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It has been an incredibly difficult year for brick and mortar stores, with COVID leaving an unstable landscape in its wake. As the holiday season approaches, retailers need to make sure they are getting the most out of their front line staff–and many retail LMS training programs were not even cutting it before the pandemic.

Here are 4 signs your LMS is stuck in the last century

1) Your store employees have to take training on shared store PCs.

This is a big one for many reasons, but most of them fade compared to the elephant in the room. We are in the middle of a global pandemic – Do you really want to have people sharing, touching, sneezing, and drooling on the same good ol’ keyboard and monitor, hour after hour, day after day? Does this environment provide comfort and motivation for employees to learn? Or are they ready to get out of there as quickly as possible? 

Consider a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy. Many retailers' knee-jerk reaction to BYOD is to say that devices are strictly not allowed on the store floor. Well, it is likely store policy didn’t allow employees to wear face coverings on the store floor either. COVID changed a lot of things–and a lot of policies. It’s time to rethink this one too. More and more retailers are adopting BYOD for reasons that far outweigh the downside, but more on this subject later...

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2) You need to constantly chase store employees to take their e-learning courses.

Your employees imbibe a lot of information every day on their smartphones. How can you best grab their attention and get them to retain information to serve your customers better when you are competing with so many engagement vehicles that they are already exposed to? Put yourself in their shoes and imagine you have a choice between glancing at an app on your phone or reading page after page of copy on a PC – which would you prefer? 

You are chasing your employees to take their training because they dread it. And they dread it because it’s boring, unengaging, hard to consume, and, most importantly, hard to apply in their day to day work. In other words, there is nothing in it for them. You need to consider a mobile-first content strategy and adopt a platform that can support it. Serve content where employees consume almost all their content: on their smartphones.

The bottom line is you will continue chasing employees to take e-learning courses unless you improve your delivery and methods. E-learning should be engaging content delivered on their phones that incorporates gamification, entertainment, and a rewards component. 

Where Retailers Go Wrong in L&D

3) Your training courses are long, and training happens periodically instead of all the time.

Are you still “scheduling” e-learning for your store employees once or twice a month? Less often? Are you still pulling people off the store floor for training? Are you still allocating non-revenue-generating payroll hours for training? All of these used to be the limitations of a PC-based LMS. 

The technology to provide smooth ongoing training is now readily available, yet, many retailers still follow the same archaic process. To make things worse, people don’t learn well through long, drawn out deep training, and retention from this training style is abysmal. People typically forget 80% of what they learn from a course within hours of completion and almost 95% within a week. If you are scheduling hour-long training once or twice per month, your retail employees are not remembering much of anything.

What works well in the retail environment, where store associates need to learn the facts and features of multiple products, is micro-learning served at a high frequency. Bite-sized information is a lot easier to retain, and frequent delivery shifts retention from short-term to long-term memory.

4) Your L&D team spends days and weeks to get a course going.

Old, clunky LMS interfaces, shuffling assets between multiple systems, SCORM compliance, content limitations, compatibility issues, waiting around for vendors to provide product info, then trying to figure out how to explain it to your store staff – sound familiar? 

How about pulling CSV files, staring at spreadsheets, and messing with pivots and having to email them to multiple parties? 

This was all ok in 2001. 

Today, it’s unacceptable because it’s too expensive, too slow, and your content looks like it was created…well… in 2001. Compare this to the modern apps your employees are using every day on their smartphones. Can your content compete? Because it has to if you have any chance of getting it noticed, consumed, and retained by your employees. 

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But… you’ve always used the LMS you have. You're used to it, no one is telling you to use something different, you are happy with the “classic” LMS, and your users are getting by, so why change it?

Because you only have one shot when a customer walks in your store to delight, create a memorable experience, provide the right advice, and convince that customer to come back.  

If your store staff is unprepared to deliver that, if they don’t know more than the customer, if they have to read off the product box to provide assistance, if they don’t have the soft skills to make a connection, your training just failed. You lost that customer for good, they will go next door next time, or go online.

Creating Retail Experiences That Will Always Beat Online Shopping

How SellPro can help

SellPro is leveraging mobile-first technology to deliver retail training in an engaging, memorable, and ultra-efficient way. 

  • Store employees like it because they get to engage on their own mobile devices all the time, not once in a while, and they do it because they want to, not because they have to.
  • L&D teams love it because it’s easy, fast, intuitive, and because it gives them the tools to meet their goals and deliver results.
  • Retailers enjoy it because it takes only a couple of days to deploy, it lives in the cloud, and it can run on its own as a modern LMS or in parallel to a legacy system as needed. Oh, and it doesn’t break the bank, while it pays for itself over time. 
  • OEM vendors want it because it empowers them to participate in the store training process directly.

Reach out to our team for a consultation to learn how SellPro delivers what traditional LMS platforms cannot—employee engagement that drives sales!

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Additional Resources

Where Retailers Go Wrong in Learning and Development
mLearning Courses Your Retail Employees Need Now as Stores Reopen
Gamification Tips for Better Retail Employee Engagement