The Tale of J. Jill
J. Jill is one of the leading women’s fashion retailers in the United States. Founded in 1959 as a specialty store and a direct catalog business in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, J. Jill has since expanded to over 200 store locations across the nation.
Why the Frontline Portal?
In an effort to engage their store associates and provide them with the resources for continuous learning, J. Jill began the search for a user friendly and intuitive communication and micro-learning hub.
Their goal was to transition from their existing platform that had limited functionality and lacked visual appeal. Instead, they needed a platform that simplified content management and—as they built training curriculums—allowed for easy sharing of video tutorials and other employee resources.
From the very beginning of the implementation journey, J. Jill benefited from the dedicated assistance of the implementation and design teams, coupled with comprehensive training materials and newsletters provided for employees who joined the organisation post roll out.
In describing the implementation and support teams, Stephen Marotta, Store Communications & Retail Engagement Specialist at J. Jill, said, “I love that I have been able to be a part of calls with the product design team and provide customer/user level feedback[...]They truly want to design a product that their customers enjoy using and create a platform that is intuitive and impactful for the end user.”
Employee engagement & boosted productivity
Once implemented, the enthusiastic response from employees confirmed that the new platform was a success! Store associates expressed positive feedback about the platform highlighting its user friendliness, their ability to quickly find information and tasks to be completed. They also shared their love for the new search feature, which enables seamless navigation between stories and tasks, as well as the simplicity of uploading various types of content with attachments and hyperlinks to shared resources.
In terms of productivity, Stephen stated, “[The frontline portal] has helped us increase our productivity. We have learned to use the platform to help separate “need to know” information vs. “need to do” or action items which helps our stores prioritise what needs to get done.”
By harnessing the calendar view within the tool, managers now have a holistic view of the tasks and events that prioritise and focus on the day, week, or month—keeping associates on track with minimal follow up while fostering a more engaging and efficient work environment.
From an HQ perspective, Stephen also shared how utilising the frontline portal provided the opportunity to re-strategise how J. Jill approached their stores, noting, “Once I gained an understanding of how [the platform] worked, I was able to challenge myself to look at internal processes we could change that would allow us to use the platform as a tool to help us streamline communications and task management for our stores.”