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JP Parker By JP Parker • March 16, 2017

Animation based training is getting easier to produce every day.

Using animated training to change Sales Associate behaviours in retail.

 

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, right?  Working with thousands of Sales Associates every day through specialist online training, Myagi has learnt that the only way to get across really important messages is to deliver them in a way that can’t be ignored.

So how did our client, Nikwax- creators of some of the world best waterproofing and garment aftercare ensure that this important profit centre wasn’t an afterthought for retail sales associates.

In collaboration with Wyzowl our specialist animation partners, we worked on a project with Nikwax to change Sales Associate behaviour in some key national retail accounts.

The brief was simple- To grab audience attention and explain how to introduce Nikwax, making the product integral to the sales process, thereby changing the Sales Associate’s perception of the brand in an entertaining way they wouldn’t forget.

The format was never in doubt- Video, as the format of choice was no surprise. We're all watching more video, whether at home, at work or in between.  It makes sense that this trend should filter into the way we learn. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.

The delivery channel was in place-  Offering online on demand learning requires 50-60% less employee time to complete while offering knowledge retention rates of 25-60% (compared to just 8-10% for face-to-face training.)  Nikwax recognised this some years ago and quickly adopted Myagi as their partner for online retail training.

We offer effortless content sharing directly to the hands of Sales Associates. Delivered in a fun and engaging way through our app, we help hundreds of brands like Nikwax reach their advocates when and where it matters, at the point of sale. The viewer gets to enjoy great content whilst learning useful bitesized skills to help master the customer experience.  A comprehensive analytics support suite keeps both retailer and brand informed of learning activity from store team down to the individual, allowing critical metrics to be applied to skills development.

So the big question was the content?

Who could forget the appallingly cheesy scenario based training of the 1980s and 1990s? These videos were valuable and ground breaking, but were so toe-curlingly awful to watch.

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Many of today's brands shoot product demos which talk the learner through key attributes and features. 

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These videos are designed to give sales associates the product knowledge they need to feel confident and assured in selling.  They can be produced really inexpensively using professional-grade cameras incorporated into most modern smartphones.  But still, it requires skill and not a little confidence from the host, plus initially at least production can a bit daunting.


 

Walt Disney famously said,Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive, a statement as true today as ever it was.

 

Once considered pretty much 'off limits' due to high prices and lack of in-house skills, animated content is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible.  This creates an opportunity for brands.

Product knowledge is key, but, in the retail environment, behaviour is every bit as important. Timing, wording, tone-of-voice are all incredibly important in educating, converting and convincing a customer.  Animated video is incredibly flexible, producers are able to craft the perfect scenery, the perfect cast of characters and the perfect story without having to close a store or hire a single actor. And that story is packaged inside a media type that's engaging and fun to watch.

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The animation shows a sales associate selling Nikwax in a store environment. No actors, no stores, no awkward acting. Just a professionally recreated scenario which is fun and interesting to watch, while encouraging sales associates to focus on the behaviours and techniques that will help them sell the product as effectively as possible.

 

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The short video also uses diagrams which can help demonstrate specifically how a product works in a way that wouldn't be possible by just holding it up to a camera.

Working with Myagi, Nikwax launched this module to 3 national outdoor retailers. With thousands of lessons completed, we've changed the level of retail knowledge in store, improved results and importantly delight more customers through better performing garments with extended lifetimes.

Moreover, with a built in option for learners to offer feedback on the content, it’s not only the Sales Associate that learns from this process! Here is some feedback that came to us via our app:

 

Great idea by Nikwax,” wrote one learner. “Pop up challenges that can be transferred with ease to customer interactions.”

It was a smart way of doing it,” wrote another. “A lot more interesting than some awkward man stood in front of a camera with a bottle. I think the results will show this is a more effective way of training, because it shows you the scenarios.”

 

IN SUMMARY-

Video forms a crucial part of our lives and is absolutely crucial in delivering engaging learning experiences for retail sales associates its well suited to online delivery, is perfect for bitesized interaction and is proven to educate and engage Sales Associates- who in turn delight customers in store.

Meanwhile, the falling cost of animation and availability of specialist advice from companies like Wyzowl has opened up a whole new area for content creation in retail and brand sales training.

We are running a free short webinar on how different types of content can influence behaviours, featuring speakers from both Nikwax who commisioned this piece and Wyzowl the producer.  As part of our informative series on Sales Associate learning- this session will bring together the three keys elements - Subject, Content and Delivery.

For more details, CLICK HERE