Incentivize and Retain Employees With Specialty Stores

In 2021, more people starting seeking out new jobs than ever before. With so many unhappy with their current positions, specialty stores helped employers incentivize and retain employees.

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Attracting and retaining key employees has soared to the top of the list of concerns for employers in 2021. The perfect storm of current events and dissatisfaction at work has left more than half of employees looking for a new job in 2021, making this year the year of The Great Resignation. In April 2021 a record four million American workers left their jobs.

At the top of worker’s list of reasons for leaving their current job is recognition. In fact, 16% of workers looking to leave cited a lack of recognition as a contributing factor. 

These grim statistics have spurred employers to broaden their scope for employee incentives and reward strategies. For DTC brands, an increasingly popular approach is to offer employees, their friends and families access to products at reduced prices through specialty eCommerce stores. Here is how companies can use employee stores to offer a deserved perk while maintaining DTC eCommerce customer experience and protecting their brands.

Keep the Brand’s Unique Look and Feel

Many luxury brands rarely, if ever, put products on sale. Part of the allure of luxury brands is that they are exclusive and maintain value. So, offering sales to a select group of people, like employees, is a significant perk staff will love. To maintain exclusivity and keep these private sales away from the general public, many brands create independent flash sale websites.

Employees will love the access to discounted brand merchandise, but they also need and expect a luxury customer experience. Customized, independent sites let brands recreate the look and feel of their DTC eCommerce platform while ensuring a seamless employee experience. Employee stores should show inventory availability in real time so employees don’t try to add a sold-out item to their carts. Employee sale websites should also feature stock reservation technology and fast, secure check out.

Maintain Exclusivity for Flash Sales

Flash sales for employees are an exciting perk, but they can quickly sour if fraud or reselling activity occurs. To keep this from happening, brands often set up unique URLs and extra security measures. These safeguards keep the event secure and enjoyable for everyone participating:

  • Unique URLs and landing pages for employee stores that are separate from the main eCommerce site
  • Passcodes tied to work emails that can be shared with family and friends
  • Purchase limits for the duration of the sale to prevent reselling

For a friends and family sale to be successful, brands need to ensure that only employees and those in their circles can participate. Brands should know exactly who is accessing the sale and ensure that access is restricted to a limited group of people. At the same time, large amounts of traffic at once can easily crash a site, so hosting the sale with a unique domain on separate servers ensures that the site can handle the traffic surge. Employees who cannot access the sale or find that their favorite items are already sold out will feel disappointed and frustrated, making an appreciation event anything but appreciative.

Get Data and Analytics on Employee Store Performance

After an event, one of the important parts of measuring success is understanding performance. Knowing how employees engaged with the flash sale, including most and least popular items, and a full view on clicks and other engagement helps make future flash sales even better.

On-page analytics can also help identify where employees might have encountered snags during the shopping or checkout process. Any issues can be resolved before the next employee store launches.

Make Employee Stores Flexible and Adaptable

Employee stores are a great way to incentivize employees, but hiccups along the way from conception to implementation can transform them into frustration. Stores that take months to put together and require a lot of lift from employees might feel like a wash when everything is said and done.

Instead, employee stores and family and friends sales should be simple to execute and seamless to integrate with existing front-end and back-end systems. Administrators of the employee store need to easily import SKUs, integrate with warehouses and shipping and logistics systems and require little to no maintenance. If adjustments need to be made, brands should be able to act quickly without disrupting the sales event.

Building Loyalty and Rewarding Employees with Sales

A woman sits on a remote meeting at a desk

Internal brand loyalty is crucial for employers. People love working for a brand where they appreciate and understand the product and want to show it off. Exclusive sales events for employees allow them to engage with the brand and purchase what they love at an exciting price.

Friends and family sales allow employees to share their work and company love with the people in their social circles. When executed correctly, these types of exclusive events create a buzz without diluting the brand’s overall value. By putting safeguards in place to prevent bot purchasing and reselling, employees can take part in the excitement and minimize the frustration.

Learn more about building a made-to-order employee store or flash sale for your organization. Download our recent case study to read about how Scalefast’s solutions handled Salvatore Ferragamo’s annual holiday flash sale for employees, including deploying a full store in three territories in only three weeks.

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