Return to blog

The Best Retail LMS for Enterprise Brands: How to Onboard Employees Quickly and Boost Engagement

Upgrading to a modern LMS is one of the best ways to boost employee performance in a modern retail environment. This is because employees often find old paper- and desktop pc-based training systems tedious and difficult to reference, so training is hard to implement and quickly forgotten.

We’ve worked with large, multinational retailers with hundreds of locations to implement a new learning management system.

By just changing out their LMS, they were able to speed up employee onboarding, improve engagement, reduce employee training time (while increasing learning retention), and ultimately improve customer service and sales.

But one LMS solution is not always as good as the next. Just uploading your current training materials as static files into a new digital system won’t be enough to hook your employees and get them to learn more.

Instead, the best LMS should be designed to:

  • Help new hires onboard quickly while boosting learning retention.
  • Keep employees up to date on rapidly changing product lines and new trainings.
  • Adapt to each learner’s specific training needs and give them the best training material for their situation, exactly when they need it.
  • Give leaders insights into what learning content is working and how teams are progressing.
  • Offer effective retail training courses to tens of thousands of employees across thousands of locations.

Below, we’ll show you how Bigtincan’s LMS solves these problems.

We’ll also include two brief case-studies to show you what this looks like for two large, multinational brands who are already successfully using Bigtincan across their retail businesses, including:

  1. A sports apparel and equipment company.
  2. A makeup and cosmetics brand.

(The brands will remain anonymous, but we’re willing to bet you’ve either used their products or at least heard of them.)

Book a demo to learn more about how Bigtincan’s LMS solution could work at your company. 

Microlearning Keeps Employees Engaged and Helps Them Retain Knowledge

A retail LMS is only as good as its results and that means how well trainees retain what they have learned from their retail training.

In our view, the most effective way to retain knowledge is through microlearning opportunities for retail employees.

Microlearning is an approach to retail training that provides each training as a short burst of information that can be easily digested.

It’s scientifically proven that this short-form approach to training courses is more easily retained, with information retention increasing by 41% when training sessions are cut to 15 minutes or less.

So, rather than sending retail employees through long training sessions about new products and brand focus areas for the month, and expecting them to remember that information every day on the floor with customers, microlearning offers short training videos (often as short as 1 or 2 minutes), interactive quizzes, and material on specific topics.

For example, a shoe retailer could create a one-minute video on the new shoes that are arriving that month, and retail employees could easily reference it from their mobile device at any time.

Bigtincan's retail LMS is mobile-friendly.

Or a furniture store could keep short half-page explainer documents or blurbs about products so retail employees could look up key information about a product from a phone or tablet while on the floor with customers.

Bigtincan's retail LMS is mobile-friendly which simplifies the training process.

Finally, since any good retail LMS should be mobile-first and mobile-focused (as we’ll explain below), a commonly used tactic by our customers with large numbers of retail employees is to use the home screen of their mobile LMS as a feed for these short microlearning lessons, videos, and tidbits.

This is where you can push the most important and up-to-date information, products, and campaigns to retail employees.

A preview of Bigtincan's mobile-friendly feed.

In this way, not only does microlearning encourage better retention and learning of the lessons than longer traditional corporate training (as this scientific paper explains), but it also allows for repeated exposure and timely, efficient reminders and delivery of lessons from the brand to the employee.

Our LMS solution, Bigtincan Learning, was specifically designed to make it easy for brands to deliver microlearning based training to employees. 

For more information on how microlearning benefits your retail business and your trainees, and how Bigtincan makes it easy to implement, see our in-depth blog post on that topic, The Best Enterprise LMS 2.0 for Training and Knowledge Retention.

Just-in-Time Learning Allows for Faster Onboarding of New Hires

The quicker you get new hires clued up on the basics, and effectively selling on the shop floor, the better, right?

Just-in-time learning is another training method that helps you get retail employees up to speed much more quickly than standard retail training methods.

Standard methods typically involve a heavy dose of up-front training in the form of:

  • Group lectures (which require waiting until there are enough new employees to warrant a training).
  • Desktop-based video training content (typically long videos with short quizzes afterwards).
  • Paper handouts (that must be consumed on the employee’s own time).

These trainings aren’t as effective as microlearning (as explained above), and more importantly, they’re hard to reference on an ongoing basis.

For example, if a new employee is out on the floor and a customer asks a question about a pair of running shoes the employee must:

  • Remember that specific detail off the top of their head.
  • Try to go back and sort through hours of training to find the relevant information.
  • Ask their manager or someone else who knows the ins and outs of the shoes.

By contrast, with a learning solution like Bigtincan that’s designed for just-in-time learning, the employee can look up the information they need when they need it (thus the “just-in-time” moniker).

