Lush Cosmetics Reduces Costs, Improves Service With Store Communication Platform
In an effort to better connect its remote brick-and-mortar employees with company headquarters, beauty retailer Lush Cosmetics recently introduced a communication and workflow platform for its store associates and managers. The app-based platform is used as a vehicle for daily communications between the company's executives and its front-line staff in its stores. Lush uses the platform to communicate important messaging such as product launches, merchandising displays, in-store marketing campaigns, and more. Previously, Lush used emails, voicemails and the company's intranet to communicate with store employees, but wasn't seeing the engagement it was looking for.
To enable this new communication system, Lush partnered with Retail Zipline, an app that helps businesses streamline communications and task management, in last year's third quarter. Lush's in-store employees use their personal mobile devices to download and log into the app at the start of their shifts. Within the app, they can view important communications related to that day's shift as well as the business at large.
There's a need for brands to engage with their teams in real time, says Melissa Wong, co-founder and CEO of Retail Zipline. For Lush, that engagement is more than just the product in its stores — although that is a critical piece. It's also about the store associate's overall role within the company, and how their work can help bring about a better in-store experience for the brand's customers.
According to Lindsay Nelson, retail communications manager at Lush, the partnership with Retail Zipline has provided the retailer with not only a more effective way to communicate with in-store staff, but also better insight into store performance, saved its employees’ time, and improved operations, all adding up to cost savings. Furthermore, Lush's employees enjoy using Retail Zipline. That has in turn created happier employees, which has a dual benefit: one, happier employees are more likely to provide better service, which makes customers more likely to shop with the brand again; and two, happier employees stay longer, reducing hiring costs.
A further benefit for Lush is that its store employees are accustomed to using their mobile phones as well as apps in their everyday lives, so there was very little training required when the Retail Zipline platform was rolled out to the retailer's nearly 250 North American brick-and-mortar locations. They're accessing the Retail Zipline app daily, and for that to happen it must be easy and even fun to use. To help in that regard, Nelson and her team have emphasized storytelling in its communications with store employees, particularly around Lush's unique product line.
Lush prides itself on selling fresh and organic products, and its objective is to communicate that message to consumers. Retail Zipline is helping the beauty brand take the first step in that mission — at least offline — by providing a platform for real-time communications between headquarters and store teams, who are then conveying product stories to customers. Educating consumers about Lush's products, and the benefits associated with using them, is integral to the store associate's role, and has a direct influence on purchase decisions.