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NRF 2022 Solution Spotlight: Nudge

RETHINK Retail’s Solution Spotlight shines a light on industry vendors and what makes them distinct.

This vendor spotlight is on Nudge. Nudge is the digital communications platform that improves workforce productivity for organizations with deskless or frontline employees.

Backed by the highest user ratings in its category, Nudge provides employees with the information and tools they need to stay connected at work and reach organizational goals.

To learn more about Nudge, visit: https://nudge.co/

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Jordan Ekers:
My name is Jordan Ekers. I am the co-founder and chief operating officer of Nudge, and at Nudge we’ve built a platform that changes the way that brands communicate, engage, improve the productivity of their frontline associates through a mobile first platform. Really, it’s exciting to be here with you today to share a little bit more around what we are learning in the industry. We have a fortunate opportunity. I’ve worked personally in retail for most of my career, from a frontline associate to an operator. When we look at the retail industry right now, without a doubt, the number one challenge that’s facing retailers is the labor industry. Every single brand that we’re fortunate enough to work with, or those that we’re in conversation with, they’re all trying to find different ways to optimize the way in which they attract, retain, and engage their workforce.

For us, one of the big drivers of that, we’ve recently released our desk list report, where we interviewed about 800 frontline associates across retail and food service. One of the biggest findings in terms of the challenge facing the frontline is the inability to receive effective communication from the workforce. It’s about 60% of frontline retail workers believe that they’re not effectively receiving the information they need to deliver a great customer experience. On the flip side, from our report, we saw that over 80% of organizational leaders that they’re effectively communicating. If this is one of the largest drivers of an individual’s likelihood to engage and stay with your brand, we need to focus efforts on optimizing the way in which we support frontline employees from communication, amongst a variety of other tools that they need.

I’ve had the privilege of working in the world of retail for most of my career, from a frontline associate to an operator. We have the fortunate opportunity to work with retailers across the world and share discussions with a whole bunch of world recognized brands. There’s really two key issues right now that I think retailers are navigating. The first is the labor market. That is, how do we attract, retain, and engage associates to really kind of empower the labor that’s on the front line to be brand advocates, to deliver an exceptional customer experience, and we’ll share a little bit more around our belief around the role that digital tools provide to help retain associates.

The second is really around customer expectations. I think the way that brands with customers have fundamentally changed, whether it’s physical, digital, or the intersection of the two, we have customers that have higher expectations than they’ve ever had before. They’re showing up to stores with a higher likelihood to purchase than they ever have before. Brands that can really capitalize on that foot traffic by delivering a great in-store experience are the brands that are going to drive loyalty with those customers. For us right now, the industry is really thinking about how do we support and empathize with the frontline associates to empower them to deliver great experiences, as well as really understand how we meet the expectations of customers coming back in store.

If we draw a parallel to the two challenges that we surface, the first being around communication, we just released a report called the desk list report where we interviewed over 800 frontline retail associates, and there was a particular finding that I wanted to share. Which is, over 60% of frontline associates believe that their organization is not effectively communicating the information required to deliver a great customer experience, and over 80% of organizations believe that they are effectively communicating. At Nudge, we built a digital communications platform that allows any organization the ability to push content at the right time to the right person, to get the right information in their hands so that they can deliver an exceptional customer experience. We’re extremely proud that Nudge is currently the most highly rated communication platform in the industry, as ranked by frontline associates.

The second piece I wanted to dive into is how brands can optimize the customer experience. For the last 15 years, most best in class brands are measuring customer satisfaction through their voice of a customer platform. They’re surfacing those insights back to managers, but they’ve often stopped there. What we’re now seeing is that organizations that can take the insights back from customers, and facilitate passing those insights directly to the frontline, are starting to actually be able to close the loop. Part of the work that we do at Nudge is we integrate with VOC platforms. We pull insights such as, the employee friendliness was not where it needed to be, and then we can nudge that frontline associate based on the insight that was provided by that customer to educate them on how to deliver a great customer experience. Then that brand now has the ability to close the loop, evaluate the impact on an improved CX, which we ultimately know drives a higher likelihood to spend, and a higher basket size when shoppers are coming in your store.

I have been absolutely astonished by the pace of innovation that the retail industry has gone through over the last two years. I am encouraged by the way in which we’re choosing to support frontline associates and really empathize with what they’ve had to go through. For us at Nudge, at the end of the day, our vision was always, how do we provide frontline associates the digital tools that they need to deliver a great customer experience, drive sales, and ultimately retain those individuals longer?

I think in closing, my comment would really be, not only is it time to invest in optimizing the customer experience. I believe that best in class brands that invest in digitizing the way in which they support their frontline employees are going to find a way to unlock a level of discretionary effort that we’ve never seen before, which is going to allow you to continue to be competitive in this tight labor market that we’re navigating. Thank you so much. I hope you guys enjoyed a couple of learnings that we have had the opportunity to observe over the last couple of years, and looking forward to a great 2022 ahead.