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As Retail Shifts to an Experience Economy, Retail Zipline Launches An Augmented Operations App to Keep Teams on the Same Page


Already a cult favorite among employees at Gap Inc., Lush Cosmetics and dozens more, Retail Zipline aims to empower America’s most populous workforce: retail.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (April 23, 2019) -- Today, Retail Zipline unveils the first workflow platform for the experience economy – a solution that streamlines, coordinates, and automates communications from headquarters to the sales floor, so retailers can quickly and consistently improve the in-store experience. Over the last four years, some of the largest retailers in the world, including Lush Cosmetics, the LEGO Group, BevMo! and Gap Inc. brands Old Navy, Athleta, Gap, Banana Republic and Intermix, have used Retail Zipline to help them create a space where consumers want to interact, shop and buy. Now, the company is expanding access to its unique platform to all retailers as the industry begins embracing the experience economy to stay competitive.

The experience economy is the new way retail works. Recent research reveals that 90 cents of every retail dollar in the U.S. is still spent at a physical location, and industry watchers do not expect it to fall below 75 cents until the middle of the next decade. Despite that, the majority of retailers have not boosted their experiential strategies to keep up with shifting demand.

Currently, many retailers coordinate their stores and run large, distributed businesses using simplified, unsophisticated methods such as email or antiquated software to get information from the top down. As a result, employees receive a high volume of information that can at times even be conflicting, and headquarter employees lack the ability to track if instructions are being executed. This can cause confusion and forces legacy retailers to move slowly, which ultimately results in poor in-store experiences for consumers.

Introducing Augmented Ops for the Experience Economy

Motivated by their own experiences after seeing communication and execution failures first-hand, Melissa Wong, a communications professional, and Jeremy Baker, a seasoned technology developer at Yahoo!,  came together to build Retail Zipline, the first workflow platform that delivers augmented operations for the experience economy.

“For over a decade I worked in retail communications and watched corporate HQs struggle to build communications solutions that supported and ensured their objectives were being met. Our problem was, we had no way of guaranteeing execution in-store. Even though we invested millions in in-store campaigns, it ultimately came down to poor communication,” said Melissa Wong, CEO and co-founder of Retail Zipline. “Our solution is designed to meet everyone’s unique needs, from HQ to district managers to store associates, and is already empowering global retailers like Gap Inc. and Lush Cosmetics to improve customer experience, and do so consistently throughout their entire fleet of stores.”

Retail Zipline’s augmented operations platform aligns communications throughout the entire organization– from HQ to the sales floor, and everywhere in between – so businesses can execute new strategies at scale. Management can reduce stress on employees, promote efficiency, and foster a sense of connection with the brand, and everyone can keep customer experience their top priority.

By centralizing and personalizing communications, Retail Zipline has created a one-stop shop that’s already helping retailers keep up with an industry that’s rapidly becoming part of the experience economy. Currently, the platform supports tens of thousands of users across thousands of stores, twelve languages, and nine countries. Developed after extensive focus group, survey, and beta testing research with thousands of retail employees, Retail Zipline’s suite of services include four applications:

  • Messages and Tasks: A communications tool that aggregates information in a digestible, engaging and personalized way so users know what they need to do, and when. This tracks completed tasks and allows everyone – from stores to district managers to HQ – to get visibility into what’s being accomplished. HQ receives the analytical insights they need to help drive their business.
  • Digital Resource Library: A centralized, on-brand location that lets users instantly access their team’s documents and multimedia. The files auto-filter so individuals see what is relevant to them first, but can easily search for any document needed.
  • Store Surveys: An internal survey tool that reports results in real-time and provides visibility throughout the organization. Retailers can secure full participation the first time, gain insight into execution – including photos of stores – and get a pulse on employee morale.
  • Group Communication: A Slack-like platform for dialogue, discussion, and debate that completes the feedback loop, from store-to-store and store-to-HQ. Users can even share photos and documents and, like the rest of Zipline’s product suite, access it through their mobile devices.

"Our top priority is creating a shopping experience that is fast and frictionless, and that starts by empowering our store employees to focus on the customer," said Brandon Panepinto, Director of Product Management, Gap Inc. "Retail Zipline gives our teams a solution that allows us to experiment, all while delivering consistency in our communications and streamlining operational tasks for our store employees.”

“Retail Zipline has enabled us to get necessary information out to the field in real-time with just a few clicks, and has saved our headquarters countless hours previously lost using our old, static communication method,” said Julia Miller, Communications Specialist at BevMo!. “When we’re able to communicate to the right person through a dynamic digital platform, our store leaders can react to information and tasks quickly, then get back to focusing on our number one priority: our customers.”

“Our goal is to improve the lives of one million retail employees by 2025,” remarked Jeremy Baker, co-founder of Retail Zipline. “We’re tackling this by creating a new operating system for the experience economy. Ultimately, we help retailers improve their operations in a holistic way so they, in turn, can deliver for their customers – something that’s critical to physical retail’s survival as the industry becomes increasingly dependent on consumer experiences.”

About Retail Zipline

Retail Zipline is the leading communications and task management solution for retailers who believe in the power of the store experience. Built with the complexities of retail in mind, Retail Zipline helps HQ streamline and coordinate communications with the field, in a way that makes store teams happier and more productive. The company's goal is to improve the lives of one million retail employees by 2025, and the platform is already used by leading brands such as Lush Cosmetics, Casper, BevMo!, the LEGO Group, TOMS, Torrid, and others. To learn more, please visit www.retailzipline.com.