Chief Retail Officer sees connections and collaboration as key to Office Depot’s future
Office Depot is combining humanity and technology to become more customer focused.
Kevin Moffitt, EVP and Chief Retail Officer for The ODP Corporation, speaking at the recent eTail West 2022 conference, shared how his company’s e-commerce team is applying user-centered design (UCD) techniques and expertise from store associates to create more connection points with stores, customers and communities.
Mr. Moffitt, who was one of the most engaging and animated presenters at the conference, stated that “internal alignment and collaboration are critical to being truly customer focused, and it’s not about the website or the store — it’s about the customer.”
Below are examples of how Office Depot is harvesting, packaging and communicating compelling content inside and outside of the organization to enhance engagement.
- Pivot videos are used to communicate promotion launches, new products and operational tips throughout the organization.
- Advocacy packages, individual product or product combinations that employees have identified to solve real customer problems, are documented and used internally to inform merchandising and store operations as well as externally in email marketing campaigns. While other retailers presenting at the conference shared how store associates stepped into digital CSR and social influencer roles, Office Depot took this a step further and packaged up knowledge for internal and external purposes.
- Office Depot shares the credit for curbside delivery, where more than one million transactions in 2021 were fulfilled in 20-minutes at an almost 100 percent on-time rate. “Rather than worrying about who gets credit for the sale, prioritize opportunities for digital and physical connections to create a virtuous customer cycle,” said Mr. Moffitt. Since the conference, Office Depot has announced it will provide on-demand delivery from its 1,000 Office Depot and OfficeMax stores through a partnership with DoorDash.
- Start Proud, a community investment initiative, is powered by an integrated B2B distribution platform and volunteer associates. In 2021 Office Depot assembled and delivered 18,000 backpacks filled with educational supplies to students and teachers, enhancing community relations.
- Monday meet-ups digitally connect store general managers with corporate leaders and one another to share information and momentum.
It’s a fact that customers who connect in multiple ways have a much greater lifetime value. Mr. Moffitt believes that “store associates are the heart of operation” and that “digital teams can help optimize customer relationships through the use of user-centered design, usability, focus groups and other techniques.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are retailers generally more focused on technology than human intelligence? Is store personnel expertise leveraged as much as it should be?