Of course, just-in-time learning requires specific functionality to work. We enable this learning method in Bigtincan with three specific features:

  • Mobile-first design that’s easily referenced on any device or operating system.
  • A robust, AI-powered search feature that scans the full text of each document or video transcript.
  • An intuitive interface that will suggest the next best training for every learner, based on their progress and your organization’s training requirements.

Examples of Microlearning and Just-in-Time Learning with Bigtincan

For example, if the employee in the above scenario were using Bigtincan, they could perform a quick search on any device for a specific shoe-related term, e.g. “running shoes,” and Bigtincan would bring up a “new shoe releases” document based on text within the document that mentions running shoes.

The employee could then answer the customers’ question immediately, and even offer to email them the document with a message noting which page to look at.

During onboarding, for example, you could create a short video on how to do just one task, like using the cash register (microlearning), then immediately have the new associate practice and implement what they have just learned (just-in-time learning).

This improves retention and has the benefit of quickly getting your new staff member to do exactly what you have hired them for.

Note that if the above sounds intimidating, you don’t actually have to go all in at once. You don’t need to buy devices for every employee. You could just get one tablet and use it for onboarding at the cash register.

Or, if you have a long video covering several topics right now, just flag some time-based reference points and use those for moments of microlearning.

The point is, a modern learning platform like Bigtincan Learning gives you flexibility to create more engaging learning paths for your users.

And if you’re not sure how to get started, just request a demo. We’ve helped other enterprise customers get started, and we can help you, too.

You can also take a more in-depth look at the technology behind Bigtincan’s LMS features in our blog post here.

Give Leaders Insights into Training Efficacy and Employee Progress

Besides engaging learners, Bigtincan’s LMS solution gives managers and leaders insights into training efficacy and the learning progress of every retail employee.

They can see which trainings are completed most regularly, how long it takes employees to complete the training on average, and which employees have completed each specific training.

Managers can also keep an eye on how far each employee is progressing along their learning pathway and receive alerts about who has or has not reached their training targets.

Managers can then see who is falling behind, and who is excelling in the training programs, and coach employees accordingly.

Improve and Track Engagement with Gamification

The gamification features of the Bigtincan LMS include a leaderboard for ranking progress, achievements, and assignments — opportunities to incentivize the learning journey for your employees.

Bigtincan retail LMS: Awareness Leaders ratings

How you use these features to incentivize your teams is up to you — you could base ‘employee of the month’ recognition on these metrics, or offer a prize to whoever finishes the retail training or compliance training with the best score.

No matter how you use these features, Bigtincan provides you with the information you need to recognize and reward successes, as well as to encourage anyone who might be slower getting through the training.

Customize the Bigtincan Interface to Match Your Brand

One of our customers’ favorite features about Bigtincan is the ability to customize the branding interface so it looks and feels like an app that was built for their brand from the ground up.

The following image shows what Bigtincan Learning looks like on a laptop without any modifications:

A preview of Bigtincan's retail LMS in action on desktop.

But practically everything you see can be customized using the Bigtincan Learning drag and drop editor:

Bigtincan makes it simple to customize branding, logos, and colors.

You can change the logo, colors, and layout to match your brand.

Besides the micro- and just-in-time learning features, this is one of the main reasons Bigtincan is used by seven of the top ten Fortune 500 brands, and calls companies like Campbell’s, Sony Playstation, and General Motors customers.

Two Case Studies of Enterprise Retailers using Bigtincan Learning

Here are two examples of major retailers using the Bigtincan platform to improve employee learning and retention:

#1. Global Sportswear Company

Bigtincan won a bid against another 50 service providers to supply its LMS software to a global sportswear apparel company with over 1,000 physical stores worldwide and tens of thousands of retail workers.

This global retailer, with a largely young workforce, had a high turnover rate of 40% and was using printed sheets, morning meetings, and a cork board at the back of each store to train its new hires and ongoing employees.

Bigtincan introduced a fully on-brand, custom-tailored app to provide streamlined and easily accessible training solutions on a single platform. The solution is available to all associates on a mobile device.

#2. Cosmetics Brand with More Than 2,000 Stores

A cosmetics and personal care brand with over 2,000 retail stores worldwide and tens of thousands of retail employees selected Bigtincan to train its retail associates.

It transitioned from e-learning courses with cumbersome slides and PDF’s offered on an in-store desktop computer to offering training on Bigtincan’s mobile learning app.

All retail training is now available both online and offline, at any time, on personal or business devices. And the best part is that the branded, custom-tailored app looks and works just like an in-house custom-built solution.

See How Bigtincan Could Work at Your Organization

An LMS properly optimized for the retail industry can help your employees quickly onboard and get up to speed on new product knowledge, retain more information, and improve customer service and sales.

To see how Bigtincan can help your organization, book a demo today.