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Best Practices for Retail Training Programs

The retail industry can be tough on employees; they need to know the company, learn all of the new products, and work with customers every day. As a retail employer, it’s your responsibility to empower your employees to represent your company in the best possible light…and it starts with training.

In this article, we cover common types of retail training programs, best practices to implement your program and review a successful retail point of sale training case study.

Types of Retail Training Programs

eLearning for Retail Onboarding

Considering retail associates are client-facing a couple of days after getting hired, onboarding can be one of the most crucial parts of retail training. Your onboarding program can be the deciding factor if an employee succeeds or fails. A good onboarding program will get your new employee excited about their new job, up to speed with their responsibilities, and ready to get started.

Here are some examples of training you can incorporate into your onboarding program:

  • Using Virtual Reality To Tour A Sales Floor
  • Host Video Conferencing Team Introductions
  • Using Elearning Modules To Produce Engaging Company Policy Examples

Augmented Reality for Product Knowledge

When your customers have questions, you want to make sure that your employees are the product experts. With AR, your associates can see existing or new products to familiarize themselves with all of the components and how it works. And since many AR platforms or apps can be accessed straight from a smartphone, this type of product knowledge training is much more cost-effective and mobile.

Virtual Reality Retail Soft Skills

From navigating difficult conversations to service with a smile, companies can use VR training to place employees in scenarios where their customer service skills can be put to the test, all without the risk of actual one-to-one customer interaction.

Virtual reality technology can be employed to immerse retail associates in a situation where they must navigate how to deal with a disgruntled or difficult customer appropriately. This type of VR retail training enacts experiential learning, which is believed to be one of the most efficient learning methods.

Best Practices for Retail Training Programs

As you build your soon-to-be renowned training program, keep these best practices in mind.

Be Clear About Expectations And Responsibilities

When your employees start their training program, be upfront with what they can expect and what they are expected to do. Program syllabus, calendar, and goals are excellent to share upfront, and if there are activities, prepare your team in advance. It will be more accessible to course-correct employees and share the KPIs with your team in the long run.

Use A Mix Of Learning Tools And Methods

Blended Learning is a concept that brings together traditional and digital learning techniques to create a fully comprehensive program that works for everyone. 

That definition seems pretty straightforward, but what does a blended learning program look like?

  • Your program can start with Instructor-Led Learning that allows the employees to meet the instructor and each other in one brick-and-mortar location.
  • During that seminar, there can be a Virtual Reality activity that is done in smaller groups.
  • Then the employees can then be assigned eLearning modules that are hosted on an LMS platform.
  • Those answers can be reviewed on a discussion forum or reviewed through an online hosted video.

Choose The Right Learning Platform

  • eLearning – Can deliver training materials through electronic resources. An example of eLearning would be online modules about store policies that employees can complete on their own time.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) – Uses a device (phone or tablet) to overlay digital assets into the real world. An example of augmented reality would be computer-generated products that someone can walk around to learn about.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) – Creates an artificial environment in which the user is fully immersed in an experience. An example would be using virtual reality to transport your employees to a store floor where they can spot safety hazards.
  • Video Learning – Allows your employees to watch lessons from your subject matter experts on demand. You can even upgrade to 360º video for immersive simulation videos that can demonstrate complicated processes and techniques.
  • Instructor-Led Training – More traditional in nature, instructor-led training includes a group of learners with an instructor delivering the material. Many people respond well to this because they prefer in-person interactions. While the style seems old-school, you can still be engaging with the implementation of activities, workbooks, engaging presentations, and captivating presenters. 
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS) – Businesses invest in many types of software, and while a learning management system may seem like just another software, it is essential for your workforce. A learning management system allows you to build, host, administer, track, and measure your training program.

Related: Roundtable’s High-Impact Learning Solutions

Tailor Your Training Programs

We’ve all had the thought while sitting in a class, “When will I ever use this?” Don’t waste your employees’ time with lessons that they don’t need to learn. Create a training program that is broken down into modules that can be included or excluded as required.

By creating a concise training program, you have a better chance to hold your employees’ attention, which can lead to a higher retention rate of the vital information they need.

Retail Training Program Case Study

The Retail Training Challenge

Every year, a national amusement park group prepares for a summer season of thrilling rides, concessions, and hundreds of thousands of customers. To meet demands, this park onboards 30,000 to 40,000 seasonal employees every year.

Many of those employees need to be trained on how to use the park’s point-of-sale (POS) systems to provide customers with a seamless purchasing experience park-wide. The park needed a scalable, interactive training program to effectively and efficiently onboard its seasonal team.

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The Retail Training Solution

Partnering with Roundtable Learning, the park developed an AR experience that would allow new employees to interact with virtual customers and test their cash handling acumen under simulated stress.

The immersive training helped new employees understand the types of scenarios they could experience while on-the-job. The training was designed to be an exact replica of the park’s point of sale system, which allowed the park to run their practice more efficiently and portably.

Read More: Six Flags Point-of-Sale Training

How Does Your Retail Training Program Stand Up?

In this article, we covered common types of retail training programs, best practices to implement your program and review a successful retail point of sale training case study.
Are you looking for a partner to get your training program started? Contact our learning experts today to learn about your options.

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