Foko: the instagram for visual merchandisers

For portuguese version, click here.

As i did, i’m pretty sure you’re gonna love this app. If you’ve already worked as a visual merchandiser – especially inside big companies – you know that sharing photos and receiving feedbacks always has been a slow and, sometimes, inefficient task. After getting the job done, the store staff should attach photos to an e-mail or SMS, send it off and wait hours, or even days, to receive a feedback from HQ.
But, fortunately, this long and exhausting process is falling behind. Simple as downloading an app. known as “Instagram for retail”, Foko arrived to put an end to this waste of time, making it easier to share photos, feedbacks and inspiration with the whole retail team.

We found the idea so great that we interviewed Aja Butler George, Foko’s Marketing Manager, to find out more about the app! Check it out!

WVC – How the idea came up? 
Aja – Foko was founded in 2013 by Eric Sauve and Colin McDonald. They noticed that although photo sharing had become very common in people’s personal lives, the same wasn’t true of photo sharing in the workplace. Originally conceived as “Instagram for the enterprise” and as a culture­-building tool for employee communications, Foko quickly become popular with major retailers including Whole Foods Market, Harmon’s Neighborhood Grocer and Esprit, who recognized that Foko could be a valuable tool for merchandising and best practice sharing.

Funciona em múltiplos dispositivos

Multiple device. Photo: Foko.

WVC – What brands are using it now a days and what’s their feedback?
Aja – Foko is currently being used by 60+ major retailers around the world, including Esprit, Whole Foods, IKEA, Trade Secrets, Indigo and more. Foko dramatically streamlines the traditional merchandising validation process and gives retailers real­time insight into company operations from HQ to store level. Gone are the days of store staff taking a photo, attaching it to an email or SMS, sending it off and waiting for feedback from HQ, only to have to modify the display and repeat the whole process again. With Foko, regional managers can assign store-­level associates to take photos of specific displays, then offer feedback on the photos via comments and visual annotations (drawing directly on the image) for no-­guesswork merchandising.
Foko users typically see a 50% reduction in time spent on merchandise compliance validation, and 75% less time spent to reach in­-store compliance.
In the words of our customers at Esprit, “It has totally changed the speed at which we’re able to deploy updated visual guidelines and how we provide feedback based on regional and store adaptations,” says Arndt Brockmann, Managing Director of Esprit in Germany.


Photo: Foko.

WVC – What are the main features?
Aja – Often referred to as “Instagram for retail”, Foko is a private photo sharing app for retail teams for faster, more accurate merchandising validation, best practice sharing and team communications.
Retailers can use Foko to request specific merchandising photos across stores, whether they’re managing 5 stores or 500, and give feedback on displays in real­time. It gives retailers total visibility into what’s going on at the store level.
Using Foko, retail teams can assign tasks (for example, send a request to all stores to see photos of certain displays), and draw directly on the images to show what needs to be highlighted or changed. It gives retailers an overview of their merchandising compliance across stores, and a real-time way to give feedback and share inspiration.
Foko helps build a culture of excellence around display and store management. Users can share images of merchandising and layouts, displays that worked, displays that are broken, and pictures of the people behind the work, while significantly reducing the amount of time spent on merchandising validation.

At the moment, Foko is only available in English, but they hope to be able to offer it in other languages in the future as they expand.

The app is available for IOS and Android.


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