The retail sector is fast-paced – product ranges change constantly, promotional campaigns need refreshing, new staff need onboarding and training etc. This an environment where cost savings are always demanded – regardless of the economic climate – how do you ensure that staff learning and development does not suffer?
Add to this the new challenge of social distancing and pandemic planning – retailers must train their staff and supply chain to meet changeable government guidelines, new customer safety needs and social distancing expectations.
This is where e-learning for retail can help you on multiple counts in 2021 and beyond.
Online training for the retail sector is ideal, because it allows sales, management, logistics, production or support staff to all be trained with minimal disruption to their daily workload. As new policies or legislation come in, retail e-learning can enable this new knowledge to be gained during or outside working hours on a work or home computer – or even on tablets or mobile phones.
1. There is no need for trips away, which are expensive in terms of time, money and opportunity cost.
2. There is no need to engage trainers for face to face group sessions, which can be expensive and awkward to organise for multiple staff.
Take point 2. When you are paying for an expensive trainer, plus the hassle of an on-site visit or even more so – a trip away – you will naturally want to get as many relevant staff there as possible to maximise the training per hour spent on that trainer. You will naturally also want to cram in as much information gathering as possible during that session so that you dont need to do all this so frequently.
The end result of this is that you have maximum disruption to your retail operation, while not letting people learn in the most effective manner, which is in short sharp chunks that give learners the chance to digest and ideally, to act on what they have just learned as quickly as possible.
Long-Term Cost Savings
What happens when staff leave and all that expensive training leaves with them and you are left with the need to train their replacement? With e-learning, once you have paid for the content and its mode of delivery, it is there for current and new staff to use – usually with very little additional cost per extra user.
It is a fact of life that the retail sector has a higher staff turnover than many others, so by integrating e-learning as a key part of your staff induction and training process, you can hire without this being such a concern.
Top Retail e-Learning Companies
Below are some of the top retail e-learning companies that have demonstrated the ability to save time, reduce costs, and improve training outcomes for their clients.
Some skills, such as sales and customer service techniques, can be enhanced with quick and low-cost online courses.
Such training can be better than traditional, classroom instruction where the emphasis on developing knowledge, such as an understanding of consumer rights legislation, because staff can learn at a time and in an environment that suits them, and without distraction from their peers.
Established in 1994, Walkgrove is one of the leading online training providers.
Also providing bespoke e-learning development, they have helped major retail brands such as ASOS, Avis and Tesco with customised training for their teams.
So you’ve got your online learning materials ready – how you enable your learners to access them? Titus is one of the UK’s leading learning management system (LMS) providers, enabling a wide range of organisations, to make e-learning possible with 24/7 access for their teams, distribution partners, and even their customers. Japanese food retailer, Wasabi, is one of their clients in this sector.
Titus create LMS solutions based on the open source Moodle – the world’s most popular learning management system, used in every country worldwide by over 200 million learners across over 120 languages.
Titus themselves have clients in over 30 countries, making them an ideal learning technology provider if you need to roll out training to a multinational workforce.
Read about their custom LMS development for Wasabi as an example of great e-learning technology to make training easier in this challenging sector.
Kineo in the UK have developed retail e-learning for the likes of Halfords, Vodafone, Samsung, McDonalds and Rolls Royce.
In this example of customer experience training for M&S, they created e-learning modules to guide their in-house cafe teams.
As well as working with leading open source learning platforms, such as Totara LMS, they are experts in creating engaging e-learning content.
Day One Technologies
Another well-established e-learning provider, Day One have been creating bespoke e-learning solutions for major brands for over 20 years.
Their e-learning content and LMS for retailers have also supported their clients’ entire distribution and supply chain network, creating an extended enterprise solution.
For hair styling product retailer, ghd, they created a product and sales training solution to improve product knowledge for over 50,000 distributors worldwide. This included social learning elements to make training more accessible and more engaging.
Combining Your Subject Matter Knowledge with e-Learning Expertise
Most of the world’s largest companies now use e-learning as a key aspect of their staff training and development processes. Some will have in-house teams that can work with the latest learning technologies and create content to work on these platforms. However, many find it faster and more cost effective to engage the services of specialist e-learning companies.
If you are involved in the delivery of retail staff training and are looking to deliver one or more of cost savings, improved effectiveness, efficiency or speed of implementation, you may well want to look at introducing e-learning in 2021 if you haven’t done so already.