M-learning in an ever-evolving retail-landscape

Retail has changed. The fast tempo at which new collections are churned out, makes for a never-ending stream of new items, information and customers entering your store. Just 2 collections a year is no longer the standard. Retailers like Zara can turn out up to 104 (!) micro-seasons. That’s fast fashion for you.

Retail sales training however, has not really evolved with its counterpart. In most cases, it has remained a classroom training with some coaching on the job if the newbie is lucky.
The constant influx of new information for your staff on the floor, as well as the level of customer service you want to provide to your customers, makes you rethink this.

You’ve probably heard your employees talking about these trainings; they’ll be sitting in a classroom training for 2 days. Asking themselves who all these people are, hoping for tasty sandwiches during lunch (they never are) and most of all, wondering if they’ll still remember all this information next week.

We can see a couple pitfalls coming back when it comes to retail sales training:

  1. The training does not take the deskless workforce into account.
    It gives out information in bundles of paper ‘to look over at home’. Or it expects people to sit behind a computer at the back of house for hours, doing e-learnings.
  2. The training is not personalized to the specific employee and their role.
    A new employee needs a completely different approach than some of your more seasoned sales associates. One size fits all, is rarely applicable in fashion, why try it with training?
  3. The training is very intensive for a day… until it’s finished.
    Usually the classroom trainings are quite in-depth. There’s a trainer on hand for questions and the entire time, they’re emerged in knowledge and information about the brand, its history, its commitments… And then, just like that, it’s done.
    They get no follow ups on how they’re applying it in-store and can’t ask questions. (Like a Tinder-date, it disappears after 3 days, never to be heard from again.)
  4. The training does not evolve with the employee.
    Imagine having to do the same training every year and not having the option to tell your manager what you’d like to learn or which skill you’d like to hone. Contrary to popular belief, sales associates do want to learn and develop themselves.

Do not worry, we did not list up all these troubles just to have you realize the shortcomings your training is dealing with. Because there is a perfect solution for all of these pitfalls discussed above.

Mobile learning + Microlearning = Best of both worlds

Mobile learning and more specifically, microlearning are no new phenomena. It has become more and more obvious these are excellent solutions to many of the problems that come along with a stuffy classroom training.
The combination of both micro and mobile, plus offering training in small increments whenever the employee feels like it, is the fundament of mobile microlearning.
It just might be the best of both worlds.

Allow me, to tell you why.

 

Mobile microlearning is an ‘Anytime & Anywhere’-formula of learning

People take their mobile device everywhere these days. Your employees are not confined to desks for this mobile training and can choose for themselves, when and where to start the training.
Mobile microlearning makes this even more convenient by offering the information in bite-sized learning moments. This way it is even more inviting to start AND finish a new training.

The retail sales training can be as up-to-date as you want it to be

You can implement relevant viral videos in the training, and tailor the learning experience to the employee’s need and lifestyle.
This is especially relevant in retail, as you want everyone to stay up-to-date on their product knowledge and give the customers the best experience and service as possible.
For example: When the launch of a new shoe comes around the corner, it is so much more convenient to communicate all of the features and benefits of the new item through your mobile microlearning platform.

With the mobile microlearning option, you can bring all necessary information to your employees in a fun and engaging way on the moment they need it!

Mobile microlearning makes retaining information easier

By doing little pieces of the sales training over a longer period of time, retention of information will be much higher. With our built-in AI, our mobile micro learning app can track your employee’s progress and hurdles. In the retention moments, it will focus on the parts they have difficulties with. Not to forget, employees can choose to repeat a relevant learning moment if they spot their own knowledge gap.

They can do this by searching the app for tags with our search function, this will then generate the relevant learning moments, corresponding to the searched tags. These relevant learning moments will pop up, so they can be done once over.

Brain weight

Of course you as employer can check their progress as well and compliment when it goes great. This way, if necessary, you can provide support and motivation to those who may need it.

The training reaches all of your employees at the same time

Less classroom info sessions need to be arranged and less people need to be away from the store to follow this training (double win!). It can be launched to every employee, in every store, all around the world, at the same time. The future truly is now.
Goodbye to complicated schedules to figure out when you can send everybody to this new training but still need to have the store covered. Mobile microlearning brings the information to your employees and nobody has to go anywhere.
Another big pro is the fact that a newbie can start learning at the moment they join your company, no need to wait for a prescheduled classroom session. Immediate action!

Personalized mobile microlearning keeps the employees engaged

Sales associates can choose what to learn and focus on the subjects they’re interested in most. Afterwards they can finish the rest. It is all up to them to decide how they digest the available retail sales training. By offering small increments of training, you get rid of the usual “dread” employees have when confronted with new information to learn.
It makes it fun, engaging and even touches on the competitive side as you can motivate your employees to reach certain high scores before a predetermined date!

Mobile devices are everywhere and if you look at social media apps like Instagram, these offer bite sized chunks of information as well. You can only post 60 sec videos on Instagram, for example.
Mobile microlearning works the same way in that it offers short, digestible blocks of information.
Employees are much more inclined to start a learning moment, if they know it will be engaging, personalized and relevant. And to top it all off, it’ll only take them about 5 minutes a day!

New collections entering stores at a high pace, sales associates that are not always full-timers, but also students or seasonal workers and the increasingly knowledgeable customers.
These are just a few challenges of sales in retail today. Of course you need to be on the lookout for the most effective, engaging way of training and educating your employees.
With mobile microlearning, you can avoid the usual catches coming along with the old-school classroom trainings!

 

Source reference:
1. ‘5 Common Problems With Retail Sales Training And How To Fix Them’ – Yoobic, 1 August 2019
2. ‘6 Key Benefits to Mobile Learning’ – Suresh DN, 29 August 2018
3. ‘5 Training challenges and e-learning solutions for the Retail Industry’ – CommLab India Bloggers, 10 May 2018
4. ‘7 awesome advangatges of Mobile Learning’ – John Laskaris 17 January 2018
5. ‘What the advantages and disadvantages of mobile learning are’ – Priyanka Gautam, 23 November 2018