Microlearning in retail – why it’s worth checking out

Retail Training is Unique

Every industry is different, and each has its own specific challenges and KPI’s.

In this series of articles, we explore how different industries can benefit from short-form microlearning.

Retail is an industry that is uniquely placed to benefit from microlearning and other innovative learning delivery methods.

The challenges of training in retail are neatly summarized by the 2015 retail sector benchmark report Towards Maturity.

This report outlines the performance of retail industry members compared to an average of all the respondents to the cross-industry benchmark survey.

Traditionally, retail has a high turnover of staff compared to other industries, so it’s no surprise to see induction, and speeding up the time to competence as priorities for the Learning and Development departments featured in the report.

And remember to add those specific issues to the general headaches of delivering and managing a training program such as:

  • High cost of content production.
  • Complicated distribution to multiple devices.
  • High cost of monitoring progress.
  • Difficult to use LMS systems.
  • Reports that aren’t friendly or clear.
  • Little or no integration with external system

It’s no wonder the retail industry lags behind other industries when it comes to almost all training metrics.

retail training

retail training

Retail Training Challenges

One of the unique challenges of a retail training program is that learners are more widely distributed than in most other environments.

This can cause issues such as:

  • 84% of retail businesses list unreliable infrastructure/low bandwidth/technical factors as a barrier to progress, compared to 66% of companies across all sectors.
  • 58% list insufficient staff access to computers, with the overall average being 24%.
  • 58% support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as compared to 45% of companies in other industries.

The eLearning advantage is presenting a consistent approach to all learners wherever they are based.

In an industry where 63% of learners are happy to engage in online learning without prompting, it becomes even more important to enable them to access it in the most convenient way.

The Retail Training Mismatch

There appears to be a mismatch between the business goals of retailers and the learning they usually deliver.

The Towards Maturity report suggests that the areas where retail is doing best in training terms are not those identified as business priorities.

  • 38% of retailers identify specific business metrics/KPIs that they want to improve through learning in partnership with senior management versus 82% on average.
  • Time to competency in retail has been reduced by 11% compared to the 12% average reduction.

Time to competency, an area which should be a priority in a high staff turnover environment, is lagging the cross-industry average.

In an area where even the best companies are struggling, Cognizesne can help you lead the way in providing the best training to your retail employees.

For advice on how to leverage microlearning into your retail training solution get in touch with us.