Educational Revolution in Retail: 6 Types of Virtual Reality Training
Personnel training in retail can be quite challenging. In particular, the need to train staff to perform routine operations correctly, be polite and inclusive, and to act in a coordinated manner during stressful and dangerous situations. Conventional or manual training is not very effective due to the low level of immersion and the high cost of professional coaching services. Lately, large retailers have started integrating new technologies, like VR, into their training programs to work out various situations as efficiently as possible. How exactly? Read below!
VR training is used by top retailers
Three large retail companies, Walmart, Lowe’s, and IKEA have used VR to train their team members. While each business used the VR experience a little differently, all of them achieved a faster assimilation process and improved knowledge of basic skills among their employees. Moreover, in Walmart’s Academy training centers the staff is now learning how to deal with real-world experiences through a VR retail-training simulator. Walmart has also created VR training experiences to prepare personnel for “Black Friday” chaos.
Other large retailers also use Virtual Reality for onboarding and training. For example, Lowe’s allowed their staff to practice DIY projects without wasting products. In its turn, IKEA uses VR-experiences where the co-workers can interact with the IKEA key values.
VR Training in Retail
We have selected six examples of how Virtual Reality Training is used by different retailers.
If you are in retail and thinking about incorporating immersive experiences into your workflow, please contact us here. We’ll be happy to show you the benefits VR can bring to your business.
Hiring and adapting new employees is a significant and lengthy process. Of course, everything depends on the department and the position of a new employee. However, it is still very important that new employees clearly understand the values, goals, and objectives of the company. On the other hand, it might be time-consuming for supervisors to conduct regular training for each new worker in situations of high staff turnover. The ideal solution in this case is to automate the learning process. VR simulation is a perfect tool for tracking movements and immersing trainees into a hyper-realistic working environment.
Supervisors or trainers receive extensive analytics on how the process goes and can lead a trainee or a group based on results achieved during the course.
Another advantage of virtual reality training for retail is that the information is always presented equally well. Everything is simple, clear, and accessible.
Virtual reality for onboarding training has long been used in large retail networks, including IKEA.
Mastering skills and procedures more effectively
Each company has a clear employee training plan, which usually consists of many different manuals. In most of cases, these manuals contain theoretical knowledge and do not enhance practical skills. In addition, training through manuals makes it impossible to test the learning progress automatically, so the presence of an expert who can check the employee’s actions is required. This results in increased costs and more time to train each employee.
The Virtual Reality Training Platform is a tool that makes the learning process easier, quicker, and provides trainees with practical experiences along with theoretical knowledge. This is the newest and the most effective training solution that can aggregate different learning scenarios in one place.
Besides, the VR Training Platform for Retail can contain blocks with analytics for each trainee, so you can track the training progress of each employee, see which topics this person has already passed and which they haven’t yet, as well as determine where mistakes were made.
Here are a few use-cases for VR Training for Retail:
- Basic procedures
- Package handling
Generally speaking, you can do training in many areas — the possibilities of virtual reality simulations are endless.
Improving soft skills for communication with employees and customers
If hard skills can be developed by reading a few manuals, then soft skill situations are a bit more complicated because this is primarily about emotional intelligence. However, VR training solves this issue.
- Building a Team
Building relationships within the team is a process that directly affects the success of the company, especially in retail, where it is important to work together to provide quality services to customers. The virtual reality here can help establish the right relations among employees, as well as improve management.
- Improving customer communication
Every employee who interacts with customers is the face of the company. So these employees must know how to communicate with customers to keep this image reliable. In particular, you can create virtual reality training that will teach your staff how to communicate with different types of customers properly, how to meet their needs specifically in your store, etc. VR helps employees to put themselves in the customer’s shoes so they can be better prepared to provide excellent, empathetic service.
Our team created a Virtual Training Platform that already includes:
- user and roles management
- extensive analytics
- key interactions for workers in the retail industry.
Dealing with emergencies
You can’t prepare your staff for emergencies using just manuals. After all, in a stressful situation, people can act in unexpected ways. That is why many companies simulate different scenarios through virtual reality and train employees on how to act correctly in different situations.
Testing changes to current practices
It is always better to check and test the implementation of new solutions in retail. After all, solutions that work well in some chain stores can fail in others. So if you do one-way training for stores where it is successful, you can test this approach with VR training in other stores. With this attitude, you may either find a new winning approach or, for example, avoid failure that would occur without any testing.
Preparing for the rush
Seasonal sales, store openings, or Black Friday promotions require the coordination of employees to avoid long queues and maintain a comfortable atmosphere in the store. However, during the mass influx of people, it is difficult to achieve that. That is why it is worth conducting VR training for staff. With their help, employees of your stores could be plunged into a situation where the store is overflowing with customers, goods on the shelves are swept away at high speed, and queues at checkouts or fitting rooms stretch for tens of feet.
Virtual reality training can simulate any situation that may arise and tells your employees how to act in a given scenario. Also, VR training can include testing employees’ knowledge and recording their learning progress.
For both individual pieces of training and team-based scenarios, virtual reality training is used in all kinds of retail businesses. Aside from personal development and improvement, VR training provides great benefits to collaborative actions and communication as well as preparing staff and management for emergencies, sales rushes, and testing new approaches.