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2018 is looking promising, as the NZ economy settles post-election and Australian consumption growth remains subdued, but positive.

So what are the trends that we will see in the retail industry that will lead us into our new year?

  1. The customer experience takes precedence. Customers are vocalising their dissatisfaction over poor service. They have a choice, and won’t buy unless your team make an effort. Show you care.
  2. It’s not about technology. Tech is the enabler. Don’t let it get in the way of giving your customers great face to face service as mentioned in my first point. People are innately social. They like to have genuine, authentic conversations with salespeople.
  3. Your workforce is less loyal. They will move to another employer if you don’t train them and provide an employment pathway. They need the confidence to do a good job for you and they need to know what the parameters and expectations of them are.
  4. Sales culture wins. Your people have the power to increase basket size and loyalty. It happens from the top of the organisation. For those that are successful, it’s a way of thinking. It impacts everything they do, and you can feel it when you shop with them.

On the other side of the coin, e-learning has grown as an industry, however as with any emerging industry, it has its challenges.

  1. E-learning is confusing. The space is becoming crowded. Everyone pitches something different and it’s almost impossible to understand the tech speak and make educated decisions. The winners will be those that can clearly articulate what they do, and keep it simple.
  2. VR and AR. Has its place, however it’s hard to apply it to the mainstream. It’s still very expensive and in most cases, very rudimentary. It flies in the face of good learning pedagogy. It has a way to go.
  3. Outcomes vs. shiny buttons. Why are we like magpies when it comes to online learning? Past the fundamentals, most extra functionality adds complexity and is rarely used. Remember K.I.S.S. What are the goals of the learning? What are the outcomes you’re looking for? And what are the KPIs that you are trying to shift?
  4. Changing behaviour. When did that cease to be the goal? Many systems still lack the ability to verify behaviour change, so trainers and L & D professionals are frustrated and limited by the tools.
  5. Social. Nice idea, but most people don’t like to mix work and their private life. You might be able to engage some of your workforce, but how do you translate this to outcomes and ROI? Time will tell.

More to come on all of this throughout 2018! Stayed tuned and welcome to the New Year!