distribution. Streamlining the management of branded company apparel and accessories also helps companies reduce excess inventory and eliminate waste.
Bottom Line: Employee Stores Are Worth the Investment
Attracting, engaging and retaining talent will continue to be a challenge for HR and management. Employee stores create an easy way for employees to stay engaged with their companies. In today’s 24/7 work-from-home environment, a dedicated store can be the edge companies need to keep employees happy and productive.
Want to take advantage of the many benefits a dedicated employee store can bring to your DTC ecommerce business? ESW’s enterprise-grade commerce cloud can help your company launch an employee or specialty store quickly and easily. Talk with an ecommerce expert about your brand’s goals.