How giving learners choice will optimize your retail training (video and example)

As the retail industry springs back into life, how do you meet the various training needs of your learners? Between new restrictions and larger demand, training in retail has never been more important. There’s a lot to learn, and relearn, which is why sales training for retail staff is such a hot talking point. Digital learning is especially crucial to those that are low on time and have different knowledge and experience levels. It’s essential to be able to reskill and upskill your learners effectively.

In this #DesignersCut find out how we used a tailored learning journey to tackle this challenge, optimizing learning time by offering different options in a retail training example.

3 ideas to optimize your retail training to reskill and upskill 

1. Empower learners to focus on the content they need with an exploratory menu

As corporate elearning designers, we will always have to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners. In retail, however, where staff turnover and use of seasonal staff are high, the variety of needs to cater to becomes increasingly apparent. New retail staff might have never encountered the policies before. Others might be familiar with similar policies from a past retail role, but need to learn how to apply them for your company. Seasonal staff may just need a quick refresher. Online retail training courses are perfect for allowing staff to learn as and when they need to.

In retail, confidence, knowledge and experience levels vary hugely between learners.

Open exploratory menu example

Launching your course with an open, exploratory menu, like the one shown here, enables you to cater to this wide variety of needs. Rather than locking down the topics and forcing learners to take one route through the course (which may or may not be right for them), online retail training allows learners to instead choose the path that’s right for them

In this example we offer learners three topics:

  1. Get a quick refresher of the policy highlights 
  2. Take an in-depth look at the policy in action in a series of case studies
  3. Dive into a quiz to prove their knowledge

How learners mix and match these topics is up to them. For example, they can try their hand at the quiz first and seek the theory after if they fail, or explore the theory first to build their confidence. If they know their stuff, they might only visit the quiz. Learners are empowered to decide on the level of depth they need to go into within the retail elearning materials in order to pass the quiz. 

This open, adult-to-adult approach to retail staff training encourages staff to reflect on their own learning needs. As learners start to take control of their development, this can help pave the way forward for a more active learning culture.

2. Only make it mandatory to learn through doing

One of the biggest frustrations for busy learners is realizing they need to read through a series of pages – the content of which they may already know – before they can unlock the quiz. Why make learners read all the content if they can prove they have the knowledge needed to pass the test? In the majority of cases, completing the test is all that really matters – it proves that they can apply the policy, thereby achieving the learning objectives. Forcing learners to read through content they already know will only serve to make them switch off and become resistant to retail elearning in general.

Quick fire quiz example

In this example, the only part of the course learners must work through is the scenario-based quickfire quiz. This tests the learner on their understanding of the policy within the context of realistic situations they are likely to face on the shop floor. It isn’t mandatory that they read through the policy highlights or case studies first – if they have the knowledge they need to take the test, then we empower them to do so.

Level 1 quick fire quiz

In the quiz we want to encourage ‘learning by doing’, so immersing learners in down to earth, relatable scenarios is key. We don’t rely on storytelling alone for immersion and engagement, however. Subtle elements of gamification tap into the learner’s competitive side, such as levels and points that increase with the level of complexity of the question. We also use a variety of question interactions to create a sense of play – from Sortable Image Cards to Multi-response Drag and Drops – all designed to work seamlessly across different device screen sizes. 

Pass screen with feedback

At the end of the quiz learners find out how they scored. If they haven’t passed the test, then the policy highlights and case studies topics are ready to upskill them before they attempt the test again. Alternatively, those who pass the retail training are ready to head back to the shop floor. By making just the quiz mandatory to pass, learners spend only as much time as needed in the course – dramatically reducing overall learner time and ensuring effort is spent where truly needed.  

3. Offer opportunities to get the facts fast or go more in-depth

Learners who want the theory content will again have differing needs that we as learning designers need to cater to. Some will only want a quick reminder of the policy’s key points, while others will need to see it being applied in situ to get the bigger picture. To meet these needs, offer options to choose the level of depth of the content. 

In this example we offered learners two chapters to explore the theory:

  1. Policy highlights
  2. Case studies

Quick refresher to optimise training

The policy highlights chapter can be viewed as a quick refresher before attempting the quiz, or as a point-of-need resource. The key points from the policy are drawn out in a hotspot interaction that breaks the policy down into two clear sections, each exploring the content using a short, bulleted list and bolding for emphasis.

case studies to explore policy in detail

The case studies chapter, on the other hand, explores the policy in detail by showing how it applies to a variety of different situations the learner is likely to face. They have the choice of four different scenarios, each of which focuses on a key learning point from the policy.

Carousel to explore unwanted itemsThe individual case study pages use a Carousel to walk through the story, introducing realistic characters and dilemmas to set up the scenario, before revealing how and why the policy impacts the situation. Learners can view as many of the case studies as they need to build up their confidence before attempting the quiz. 

Explore this example for yourself, or find out more about how to deliver stand-out retail training.

We can help you do it!

Interested in seeing how this retail training example was created in Elucidat? Book a demo and our team will get you set up with a free trial account. We specialize in creating high quality sales training for retail staff. This is also a giftable course – just ask to have it put into your Elucidat account and you’ll be able to use it as a starting point for your own project.

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