The retail industry is one of the most complex and competitive and, according to a recent report, it is facing some major challenges that will push many suppliers and retailers to the brink. So what are these challenges and what can be done about them? What can you do in order to break away from your competitors?

Key points

A recent report by a food and consumer goods research company gives those involved in the retail industry plenty of food for thought. Below are some key points from it:

  1. Suppliers and retailers are under tremendous financial pressure due to the continued decrease of in-store prices.
  2. Due to the increased financial pressure, businesses are looking for new ways to be efficient and better ways of getting things done.
  3. In the midst of this skills are vital. They may make the difference between success and failure for both retailers and suppliers.
  4. As a result of these factors, 82% of retailers and suppliers intend to place greater focus on building the skills of their teams over the next three years.
  5. For retailers, the top three skill development priorities are:
    • Taking a strategic view and understanding the whole business
    • Specific professional and technical skills
    • Keeping up to date with market changes
  6. For suppliers, the skills are:
    • Deep understanding of the mindset of consumers
    • Taking a strategic view and understanding the whole business
    • Communication, listening and negotiation

Essentially, if the retail industry was a race, then the current economic climate means that each team needs to make their vehicle perform better without spending more money. The answer is therefore to improve the skills of the driver. This means that both retailers and suppliers are looking to refine the current skills and impart new skills to their existing staff. This requires training, and not just any training, but training that imparts these business-boosting skills effectively.

Typically, this requires a lot of time away from practical work for employees and logistical as well as organisational costs. As much as we would all profess to love quality training, these factors alone can be enough to taint our view of it. 

There is another way

What if you could reduce time away from tasks as well as the costs of training without compromising its quality or effectiveness? By moving it online. Here are a few key reasons why:

Accessible and concise. The accessible nature of online training means that users can access it from any device at any time. When this is combined with the concise nature of many training modules, it means that employees spend less time away from directly productive work.

Money-Saving. All of the organisational and logistical costs of training are reduced significantly when it is moved online (read more about the benefits of online training to trainers).

Engaging. Every single employee can be engaged by quality online training. The interactivity of quality training improves skill and knowledge retention, meaning that the user can't breeze through modules; they have to participate and interact in order to succeed (read about making online training interesting and interactive).

Retain Customers. Staff that know how and why to keep customers happy provide better service, and excellent customer service creates loyal customers (you can read more about improving customer retention through training).

Retailers and suppliers are looking to skills, and therefore training, to help them flourish and get ahead of their competitors. So if you want to know more about how to leave your competitors in your wake then contact a member of our team.

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