The retail market in India is projected to grow from an estimated US$ 672 billion in 2017 to US$ 1,200 billion in 2021. Much of this growth is attributed to the growing popularity and significance of eCommerce. However, the growth of retail stores is not slowing, and to run them efficiently, a well-trained workforce is a requisite.
Well-trained staff increases the quality of all the services of a retail establishment, including the handling of goods, customer service, staff-customer interactions, as well as the overall in-store customer experience. As trends change rapidly in the retail industry, staff must constantly upskill themselves and adapt to the changes in order to remain ‘well-trained’. eLearning is already being used in a number of well-known retail store chains to train staff in matters of compliance, products, soft-skills, finance and operations. However, as competition rises in the retail industry, day-to-day operations become more and more demanding, which leads to much less time being available for staff training. The retail industry requires just-in-time learning, and to deliver that, no eLearning strategy sounds better than microlearning.
Microlearning empowers retail employees by providing them the ability to access training as well as information at any place, at any time. As microlearning modules are a maximum of 5 minutes long, they are the very definition of ‘just-in-time’ learning. But what makes microlearning such a perfect fit for the retail industry? Its elements.
Elements That Make Microlearning A Perfect Fit For Retail
Videos have now become an essential element in contemporary microlearning courses. Video-based microlearning courses work well in the retail industry because they can guide employees through various real life scenarios. In case of knowledge gaps, employees only need to watch the 3-5 minute video to know what to do in that particular scenario. Also, videos are the most engaging content format available to learners presently, so there is no question of their degree of entertainment.
A story-like format is often an element of microlearning modules, as scientists say that learning is more effective when presented in the form of a story. Storytelling creates an emotional connection with the learner, helping them retain new information better. As microlearning modules are 3-5 minutes, you cannot over-complicate things, which is possible in traditional eLearning modules.
Learning Cards to Spaced Repetition
Learning cards are an old eLearning element, but are still used in microlearning modules in the form of spaced repetition. The technique has the power to provide an enjoyable learning experience, as well as the fact that it prevents cognitive overload from occurring in learners. Microlearning is all about providing bite-sized nuggets of information, and spaced repetition facilitates the best way to deliver it to and implant it in the long-term memories of learners.
Narrow Topic Focus
As retail employees spend most of their time doing everyday work tasks, any information too broad tends to confuse them easily. Microlearning solves this problem as microlearning provides a targeted delivery for only a specific instruction, helping the learners concentrate on one thing at a time, and thus helping them retain the knowledge easily.
Microlearning is being increasingly utilized to deliver personalized learning to employees. As there are various departments in a retail store, the needs of the learners differ from employee to employee. Personalized learning allows employees to choose the order of courses they want to take, giving them control of their learning process.
When Is Microlearning Right For A Retail Store?
Not all retail stores are the same, and thus while microlearning is the most effective strategy for retail, it still might not work with every type of retail store. Have a look at the following list of factors that signal that microlearning is right for a retail store.
- Your company’s products or services are updated frequently, which is true for most retail stores.
- You are introducing new systems or processes, which is not too infrequent in retail stores.
- Your goal is to manage change, which is exactly what retail stores are expected to do with high turnover rates, and products and services changing frequently.
- Your employees have different levels of knowledge or skills, which as mentioned before, happens when there are various departments in a store.
- Completion rates are key to success, which is again true for retail stores who need their staff to complete business goals all day long.
The modern world is fast-paced and ever-changing. Microlearning is the preferred learning strategy of the present, as it enables effective, distraction-free retention of information, which is the need of the hour in a multitude of industries, including, and especially, retail.
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