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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

It's time to pilot e-learning in your retail stores


It's time to pilot e-learning in your retail stores

Sara Jensen

A lot of companies think that e-learning can't meet their needs or won't work in their environment. Retail settings come up a lot, actually. While a number of leading national brands have seen great success via custom e-learning, there are also a lot that are hesitant to change things up. Here are 5 reasons to try a pilot project in your stores:

1. Consistency of messaging

How many different stores do you have? How many managers conduct training in each store? Multiply that by the busy-ness factor of their work environment, and you get a really big number of variables. The more spread out your locations, the more challenging it can be to ensure a uniform way of doing things. And that's not even accounting for factors like the mood of the trainer on any given day or the store that has gone totally rogue on brand. E-learning ensures everyone is trained the same way, every time.

2. Deliver training right in the work environment

The lack of a computer lab in each and every store is no longer a barrier to deploying training software. Mobile devices are an easy way to deliver training without even taking people off the sales floor. We've also designed e-learning that integrates with a store's point-of-sale system. If in-store bandwidth is a concern, we can build a program that's lightweight and streamlined, ensuring no one gets stuck on the dreaded LOADING screen. There's no need to send people away from the store to complete their training, and you have the added benefit of being able to build in coaching opportunities on the fly.

3. Keep retail employees on the job

Along with the concept of training people right where they'll be working, you also have the opportunity to integrate training modules directly into the workflow. If the store is quiet for 10 minutes, a new employee can power through a couple of scenarios in a gamified simulation. Or maybe they complete the learning while in the process of serving customers, using a product knowledge resource that adapts to their level of experience. There are lots of creative ways to avoid taking employees off the floor for extensive training experiences.

4. Stay on top of a high turnover audience

Especially when you need to staff up for busy times--these are the periods when employee training is most likely to fall by the wayside. With a consistent training program that's already integrated into the workflow, even your short-term holiday staff can be brought up to speed.

5. Engage your learners

We say this all the time, and it's because it's one of the most important things we do. When people are disengaged from a training experience, their behavior doesn't change and the whole exercise is utterly pointless. Retail workers are accustomed to a fast-paced environment with many demands on their attention. Build a training experience that will grab them and help them do their jobs better--that's really all anybody expects from e-learning, right?