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This week we'll be talking the emergence of the curbside pickup in the new era of retail, tips to effectively ask for help, and a look at how Thrasio, a top-tier acquirer of Amazon brands, built scalable processes to accommodate their exponential growth.

This week's snapshot of the knowledge you need:

Learn and Grow: Shop 'til you drop

Embrace the Journey:  Tips to effectively ask for help

Seek and Share Knowledge: Thrasio navigates exponential growth


New course of retail: the curbside pickup

When everything shut down in March, retail stores were forced to close their doors and find a solution to keep business afloat. The rising star has been curbside pickup. Initially, the set-up was scrappy for many retailers. A simple sign in the window with a phone number to call and an employee would run your items out to you. Over time, curbside pickup has emerged as many retailers' best strategy for long-term survival in the e-commerce age. Email and text alerts make curbside pickup seamless, fast, and often contactless. 

Although e-commerce is seeing a major spike, some analyst are concluding that the pandemic accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. The numbers suggest that people still enjoy driving to the store and curbside pickup allows for a hybrid model of the two. Customers get the satisfaction of ordering something online but pickup allows for a faster in-hand date and an excuse to get out of the house.

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As of August, about three-fourths of the top 50 store-based retailers in the United States offered curbside pickup.

Target saw curbside sales grow more than 700% in the last quarter, while Best Buy reported that 41% of their $5 billion in online revenue was generated by curbside or in-store pickup.

Not only does curbside pickup help brick-and-mortar businesses remain open, it's helping employees keep their jobs and, in some cases, stores are hiring more people strictly dedicated to curbside or in-store pickup facilitation. But it's not all rainbows and roses and revenue generation. For some retailers — hiring remains at a stand-still despite the increase in demand.

A report by IBM's Retail Index indicates that department stores are expected to decline by 60% for the full year, while e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020. In order for stores to survive our ever-changing consumer environment, stores and retails are forced to adapt and change. 

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Tips to effectively ask for help

Asking for help can be hard. This year has proven that we can't do it all, all the time. Many parents are still balancing work and their children's virtual learning, studies show that we are working longer hours than ever, spending more time on our screens, all while coping with this turbulent year. If you're someone who finds it difficult to ask for help, you're not alone. 

As research in neuroscience and psychology shows, the social threats involved in asking for help — the uncertainty, risk of rejection, potential for diminished status, and inherent relinquishing of autonomy — activate the same brain regions that physical pain does. At work, it can feel particularly uncomfortable to make such requests. Nonetheless, it is virtually impossible to advance in modern organizations without assistance from others. 

So, how can you effectively ask for help?

It's important to remember that most people are surprisingly willing to lend a hand.  There are natural highs associated with helping. But be sure not to fall into the pitfalls of making people feel trapped or minimizing your need by the way you word your request for help. The following three points can help you avoid that. 

In-group.

Give the potential helper assurance that you're on their team and that the team is important. Using the word "together" can help. You can also cite a common goal, enemy, or trait. But the best way to do this is to highlight shared experiences, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings.

Next, positive identity.

People want to see the impact of the aid they give. Studies show that people contribute more to charity when asked if they would like to “be a generous donor” (versus “to donate”). Attaching a positive identity to the person is effective. Additionally, gratitude.

Email exchanges found that "Thanks in advance" and "Thanks" yielded averages response rates from 63% to 66%, compared with 51% to 54% for other popular options like, "Best," "Regards," and "Cheers."

Even expressed preemptively, gratitude can keep people interested and invested in helping you, as long as you focus more on their generosity and selflessness.

Finally, effectiveness.

Many psychologists believe that feeling effective — knowing that your actions created the results you intended — is the fundamental human motivation; it’s what truly engages people and gives their lives meaning. To ensure that your potential helpers know that their assistance will matter, be very clear about what you need and its projected impact.

How Thrasio built scalable processes to accommodate growth

Tripling in size is not for the faint of heart. Lucky for Thrasio, a top-tier acquirer of Amazon third-party brands, they had Gabriel Ginorio on their side to help them navigate accelerated growth. 

We recently sat down with this process aficionado and talked through how to identify, build, and implement scalable processes in this month's Guru the Gathering session (full recap available). His knowledge hot take? Build processes, not patchwork.


For more on Thrasio, how they use knowledge management to increase efficiency, and access to the templates Gabriel created to scale — check out the blog here.

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