How Retailers are using Communications Platforms to Manage Crisis

Retail Communications
April 23, 2020
Zipline Staff Contribution

At the end of March, WWD ran a story titled, Tech Solutions, Strategies Help Brands and Retailers Manage Crisis. In the article, the author shares how Zipline is helping companies  “inform teams with accurate and timely information about COVID-19, including in-store protocols to keep both customers and employees safe.”

To learn more about how companies used Zipline’s communication and task management platform to manage the COVID-19 crisis, we sat down with Dave So, Retail Operations Manager at AG LEGO® Certified Stores. Beginning in March, Dave used Zipline’s COVID-19 hub to help Australia and New Zealand’s largest group of custom-built LEGO retail experiences, Bricks Megastore, manage the crisis.

Zipline: What was missing from your toolkit when COVID-19 hit your region?

Dave: We were missing a few key things for our teams at the start of COVID-19. Namely, we needed a concise communication tool and group messaging tool. We are essentially a start-up and a very small head office team so all our tools were very grassroots. For us, communications involved a flood of emails for every announcement, task, etc. Our managers had challenges keeping up with this constant flood of information and tasks and having to search through their emails to stay on top of what was being expected of them. 

Zipline: Why did you turn to Zipline and what did it enable you to do that you weren’t able to do before?

Dave: We turned to Zipline because I used it before with a previous employer and knew the impact it had on that organization. It reduced emails significantly and allowed the field to quickly and easily sort and find key information. As a multi-unit leader, it also significantly reduced follow up on tasks as stores were able to check off tasks as they completed them. This was a big time saver and provided accountability to managers that the tasks were actually complete if they checked the box. 

Zipline: Have you learned anything about your team/company as you go through the crisis together?

Dave: A big learning was that with the right tools, we had the ability to adapt and execute new strategies daily. It was great to see our Store Managers effectively manage change daily as new government restrictions were put in place or concerns from staff were raised. Change management is not always the easiest skill, but this situation helped develop that skill in a lot of us quite quickly.

Zipline: How has this experience changed your company?

Dave: This crisis has caused us to accelerate projects, like an eCommerce site. Thanks to Zipline, it has also helped us leverage technology more to simplify processes and procedures.