IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 27 Jul 2015

Tech is changing: respond with Training

This blog will focus on the developments in retail technology that have brought around a need for change in approaches to training in the retail sector.

For sales assistants on the shop floor, and buyers and merchandisers using omnichannel supply chain functionality to manage and analyse retail business performance, technology is changing at a rapid pace, and training needs to keep up.

Merret Tablet Inventory

As mentioned in last week’s blog, consumers now shop for the experience as much as for the product, therefore visiting the high street or a retail outlet requires a differentiating factor more than ever before. Retail theatre must be created, to allow the store to stand out from the online buying experience, complemented by first class customer service.

Why visit the physical store if the service is poor, mistakes are made by inexperienced staff due to lack of training, and your items are not in stock? 72% of consumers re-ordered from/re-visited a retailer after a good customer experience, and our retail applications help to power your customer engagement in this way.

Why is training overlooked in the retail industry?

A number of reasons mean efficient retail training can be left by the wayside, despite its importance to business profitability, brand reputation and customer experience.

The quick turnover of staff, so much a part of life in the industry, can mean that during big intakes of new starters to cope with busy periods such as Summer Sales, Black Friday and Christmas, training is viewed as a cost rather than an investment in the staff base and efficiency of the business.

Also, it can be difficult to find a time to round everyone up at the same place, same time, when employees’ rotas vary from one week to the next. If delivered by a senior member of staff, or an external body, the whole training process can have a large price tag.

But it’s not that the staff are unwilling: it’s estimated that 25% of retail employees leave their job simply because there aren’t enough learning or training opportunities.

Retail Assist Innovation

In response to this current culture, our innovative team has developed and launched the App Academy, an online training and user support portal, to enable greater operational efficiency in the staff base, preventing costly mistakes.

app academy innovation

  • 72% of companies who were included in a recent survey stated that e-learning helps them to keep up-to-date with changes in their industry, which helps them to remain competitive within their niche. It was also found, in a study conducted by Bersin & Associates, that companies and organisations that did have a strong learning culture did better in their market than those who do not.
  • Online learning removes the need to round everyone up at the same place at the same time, saving time and money. This is a huge advantage in the retail industry, where employees’ schedules often change from one week to the next.
  • E-learning is optimised for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), as well as desktops. Delivering content to these devices allows learners to complete the courses at their convenience, no matter where they are: omnichannel learning for omnichannel retailing. Smaller learning “bites” may also help improve retention.
  • A standardised approach ensures reliable delivery of mandated learning and a consistent message, creating a high level of compliance in the business for everyone to work towards.

The App Academy, named in reference to our award-winning retail applications, is an e-learning tool for retailers to manage their own learning and development, maximising the operational benefits of using our retail applications for greater business profitability.

Application Academy

One of our customers is trialling the new product at present; their Head of IT commented, “The App Academy will play a great part in the induction process, as well as a refresher for existing teams. Even our expert testers learned some new Merret features.”

If you’d like to know more about our new e-learning solution for the retail industry, click here. Alternatively, you can email us at or call our Head Office on 0115 8533910, where one of our experts will be happy to speak with you.

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