Retailers are often faced with a bunch of challenges. They need to deal with frequent changes in consumer preferences. Global recession is forcing retailers to operate on very low margins. Businesses have to deal with low consumer spending and high employee turnover. In the past few years, many retail businesses have gone bankrupt due to declining sales and high operating costs.
The big question is can retailers reduce the operating costs? Here are 6 compelling reasons why you need to consider eLearning for your retail business.
Ideal for providing regular training to new joiners
The biggest challenge in retail industry is high employee turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee turnover on an average is around 60%. This means that if your store has 500 employees, you will need to train 1500 employees in the next 5 years. This forces retailers to train fresh employees. A reduction of 1% in training costs can become a huge savings for your business. For conducting training frequently, eLearning is the most viable and cost-effective option. You can have standardized training modules that any new hire can take.
Reduces the time spent on training
The managers of a retail business accord the top priority to make sales personnel perform their job duties. Any training activity that pulls employees off the job is seen as a hindrance to productivity. Generally retail stores have very long shifts. The nature of the business, its location and working hours influence the vagaries of business. On a particular day, some divisions of the store might experience high sales and another division of the same store could record less sales. ELearning helps provide training at the employee’s convenience. The training programs can be accessed anytime, anywhere. This enables the organization to train the employees in their free time, preventing loss of precious productive hours.
Imparts just-in-time training
With increased mechanization and rapid changes in products, making the staff quickly aware of the product information and seasonal offers is a big challenge. Managers do not get adequate time for training their staff, but to remain ahead of competition, retail staff should always stay on top by being equipped with information about their latest products or merchandising standard. This is where ELearning helps in the rapid dissemination of product information to shop floor assistants and managers.
Standard delivery of content
Self-paced eLearning ensures consistency in the format and delivery of content. As this format is not instructor-dependent, learners are not affected by poor training style. Another benefit is that you can tap the collective wisdom of various instructors in preparing your materials as there is no dependency on any one person. Expert knowledge can be captured and shared effectively.
Geographically dispersed locations
Retail employees are usually dispersed at various stores connected to different marketplaces. So to train these employees, trainers are sent from one location to another location, or trainees are gathered to a central training location. ELearning eliminates the extensive travel costs.
Training in retail industry is inconsistently delivered to individuals or small groups when assigned to busy store managers. Hence, tracking and record keeping becomes time consuming and complex. So whether it is classroom sessions or the online courses, organizations should have an LMS in place, to support, monitor and track the ongoing training and development activities.