Woman writing a retail blog post on a laptop

The Top 10 Foko Retail Blog Posts of 2020

  • By Sarah Murphy

COVID-19 brought massive and unexpected changes to retail in 2020, including layoffs, temporary closures, and new health and safety measures. But despite all of the challenges, retailers continued to innovate and improve store operations, communication, and visual merchandising, as demonstrated by Foko Retail’s ten most popular blog posts of the year.

Safety was paramount this year, as employers and employees adjusted to precautionary measures like mask-wearing and increased sanitization. Foko Retail offered support to retailers with checklists for self-assessment screening questionnaires and store cleaning procedures, both of which ended up amongst our most popular retail blog posts of 2020.

Communication was also a major theme, especially as it related to staying in touch with employees about COVID-19 protocols. Posts on how to streamline internal communications and communicate effectively also proved popular, as many responsibilities shifted during the pandemic and managers had to adapt accordingly.

Finally, visual merchandising remained top of mind once customers could safely return to in-store shopping, with blog posts about design trends and best practices making it into the top 10 list.

As you charge ahead into the new year, take a minute to look back and check out the Top 10 Foko Retail Blog Posts of 2020. 

The Most Popular Foko Retail Blog Posts of 2020 


1. What COVID-19 Screening Questions to Include In a Self-Assessment

No surprises here: bringing employees back to work became a big focus for both essential and non-essential retailers in 2020.

This post detailed the kinds of questions that employers can and should ask their employees before showing up to work. The information in this post became especially useful once mandatory pre-screenings were implemented in certain areas.

Further reading: Everything Retailers Should Know About COVID-19 Self-Assessments


2. Why Five Below is Beating Other Discount Brands at the Retail Game

We took a look at what makes Foko Retail customer Five Below so successful in this piece that continued to gain traction in 2020.

As Dave Sanborn, Senior Director of Operations at Five Below, put it, “We know exactly who our customers are, and we know how to build the environment for them.”

Read our case study for more info.

Further reading: 5 Brick and Mortar Retailers Who Thrived in 2020


3. [Free Template] COVID-19 Retail Store Cleaning Checklist

COVID-19 changed the ways retail employees conducted the most basic tasks, like interacting with customers, processing payments, and stocking shelves. But one of the biggest adjustments was the need for increased sanitization. 

This blog post provided tips for keeping employees safe while cleaning stores, as well as a checklist of areas and items that should be disinfected frequently.

It’s a handy list to remind retailers of all those spots that tend to get overlooked during regular cleaning but have become important to stop the spread of COVID-19 in-store.

Further reading: What Retail Workers Hope Will Change After COVID-19


 4. The Art of Storytelling in Window Displays

Back in 2017, visual merchandiser Holly Wadsworth shared her tips for engaging customers with elaborate, well-designed store windows. She shared the inspirations behind a history-referencing Louis Vuitton display, a Montblanc window modelled after the company’s name, and a brand-appropriate window for the Camden People’s Theatre that incorporated social commentary.

Revisit her post to get the full stories and see the aforementioned windows in all their glory.

Further reading: 7 Scary Good Halloween Window Display Ideas for 2020


5. MyCheck-In: COVID-19 Screening Tool for Retailers and Brands

Originally a tool for pre-screening retail employees for COVID-19 symptoms before they reported to work, MyCheck-In has since evolved into a standalone app for Foko, Inc. called Get Working.

Now, in addition to screening for COVID-19 symptoms, the app allows admins to limit building capacity by requiring employees to make a reservation before showing up to work. It also easily compiles information about who was in what location and when, in the event that contact tracing is necessary.

Further reading: Pre-Entry COVID-19 Screenings: Here’s What Employers Need to Know


6. 4 Window Display Ideas to Make Your Store Stand Out

Window displays can be a customer’s first impression of a store, so it’s crucial to make it a good one. This article shares tips for experimenting with elements like size, perspective, compartmentalization, and mannequin positioning.

If you missed it the first time around, be sure to check out these suggestions (with plenty of examples) when planning your upcoming windows for 2021.

Further reading: Foko Retail Insights: Visual Merchandising, 2020 Year In Review


7. 6 Tips for Streamlining Internal Retail Communications

Communication is at the heart of all well-run businesses, and this article shares ideas for streamlining your system to make your messages as clear and efficient as possible. 

From cutting out unnecessary channels and apps to closing the feedback loop to empowering employees with mobile devices, this blog post will steer your company in the right direction if you’re looking to consolidate software and improve internal communication.

Further reading: Top Retail Store Communication Systems for Retailers


8. How to Communicate with Retail Teams During the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19 has changed how retail employees work, so communication evolved to adapt to the unprecedented situation too. This article explains what kind of messaging employees respond well to and emphasizes the importance of research, clarity, frequency, transparency, and building trust when it comes to internal communications during the pandemic.

Further reading: How 2020 Taught Retail About the Importance of Internal Communications


9. How to Keep Customers Safe During Black Friday 2020

In anticipation of 2020’s Black Friday shopping events, we laid out some ideas to keep both shoppers and retail workers safe during the busy holiday season. 

Suggestions like extending sale periods, advertising well in advance, analyzing data, using pre-orders and curbside pickup, and implementing additional safety measures in-store all contribute to preventing the spread of COVID-19, but these tips can also be applied to other busy sale times throughout 2021 until the pandemic is over.

Further reading: How to Make Holiday Shopping During COVID-19 Less Stressful


10. Tips and Strategies for Effective Internal Communication in Retail

2020 forced everyone to reevaluate how they communicate, whether it was what they were saying or how they were disseminating the message. This blog post explains what effective internal communication looks like in retail and offered tips on how to achieve it, like implementing communication software, incorporating video content, and making sure the lines of communication are two-way.

It’s never a bad time to up your communication game, so revisit these strategies to get your team on the right track for 2021.

Further reading: Common Store Communications Problems and How to Fix Them


Need further help revamping your store operations, communications, and visual merchandising in 2021? Book a demo with one of our reps to find out how Foko Retail can help you make this your stores’ best year yet. And read more retail blog posts here.