Updated December 2023
What is an Online Company Store for Employees?
An online company store for employees (aka an employee merchandise store, internal company store, or company swag store), is an e-store for employee swag, uniforms, and gifts. An online company store for employees has two interfaces: one for employees to use to select their own gifts and other branded merch and an admin-only interface, which makes it easy to manage orders and inventory and access reports from a custom dashboard – or push and pull data to and from other systems (ERP, CRM, etc.).
Approval rules allow you to restrict access to specific items in your online company store for employees based on login credentials. If desired, a site can be locked to only allow entry if a password is entered, ensuring that only the right users are able to access the site via single sign-on authentication. Promo codes make it easy to manage employee spending on promotional merchandise among departments or divisions – or provide discounts or freebies to customers as needed. All this adds up to a smooth user experience for your employees and other organizational stakeholders.
What are the Top Benefits of an Online Company Store for Employees?
The benefits of an employee company store are seemingly endless. However, here are six key reasons why your company would benefit from an online company store platform:
1.) An online company store for employees is the most cost-effective way to distribute company swag
An online company store makes obtaining swag (like logo t-shirts, water bottles, and pens) easier for everyone, from HR or admin staff in charge of employee incentive and rewards programs to the rewards recipients themselves. That’s because an online company store for employees allows you to outsource the sourcing, storage and shipping of your branded company products, which saves your organization a lot of time and money. In addition, moving to a web-based platform automates much of the ordering and inventory management and provides easy access to rich data that will help make your swag work for you.
By significantly reducing valuable staff time spent on inventory sourcing, distribution, and management, an online company store for employees is the most streamlined method for distributing corporate swag to company staff – especially a distributed workforce – or franchisees.
2.) An online company store can boost employee morale & improve workplace performance
An online company store for employees is an essential HR technology tool. That’s because an online company store for employees can help motivate your workforce and improve morale, increase productivity, and deliver flexible employee rewards.
According to the Incentive Research Foundation, a properly implemented incentive program can increase employee performance by 22 percent on average! Incentive flexibility is a vital component of the most effective incentive and reward programs in many industries including technology and financial services. An online company store gives your employees the opportunity to choose their own tangible rewards, gift cards, and even digital gifts.
3.) Change to: An online company store is a more environmentally friendly way to source & distribute employee swag & uniforms
Reduce environmental waste while boosting employee morale at the same time. By allowing employees to choose their own swag, you avoid wasting money purchasing products that will not be used, helping to reduce the amount of swag that ends up in a thrift store – or a landfill.
An online company store is also an environmentally conscious way to handle employee uniform sourcing and distribution. Lower inventory and direct shipment from a single location is a more eco-friendly, sustainable way to handle branded company merchandise including corporate apparel and uniforms. Streamlining the management of branded company apparel, accessories, PPE, and employee uniforms helps reduce excess inventory and eliminate waste – all while ensuring your employees have access to a wider range of items, including the styles and the sizes they need to feel happy, comfortable, and productive at work.
4.) An online company store ensures brand consistency
Having a unified brand identity is more important than ever before. Utilizing a single centralized platform for the procurement and management of employee swag and other branded merchandise ensures consistency in the use of your brand colors, logo, and fonts.
Both the design of your online storefront and the fabrication and decoration of your employee swag should adhere to your latest brand guidelines. That’s why it’s important to choose a company store vendor that is dedicated to creating memorable brand experiences that can enhance your bottom line.
5.) An online company store improves internal marketing & employee brand engagement
An online company store can help build a team of brand ambassadors at your company.
Company swag is a crucial component of internal marketing. An employee online store enhances company culture by giving employees the option to choose the sizes and styles of branded company apparel and gear they prefer to wear both inside and outside of the office. This helps increase employee brand engagement.
The best way to ensure your employees will enthusiastically promote your brand at conferences and trade shows is to make sure they are outfitted in custom swag that fits well, looks great, and feels comfortable.
6.) It’s easy to start small & scale up with an online company store for employees
A custom online company store for employees can be configured to support multiple functions within your organization.
An online company store platform for employees can be used to:
- manage employee uniforms and personal protective equipment
- procure branded office supplies
- distribute flexible employee incentives and rewards
- deliver corporate wellness program incentives
- provide employee recruitment and onboarding gifts
- distribute incentives for employee training programs
- allow employees to redeem appreciation gifts and recognition awards
- distribute annual holiday gifts and employee anniversary gifts
- procure luxury gifts for executives and VIP clients
- quickly order promotional products for giveaways, conferences, trade shows, and other events
- provide access to digital items like variable data products (such as business cards, spec sheets, and signage)
Besides company swag for employees, an online company store can also be used to distribute gifts and incentives to customers or clients. In addition, an online company store platform can be used to distribute digital marketing materials to clients and deliver customer loyalty program awards.
Some brands even use their online company store platform to sell custom merch to increase revenue and raise brand profile. Restaurant, hospitality, and digital entertainment brands (including McDonald’s and Netflix) often sell branded apparel directly to their customers as a way of increasing brand engagement
What Is the Purpose of a Company Store for Employees?
A company store for employees is an online or brick-and-mortar retail outlet that provides an array of benefits and conveniences to company staff.
The main purpose of a company store is to offer employees discounted prices on products such as groceries/snacks, electronics and other popular consumer products, branded apparel, and other company-branded merchandise.
Employee discounts can help employees save money on everyday purchases. Company stores are conveniently located in or near a work campus (or online 24/7), which makes it easy for employees to shop during breaks or after their shifts. This can save employees time and enhance their work-life balance.
Company-branded merchandise is often sold in a corporate company store, which helps promote a company’s brand and identity. Employees wearing or using these items may also serve as brand ambassadors outside of work.
Some companies use their employee store to reward or recognize staff for their achievements or years of service. Employees may receive gift cards or special discounts for store merch as part of an incentive program. Increasingly, company stores stock health and wellness products to support employee well-being and productivity.
What is the Best Online Company Store for Employees?
The best online company store for employees is the one you know they’ll use all the time. A fast, secure mobile-friendly interface is essential. Customizing your online storefront and stocking your store with premium employee apparel and cool company merch is also key to creating an online company store for employees they’ll love.
How Do I Set Up an Online Company Store for Employees?
Setting up your own online company store for employees really couldn’t be simpler.
- Store configuration and hosting are provided for you by Metron, ensuring an easy, hassle-free implementation process.
- If desired, a pop-up shop (a temporary online company store created for a specific event) can be used to test out an online store for employees before committing to a more permanent option.
To learn more about online company stores for employees, check out these guides:
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