How Microlearning Can Make Your Retail Sales Soar
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5 Effective Ways To Use Mobile Training For Retail Employees

Today, consumers expect the ultimate shopping experience. We’re talking quick responses, high engagement and immediate satisfaction (not much, eh?). When they don’t get this experience, they move swiftly along to the next pop-up shop or online store.

So, what’s the trick? That consumers don’t always know what makes them happy. And exactly what engages and satisfies them can change as often as the weather. So, how do retailers ensure that their staff is adapting quickly enough to evolving consumer expectations?

Well, they provide their employees with online retail training that’s convenient, on-demand and accessible on the devices they’re already consulting 80 times a day [1]. In other words, they leverage mobile training for retail employees. Here are the 5 most important benefits of mobile learning both for your retail sales and for your sales team:

1. Employees Get The Knowledge They Need Exactly When They Need It

Did you know that almost 80% of consumers say that sales staff with thorough product knowledge have the biggest impact on their shopping experience [2]? In other words, keeping employees updated on new products and features could be the difference between meeting your sales targets—or not.

The only problem is that products and features are changing all the time. So, how do you get staff from different locations and shifts, into the same training room, at the same time, whenever a feature changes? The short answer: you don’t.

Instead, use a microlearning app to create information about product and feature updates available to all employees. Then, when an employee is faced with a customer query about a new product range or feature, they can access the knowledge they need, on the spot.

The result is that they’ll be able to engage with customers more confidently and in a knowledgeable manner, and are ultimately more likely to land the sale. Plus, when products change, and training materials need to be adapted, microlearning units are quick and easy to edit or swap out without redesigning an entire course.

2. Employee Development Reduces Retail Staff Turnover

Ask any retailer what their biggest HR challenge is, and they’ll probably say staff turnover—zero hesitation! Why? Because their employees deal with constant pressure to meet sales targets, adapt to changing products and processes, and maintain an ear-to-ear smile while difficult customers shout frustrations at them.

While you can’t shield retail staff from difficult customers, you can improve their employee experience with the help of retail sales training, especially if you're using an LMS like TalentLMS. Offering mobile training for retail employees means that your staff can practice self-improvement, and will probably become better at their jobs. This, in turn, helps them achieve their sales targets, advance in their careers, and earn more commission.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why this would make your staff happier, more satisfied and less likely to leave. But there’s more. Research shows that companies with a strong onboarding process benefit from an 82% improvement in new-hire retention [3]. So, providing new hires with mobile microlearning is a great way to offer them ‘pocket’ support on their first few days on the job.

3. Anytime, Anywhere Learning Increases Training Rates

Unlike some other jobs, retail jobs are centered around the customer. When there are many customers, sales employees are super busy. When there are few customers, sales staff might have more time for training. The tricky part is that they often can't plan for these rises and falls in their schedules.

So, one of the best retail benefits of microlearning on mobile devices is that it’s flexible. No matter which store, office, or shift, employees are able to access learning content without leaving their work station. Plus, they can take advantage of gaps in their day to complete their retail staff training.

Because microlearning includes short bursts of content (typically 3-7 minutes), like videos and infographics, it’s also easy for sales staff to tackle just the amount of training they can manage at a time. This makes learning self-paced and convenient and increases the likelihood that staff with busy schedules will engage in training.

4. Staff Can Practice The Soft Skills Needed For Retail

The retail environment is highly pressured and fast-paced, which has led to many corporate cultures developing an unhealthy obsession with targets. So, naturally, their sales staff think only of closing deals and, well, cash. But this doesn’t translate into the positive shopping experience that consumers want, right?

This is why retail employees need continuous opportunities to develop their soft skills, through mobile, retail-selling skills training. Use microlearning to provide bite-sized learning on soft skills like negotiation, conflict management, and EQ. Employees can then immediately apply their improved soft skills in their jobs. And you know what practice makes: perfect!

Okay, maybe perfect is a push. But at the least, using mobile training for retail employees’ soft-skills development is bound to improve sales team performance. Employees will be equipped to make more meaningful connections with customers, and those customers are more likely to become repeat business or refer your product to a friend.

5. Consistent Training Creates A Trusted Consumer Experience

The definition of a sales employee has become blurred. Consumers often engage with a number of business touch points, and their combined experience will determine whether or not they make a purchase and remain loyal.

So, from shop floor staff and customer support call centers, all the way to web designers who create the online User Experience, employees need consistent customer-service training. In particular, all employees should understand the company vision and values, customer-engagement strategies, and how they contribute to the customer experience.

For many retailers, the challenge is that employees are geographically dispersed, and working on different schedules. This makes classroom-based training a logistical nightmare, not to mention expensive. So, they turn to mobile training to ensure that all employees receive the same content, delivered in the same way, but at a time and place that suits them.

Conclusion

Ultimately, employees practicing continuous self-improvement through mobile learning are happier, more confident and better at engaging customers. This has a positive effect on sales. For employers, mobile training for retail employees combats challenges like frequent product changes, dispersed teams and high staff turnover. So, if mobile microlearning is so effective for retailers, the question is: why aren’t you using it?

References:

[1] Americans Don’t Want to Unplug from Phones While on Vacation, Despite Latest Digital Detox Trend

[2] 10 retailer investments for an uncertain future

[3] The True Cost of a Bad Hire

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