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ATD Blog

Retail Training: 3 Strategies to Improve Your Employees’ Product Knowledge

Friday, May 12, 2023

Do you have high-quality products, competitive pricing, and great-looking stores that people like to visit but wonder why your sales aren’t growing? Well, the reason may be that your sales associates have a poor understanding of your products.

Think of it this way: Would you return to a restaurant where your server didn’t know the menu well and couldn’t recommend a dish? Retail works the same way. If your employees don’t know your products and can’t answer product-related questions, your customers will choose your competitor.

To avoid this desperate situation, you must provide your staff with quality product knowledge training. Here are three strategies to help you turn your employees into product experts.

1. Make Learning Accessible 24/7

Thanks to modern technology, you no longer need to disrupt employees from their work to have them take a training program. You can deliver training online, thus making it available to your employees anytime and anywhere.

The easiest and most effective way to do this is with the help of a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is like an online university that’s available around the clock. It allows you to create training programs, enroll your employees in courses, and track their progress and results. You can also use the platform to store technical documentation, product catalogs, and other relevant information. With an LMS, your employees can learn at their convenience and find the necessary material when needed.


2. Create Engaging Learning Content

Training that is accessible anytime is great, but it won’t be as effective as desired if you provide boring and uninspiring content. Here are a few ways to make truly engaging learning materials:

  • Rely on various content types. Bring diversity into training by delivering content in different formats. For example, you can record videos about your products, build interactive media catalogs to help employees quickly navigate the products, or create short slide-based courses that will outline product features.
  • Incorporate assessments. Assessment drives learning: It’s an unavoidable truth familiar to us from childhood. Adding quizzes to your training program will not only let you know how well each of your sales associates knows a product but will also nudge your employees to learn the material better.
  • Focus on what matters. Don’t overload your staff with generic and irrelevant information that doesn’t help them perform better. Provide employees only with the knowledge that can be applied to the job.


3. Assign a Buddy

Employee training should start on the first day at work. It’s an important part of the onboarding program that must be prioritized in each company. The better the onboarding experience you provide, the more excited your employees will be to work harder and stay with you longer.

Implement a buddy system to help your new hires feel more welcome and become productive faster—having an “older sibling” is always supportive. Buddies will help new hires adapt to the workplace culture and address questions throughout the onboarding process.

Moreover, since buddies are typically seasoned employees who are fully familiar with company products, you can ask them to share their product knowledge with newcomers. Ask buddies to cover all product essentials, including their features, benefits, and use cases and explain how they work.


Retail customers want to interact with educated and engaged staff who can meet their needs—that’s why product training is so important. Moving it online is a cost-effective and flexible solution that can lead to improved performance, happier employees, and a higher return on investment (ROI). And you can make retail training even more effective and obtain quicker results if you combine e-learning with the buddy system.

About the Author

Helen Colman is an experienced content writer who has a love for writing and is passionate about eLearning. As a content strategist at iSpring, she explores trends and innovations in online training and collaborates with industry experts to provide insightful content that yields impactful results. In the iSpring blog you’ll find numerous posts by Helen about employee training and development and hands-on guides on instructional design.

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