Retail Training: The Right Content for In-Store Employees

Not Providing Retail Training is Costly

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you create excellent retail training content but no one reads it, does it make an impact? Retail training content is extremely important at every retail location. Depending on the context, you may have to get training materials out to different store employees for a variety of reasons and urgencies.

Importance of Retail Training

Not training retail employees is costly. How costly? Monster reports that most retail organisations can increase sales by 15 to 20 percent through effective training. But retail training is only effective if the right content is delivered to employees on time.

Welcoming and Onboarding New Employees

Everyone wants to feel appreciated when starting a new job or transferring to a new position. The Retail Doctor suggests developing a solid foundation when training retail employees. Customers are less likely to return if their basic questions are not met by retail employees.  Be sure to provide new employees with retail training content and someone to shadow for the first day. This seems like an obvious piece to the puzzle, but onboarding new employees with relevant content and a mentor sets a precedent. From day 1, these employees will understand what to expect from your brand and what your brand expects of them.

Preparing for Turnover

Retailers expect high turnover. Turnover means new employees and new store managers in many different locations. Given its revolving door frequency, an entire in-store retail team could be on the job for less than a year. Welcoming and onboarding new employees with retail training is one step to lowering retail employee turnover. Yet, investing in ongoing retail training will make employees more loyal.

Some degree of turnover is natural when running any type of business. But what happens if a manager leaves the store? Whoever assumes their position should also be given access to training. Are you able to truthfully say that all of the management training materials are at a store? Unless you visit the store yourself, probably not. Make sure that new managers have their employee handbook, benefits guide, and any other content pertinent to doing their job well.

Demonstrate Your Brand, Locally

Each store location should feel like one brand. How your employees interact and engage with customers demonstrates the retail brand. “By giving the same level of care and attention to associates, they recognise the importance they play in promoting the brand,” explains eLearning Industry, “and they see that you acknowledge how important they are in bringing the brand to life.”

Your retail locations may look the same at each store, but does your retail training? Retail training and its materials should not differ from location to location. Give each employee an equal opportunity to grow their skills. Support new store openings with the appropriate retail training content.

Training for Crises

Planning for crises is an unfortunate part of retail. An immediate response is necessary in the event of a major crisis. The best way to avoid a crisis is to implement crisis prevention in retail training. Crises are costly and can do serious damage to any brand. If a crisis does happen, be sure to address the issue with protocols and training specific to the issue at hand. Since customers expect a quick resolution, your response should be quick and efficient.

Put Retail Training Responsibility on Retail Management

Putting Responsibility on Retail Management

Imagine this scenario:  You created excellent retail training content. It covers all the topics above in addition to standard processes, customer service procedure, and retail sales training. You sent it to all your retail locations, but you haven’t heard anything since.

Ensure that retail management takes responsibility when receiving retail training documents and other materials. Your employees are the face of the brand. Communicate to your stakeholders that this millstone lies with retail management to be prepared to go over new training procedures.


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