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5 E-Learning Cures for Common Retail Training Pains

E-learning offers efficient and flexible training solutions for ongoing training needs. Skip the POS to skill busy retail employees and increase sales.

7 min read

Using e-learning for retail employee training  

With a geographically scattered workforce and limited time, training retail employees can feel impossible. What’s more, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics put retail staff turnover rates at 60 percent—and it’s hard not to feel the pinch.

E-learning is a cost-effective and efficient way to train retail staff worldwide–from new hires to seasoned managers. It’s easy to create, update, and share, ensuring operations continue without interruption. Plus, e-learning makes it easy to track performance and fine-tune learning strategies. That means improved outcomes and tangible, positive business changes. 
In this post, we’ll share five ways e-learning solves common retail training challenges. To get a more in-depth breakdown of all the ways e-learning can help, download our free guide: Your Guide to Better Retail Training.

Key Takeaways

  • High turnover rates, demanding work days, and a dispersed workforce make effective retail training challenging for business owners.
  • Poorly trained employees in the retail sector increase the risk of missed revenue targets, poor customer service, and liabilities like safety concerns.
  • E-learning is a cost-effective tool to help retailers deliver engaging training quickly and easily while improving behavior impact, participation tracking, and ROI. 

5 ways e-learning makes training retail employees easier

1. Online training enables flexible onboarding in the retail store

Organizing on-site training is a logistical nightmare. Coordinating schedules to train understaffed teams across multiple shifts is complicated. You face an impossible choice: lose precious sales time, ask staff to sacrifice their day off or delay essential training. 

Those with a global workforce want every retail employee to receive the same training to align product knowledge and store procedures and provide consistent customer service. Yet, delivering consistent training with traditional on-site learning feels nearly impossible. 

E-learning tools eliminate the stress of organizing on-site learning or the complexities of sharing a POS for sales and training. Retail staff can access training content anywhere and on any device. This flexibility allows them to learn at their own pace. E-learning also ensures corporate can deliver consistent training at scale. In just a few clicks, entire organizations can access the same training content, granting all employees access to the same learning experiences. This consistency is vital for maintaining company standards and representing the brand. 

2. E-learning is customizable

Retail stores face ongoing pressure to keep sales associates informed about customers’ ever-changing needs. Staff need regular, flexible training to support business operations running smoothly amidst new technologies, frequent product changes, and shifting trends.

E-learning offers adaptable learning solutions that grow alongside the retail industry’s evolving landscape. It also provides highly varied and customized learning experiences. From soft skills training on conflict resolution and stress management to hard skills microlearning covering the POS system and inventory how-tos—e-learning flexes easily. Not to mention, continuous learning programs that can be easily customized for training help associates grow in their roles and stay engaged. 

3. E-learning saves resources 

In-person training for retail associates is expensive. Consider travel costs, venue rentals, hiring facilitators or subject matter experts, and classroom materials, not to mention duplicating these costs for refresher courses, upskilling, and annual compliance activities. Since the industry has such a high turnover rate, costs repeat frequently.

Great e-learning software is a smart investment for several reasons. Not only does it eliminate expenses incurred with traditional training, but it also provides flexibility for training, minimizing productivity loss. E-learning saves time and resources when updates are required. Instead of spending hours updating and redistributing courses, course changes, and republishing can happen in minutes.

4. E-learning encourages employee retention

A typical associate training plan includes onboarding with additional courses on necessary skills like safety protocols and software use. As time allows, they may also include customer service and sales training, product information, and day-to-day store procedures. 

But many retail workers already feel burnt out, not just due to long hours and demanding customers but also because many feel ill-equipped to handle job responsibilities. Training on these topics must account for this and provide engaging and memorable education. Employees must have the right tools to retain such a varied array of skills.
Effective e-learning uses shorter lessons that fit easily into shifts so frontliners can access that just-in-time, any-time training that’s focused on a single learning objective. Content becomes easier to digest, retain, and fit into a busy workday—or consume on the go. For associates with a lot to remember, this also helps prevent “information overload,” allowing them to balance training with other priorities. This balance can significantly increase retention and lower the risk of burnout.

5. E-learning is trackable 

Corporate leaders may want to measure and analyze in-person training data. Still, those metrics are tough to gather without an intuitive e-learning tool and reliable learning management system (LMS). Companies often struggle to collect large amounts of data, understand how learners and stores benefit from the program or improve upon training needs to maximize results. 

An LMS partners naturally with a robust e-learning platform and builds analytics into your online training plan. For retailers, this means accessing valuable information like live usage data, engagement scores, completion rates, and quiz scores to track employee participation and performance. This real-time data is crucial for leadership to understand which employees and stores are on-pace with the content and which are struggling—and tie these results to store outcomes. 

Future-proof your retail business with e-learning

There’s no magic pill for alleviating the training pains endured by the retail industry. High turnover rates, geographically dispersed staff, and a lack of time and resources make the lives of retail workers, and your training attempts anything but easy. But there is a better way to train.

E-learning provides a consistent, cost-effective, customizable, engaging, and trackable learning solution. It prepares retail workers to be more productive, equipped, and, ultimately, more effective in their jobs. The e-learning investment will pay dividends to organizations that adopt e-learning as their primary education tool during the digital revolution and help prepare stores for whatever training aches and pains come their way. 

To explore a sample of e-learning built for retail workers, check out this demo.

7 min read

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