There are three major challenges that the retail industry faces. They are(1) giving the highest service quality to the customer, (2) retaining the existing client, and (3) promoting the brand awareness about new products. All these challenges are related to the customer or the client. Now, when it comes to its employees, the retail industry again has an uphill task of retaining its own employees, making them more knowledgeable and providing updateson the latest products and services, and giving them the requisite access to information, so that they can use it when they need it the most.
Training is always seen as a solid base to address these challenges. Take the example of instructor-led training; it consists of an instructor conducting aclassroom training session or a retail seminar. Thus, all the retail managers have to attend, and this adds up to transportation costs and instructor fees and others. So, although it has its own place, but as a whole, it is not considered an effective training delivery platform.
E-learning for Retail
E-learning allows users to study anywhere, and they are freed from the constraints of time and place. Moreover, eLearning enables auser to be informed about all the latest specifications of products and benefits that they offer at each stage. Thus, a more knowledgeable sales force can lead to better customer satisfaction and increased sales. The service quality also gets improvised, and in a competitive market, gaining a customer preference always adds value to the organization.
E-learning can address the issues of a retail business. A retail business can have different verticals such as stock management, product knowledge, payroll, safety measures, and so on. With eLearning, we can have tailor-made training solutions for employees working at each of these verticals.
Often we have missed the chance to evaluate the learner’s progress and are not able to identify the knowledge gap. With eLearning courses, you can have assessments and when the learner attends the test on theLMS, the administrator can collect information such as:
- Who has completed the test and fulfilled the pass criteria
- Who has attended the test but failed to meet the pass criteria (we know the areas where he/sheis weak)
Thus, the retail manager is able to get a complete picture of the learner’s performance.This transparent evaluation makes the learner well informed and as a whole, he is happy, and thisleads to improved employee retention.
For a dynamic workforce like the people working in retail operations, the employee (learner) can log onto an eLearning platform and learn the things needed to refresh his/her memory. All the requisite information areat his fingertips. This streamlines the learning process of the learner.
Things become easier with the paradigm shift from instructor-led training to eLearning. I want add a small case-study that right defines how the shift benefits the retail operation:
Carrefour Italia introduces a culture of E-learning
Carrefour is a multinational retailer. The group’s four mature markets are France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, which together account for over 72% of its sales. Each store tailors its product offering to suit local culture. In Italy, for instance, 89% of ownbrand food products are locally produced. Carrefour Italia was also keen to tailor its learning and development to suit Italian employees. In Italy it has 18.000 employees and 1.218 stores. The group had three main learning challenges specific to its Italianoperations. It was looking to boost the management skills of its managers and introduce a culture of e-Learning. Secondly, it was looking for a more effective way of delivering technical training for specific in-store roles such as bakery or electrical department staff.Finally, it needed to deliver mandatory legal and compliance training to a large number of employees.