Why Microlearning and Retail Sales Are a Match Made in Heaven

Oct 31, 2019 3:13:04 PM

Training & learning | Retail

We've all been there: we've put off studying for that important exam for far too long and now, the night before, it's time to cram. Hours and hours later, we finally feel like we've covered lost ground... only to find the next day that we can barely remember anything!

If you can relate to that scenario, then you're not alone. In fact, research has shown that spaced learning is more effective than one or two intense cram sessions for some 90% of learnings. This applies to school and to the corporate and retail worlds as well.

Enter microlearning. This employee training strategy helps avoid many of the pitfalls of traditional retail training, and allows employees to more effectively retain and apply information. In this post, we'll explore microlearning, how it works, and why every retailer needs to apply it to their retail sales training.

Short on time? Watch this video summary instead: 

Microlearning Defined

Microlearning can be defined as "bite-sized" or "snack-sized" training because the content is delivered to employees in small, easily-digestible segments that usually take no more than a few minutes to complete. In addition, microlearning content is often formatted for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices, and thus allows employees to learn in a more personalized environment than your typical retail training classroom.

As an example, a retailer that wants to train employees on proper stocking procedures could deliver several pieces of micro content over a period of one or two weeks. These snack-sized learning sessions could include information on:

  • Reading the store's layout/floor plan
  • Blocking merchandise
  • Performing inventory count

Taken together, these microlearning sessions would form a full module dedicated to stocking.

Benefits of Microlearning

Microlearning boasts several advantages over traditional retail training. And let's face it, traditional retail training doesn't have a whole lot going for it. If you've ever had to endure one of those hour-long training videos in a dimly-lit room at the back of the store, then you know exactly what we're talking about.

While we could spend a ton of time talking about all the benefits that a well-designed microlearning approach can yield, let's just focus on a few key areas:

  • It boosts employee engagement. Microlearning offers the opportunity to deliver necessary information to employees in a quick and convenient manner. When employees have easy access to the help and information they need, their engagement will inevitably increase.

  • It promotes personalized learning. Some people can learn well in a noisy environment; others need complete silence. Some people learn best in the early hours of the morning; others find that their peak learning time comes at night. Whatever the case may be, mobile-optimized microlearning allows your employees to learn at their own pace and style.

  • It increases information retention and promotes practical application. Microlearning is especially useful when employees need to find task-specific instructions. Instead of having to sift through hours of irrelevant information, your employees can simply navigate to the topic at hand, and find what they need quickly. This will assist your employees to more easily retain important information, and even to apply it on the spot.

  • It promotes a better experience for customers and reduces employee turnover rate. Since your employees will be able to quickly find necessary direction via the microlearning platform, your customers, in turn, will enjoy a much smoother shopping experience than a traditional training approach would foster. Furthermore, your employees will be happier and less stressed-out during work hours, which means a lower turnover rate for your company!

By promoting an adaptable, individualized approach to retail training, microlearning can empower your employees to give their best every day. Instead of compelling them to sit in a room and endure an unpleasant "cram session," you'll encourage them to learn at their own pace, and to cultivate practical skills that they can apply on the job day after day.


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