According to the National Retail Federation, more than three out of five consumers credit retail technology for improving their shopping experiences, particularly in online shopping. Furthermore, eight of ten consumers state that they’ve experienced better interactions with retailers thanks to their technology investments. Virtual and physical retail sales are projected to reach $26.7 trillion by 2025, and technology will undoubtedly play a significant role in that. With so many people shopping online and more automated systems in physical stores than ever before, retail technology is a critical component of today’s society.
This all goes to show how intimately intertwined retail and technology are in today’s phygital world. However, for technology and retail to work together effectively, young minds – especially those who are or could be employed in the retail industry – need to be educated on the newest retail technology. Read on to learn more about why you should prioritize this education and how to do it right.
Provide the Right Technology
One of the best ways to get anyone up to speed with retail technology is by providing them with top-of-the-line tools from the start.
Analyze the applications and solutions your business uses from a beginner’s perspective. Then, ask yourself whether they make sense and are easy to grasp. If they aren’t, plenty of intuitive tools and apps are available that are easy for people of all ages and levels to understand and use, so consider changing things to improve efficiency and processes.
As you’re analyzing and improving your retail applications and solutions, be sure to include upgraded solutions for existing devices. If you’re not already using cloud-based apps, jump on the bandwagon and make the switch instead of introducing new hardware.
ByondXR is even starting to bring the latest technology to students and classrooms. We recently announced that we’re bringing our unique software to the classroom through an exclusive course created for the Fashion Insitute of Technology. The new course allows students to use our virtual software to create 3D showrooms for retail and wholesale brands. The Business of Virtual Merchandising, which first launched in January 2022 for the Spring 2022 semester, focused on sustainability and technological advancements in fashion as the industry moves further toward future of virtual retail technologies. In the Fall 2022 semester, the course will focus on the changes in retail merchandising for wholesale showrooms, retail visual merchandising and online platforms, and B2B/B2C business models. FIT is also exploring options for adding more advanced 3D courses into the curriculum.
Apply Tech to Real-World Situations
One of the best ways for people to learn is by living, so one of the most effective ways to educate employees and young minds on the newest retail technology is by having them use it in real-world situations. It’s important to remember that there’s always a learning curve when learning new technology in retail, whether it’s being used in a physical or virtual environment. Young minds need time to acclimate to new changes properly, and the more practice they have, the more skillful and confident they will become when working with customers.
Plan your real-world training sessions during a slow or off-peak time and have your trainees test several different skills and transactions. Providing this time and type of training gives young minds and employees a chance to get comfortable with the new technology.
Gamify the Process
Everybody loves a game, so one way to make retail tech education more fun is by incorporating gamification into the process. Immersive experiences like leaderboards, prizes for mastering skills, competitions, and quizzes can be practical tools for learning. Gamification initiatives motivate young minds to do well, increasing rapport and building camaraderie.
Make Learning Continuous
Since technology is constantly evolving and changing, education and development efforts need to evolve with it. To ensure that everyone is up to date, you must regularly revisit and update your tech education initiatives. Consider new software versions and new developments, then update your training materials to support them.
Keep it Simple and Personalized
When it comes to education, it’s crucial to keep in mind that different people have different learning preferences. While some may excel in classroom settings, others find learning easier when they have time and space to review materials independently. When coming up with plans to educate young minds on the newest retail technologies, consider the roles and learning styles of your team members and make sure that you’re personalizing their experience and tech education based on their responsibilities and tasks.
It’s also essential to ensure that your training and process manuals aren’t too complicated or overwhelming. By creating a structured, personalized education plan with simple training materials and plenty of hands-on experience, young minds will have everything they need to quickly get acquainted with the newest retail technology for their roles, motivating them to perform at their best capacity.
Provide Hands-On Training
While many retail tech providers and employers offer illustrated documents, tutorials, and video training, nothing compares to learning through hands-on experience. Whenever a new piece of retail technology is introduced (especially new POS systems), there is no educational experience better than getting the time and space to practice with it hands-on.
Learning by doing allows users to receive instant feedback so that they can reflect on what needs to be changed, what needs to be tweaked or repeated, and what to keep doing. Hands-on training also moves everyone involved beyond the theoretical stages of use while testing the learner’s competency to understand what kind of additional support would be helpful for success.
Most business software is equipped with training modes, which allow young minds to explore its components without compromising company data.
The Final Word
Technology can work wonders for managing teams and optimizing productivity. Staff management apps and cloud-based scheduling systems are just a few technological solutions that improve general communication throughout the staff, allow managers to view employee preferences for hours and shifts, and tell employees when to take a break.
Recent studies have shown that employees are more engaged and productive when technology is available and easy to use. And when employees are more engaged and productive, they will ultimately contribute more to the business’s bottom line. In fact, businesses with engaged employees have been shown to earn 2.5 times more revenue than those with low engagement levels.
With retail technology being the future of business and young minds being the future of retail technology, it’s easy to see why it’s so important to educate them on the latest retail tech. Follow the guide above to ensure they’re on the path to the future.