As the big day approaches, the buzz is building up. Big retailers like Walmart are especially notorious for riotous atmospheres on Friday the Black. Therefore, to help their staff handle the situation as smooth as possible, Walmart turns to Black Friday VR training.
Walmart is one of the earliest adopters of VR technology to be used in training. The recent news of Walmart nation-wide VR associate training is hitting the 1 million employees mark, each of whom display better information retention. Encouraged by the results, the company is raising the stakes by introducing the Black Friday VR training option.
‘The biggest advantage for us’, Brock McKeel from Walmart, ’is our associates. Anything we do to make our associates better, and help them take care of their customer, is an advantage for us’’. These words could have been cut from September this year when Walmart announced the nation-wide initiative to equip nearly 5000 stores with 17, 000 headsets. VR training is improving the results rather significantly. According to the retailer info, the retention rate has improved between 10% and 15% when compared to classic training methods. And it is way more fun for the associates, as well.
The headset of choice is of course Oculus Go; we say of course because, at $199 apiece, Go is arguable the best worth-your-buck Virtual Reality headset bucks can buy. In the spirit of Black Friday no doubt. Two Go-s go to every Neighborhood Market, while Supercenters get four of these.
VR’s biggest advantage over graphs and videos is that it can place associates right in the middle of the situation, any situation, and help them gain valuable insight. The Walmart Black Friday VR training simulation puts the employees right there, in the rush hour, having them adjust to the atmosphere and understand the BF expectations. For the proof that the Walmart brains are of the same sentiment we turn to Andy Trainor, the retailer Senior Director of the Academies. ‘The great thing about VR is the ability to make learning experiential. When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels that you actually experienced the situation’, he concludes. Not to mention that training facilitator can pause the action at any time and provide brief demos or hints right on the spot.
The training on so wide a scale is useful for developing the retail staff operation signature. This can be achieved only with all the associates going through the same training using the same tools. Walmart in fact boasts that their associates are going through the selfsame VR training, Black Friday or not, that their managers went through at the Walmart U.S. Academies. The goal is to level the knowledge gap and empower the associates to better deal with every situation.
Back to Black Friday. As the week is moving forward, the deal ads are popping out everywhere. More deals mean more customers. More customers and things can get a little heaty. Nice to see the battle plans. With the Black Friday VR training in place, Walmart can handle the craze.