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Retail is reeling - new buying behaviours demand new skills and work practices.

The retail sector is changing rapidly, and is virtually unrecognisable from the high street-first approach we grew up with. The rise and rise of online shopping, product recommendations generated by smart algorithms and the sheer variety of products available today has completely changed the way we shop, and has led customers to expect a personalised retail experience.

Learning professionals in the retail sector understand the challenges posed by retail’s typically young, highly mobile workforce. High turnover in retail stores can be frustrating, and onboarding is a constant process, especially when it comes to hiring seasonal staff for busy periods. The training process in a retail organisation needs to be quick, efficient and effective, getting everyone up and running as quickly as possible so that they can offer the best possible customer service.

“Our learning system has become so good because of the ability to customise Totara Learn for what our organisation needs. We knew what the benefits were going to be for us. Many times an LMS goes no further than e-learning tracking and we are using this system for all aspects of training. Webinars, e-learning, documentation – we also add activities that could potentially be a job aid. We really are using at a lot more than we would be able to with other LMS solutions.” 

Deeper product knowledge is also becoming increasingly important. While the bricks-and-mortar store isn’t going anywhere, in order to compete with the convenience of one-click online retail retailers must ensure that their physical stores offer a positive shopping experience. Customers often enter a store better informed than employees, having already researched products online. The digitisation of the retail sector on the consumer side must be matched by the retailer with easy to follow performance support resources, regular scenario-based training and even the use of augmented reality and other immersive technologies to support staff on shop floor and their interaction with customers. Innovations in the buying process, such as contactless payments, Apple and Android Pay and even cryptocurrencies also present a need for comprehensive training to ensure that the in-store retail experience is as compliant, pleasant and professional as possible.

“What we like about Totara Learn is its chameleon-like ability to constantly morph to meet our ever-changing demands.”

Jeremy Hoyland, Sales Capability Director, PepsiCo ​​​​​​

For large retailers, launching L&D initiatives and implementing new learning technologies is truly an operation of scale. That’s why so many retail organisations worldwide use Totara products to create cost-effective, flexible and scalable learning platforms for employees around the world. Even if your workforce is dispersed across multiple cities, countries or continents, Totara’s software is designed to adapt to your needs and grow with your organisation, giving you the freedom to learn.

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