How Our Pilot Helped Build a Better Retail Partnership in a New Vertical

One of the things that can be difficult to measure when considering a new LMS or retail employee training tool is, does it work? Time and time again we’ve heard that a retailer is interested in our solution, but they aren’t sure how effective it is going to be. 

While we've had extensive expertise in the retail channel, this particular retailer partnership was in a completely new industry vertical for us. We knew that we needed to rely on the retailer when it came to working with a new group of users. One realization we had after a few weeks, was that this group of store users wasn’t keen on smaller denomination gift cards. This was totally different from the store associates we support in the consumer electronics world, and a bit of a shock to us.

The solution

We came up with the idea of running a fixed period pilot, to give the retailer a chance to sample the SellPro solution with little to no risk. In this instance, the retailer wanted to open retail associate training up to some of the vendors that are sold in some of their stores. To make this manageable, it was decided that one region of the country would be the best way to have a section of their stores for the trial.

The most important thing that needed to happen initially, was the retailer informing their store employees that we would be reaching out to them. They sent out a series of messages to let them know that we were running the trial and would be getting in touch to onboard them.

The how

A start date was decided upon, which helped to make sure everyone was ready for the first week. We have found that without this, it’s very easy to keep moving the start date - something we were trying to avoid.

The brands created their courses in the run-up to the launch date. We provided support when it came to best practices and engagement strategies, awards and the right type of content. This way when we kicked off, there were multiple courses from each brand ready to go. They actually had so many courses that we had to stagger their release to avoid overwhelming the store associates.

To help drive engagement, we reviewed who had created a profile but not taken any courses, users who had taken one course only, and any other groups that needed attention. We had personalized messages for every group, which helped minimize anyone getting a message that wasn’t right for them.

Retailers Should Empower Vendors To Help Create Great Customer Experiences

Building interest

When you’re starting a pilot with zero user base, the pressure is really on to ramp up quickly! It was vital to have a clear plan in place to bring in new users, while driving the engagement of those who had already joined the platform.

The retailer allowed us to reach out directly  to their eligible store employees. Starting with an email campaign, we followed up by having QR codes printed out in all the pilot store breakrooms, and began to build a user base quickly. We also used a series of push notifications directly to the app.

Managing user engagement

One of the things that we were very aware of was the potential to overwhelm with notifications and emails. Given that the whole purpose of SellPro is to drive sales through engagement, it was vital that brands have the most impact here. Therefore, it was important to manage this most carefully.

After we had a decent number of new users signed up and consuming content, winning awards and inviting their coworkers to the platform, we handed new user acquisition over to the stores. Store managers or area managers began actively driving new user acquisition by taking advantage of being in-store and sharing in-app leaderboards.

How Our Pilot Helped Build a Better Retail Partnership in a New Vertical

Written by Justin Layzell

Justin Layzell
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