Embrace e-learning for a future-ready workforce

the retail business India has witnessed dynamic changes over the past few years amid the pandemic. Shopping online has become the new normal, and consumer experiences are of paramount importance to businesses.

These emerging trends have made it essential for retail companies to upgrade their existing skills and build a strong and agile workforce that can effectively engage with the modern consumer and drive sales in the marketplace. organization at all points of contact. Learning, developing and upgrading skills are therefore essential and must be done in the right way to have maximum impact in the current context.

Talent transformation with eLearning

The effectiveness of the traditional training approach seems to be fading now. The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath has brought about a sea change in the way employees like to learn and engage. New age e-learning solutions have proven to be more powerful, as they follow a compound approach to training, using interactive software, graphics, animations, audio, simulations, etc., that capture instantly the interest of learners. So, retail companies across the country are actively adopting these advanced e-learning modules to meet the ever-changing training needs of their workforce.

From imparting product and policy knowledge to coaching employees on aspects such as software usage, marketing and sales practices, etc., e-learning offers a learning experience that is distinct, engaging and even triggers employee motivation to learn more. Any important product information or updates are instantly integrated and delivered to employees on their devices, giving them immediate access to all developments. To train retail staff on in-store processes, animated videos featuring employees performing different tasks on the floor are created and sent to their devices, helping them better understand their responsibilities. Training materials are updated on the central server, providing learners with ease of learning anytime, anywhere.

Additionally, as the retail industry has a high attrition rate (around 20.5%), regularly training new hires can be a tedious task. With eLearning programs, all orientation and onboarding materials, including audio, video, tests, quizzes, etc., are deposited in the central repository, giving access to new entrants at any time. The use of new techniques such as gamification is also on the rise, where new recruits can interact with course content by playing specially designed games and also earning rewards for completing specific tasks. The time required to train the workforce is also significantly reduced, which is a boon for retailers to save costs and improve efficiency.

Recently, a leading retail conglomerate used bespoke gaming solutions to train its employees in customer management roles. Through games, learners were presented with different store-type scenarios, in which various customer situations had to be dealt with. Employees would earn a star at the end of each activity, and after accumulating stars, the company would promote them as star salespeople. Through this gaming and training activity, the company was able to increase employee engagement and retention while improving customer satisfaction.

Shaping customer experiences

Modern e-learning solutions allow retailers to achieve higher standards of customer service as they equip their staff with the right selling skills. For example, in the case of soft skills training, a mix of audio, text and media could be used to make the program impactful. For customer service improvement, a scenario-based approach could be applied, where different training videos showcasing excellent customer service could serve as examples.
A knowledgeable sales employee would be able to resolve customer queries more confidently and in a timely manner. They would also be motivated to understand the needs of the customer and suggest the right products accordingly. A satisfied and well-supported customer is more likely to make repeat purchases and would definitely be a brand ambassador for the company.

According to PwC, 78% of consumers believe that having knowledgeable sales representatives plays the most important role in shaping their shopping experiences. This is especially true for more complex purchases such as luxury, fashion and personal consumer goods.

Conclusion

Currently generating about 8% of the jobs in the country, the retail sector is expected to create about 2.5 crores of new jobs by 2030. This expected increase in the number of jobs in the age of digitalization would make e-learning an essential tool for retailers to meet training needs. challenges of these times.

Looking ahead, it would be fair to say that only retail organizations that modernize their learning practices and adopt customized eLearning solutions for training would be able to enhance their full potential.

Norma A. Roth