How to improve product knowledge in retail

iStock-1292816584Retail customers want more than just friendly staff; they expect recommendations and excellent product knowledge. One study found that more than 50% of customers sought advice when they entered a shop. They wanted educated and engaged staff who could meet their needs.

In order to achieve high sales, your workforce must have a strong understanding of your products. One study found that retail associates who engaged with training sold 87% more than their colleagues who hadn’t. 

Here are seven ways you can ensure your retail training programme is effective.


Continual training

After just one day, people can forget up to 70% of what was taught in a training session. Regular training ensures product information remains fresh. Building daily training habits makes it easier to train staff when products are released or updated.



In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus published an experimental study about memory, which became known as Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. In this, he created the Forgetting Curve, showing how memory declines over time.

Repetition attempts to mitigate the effects of the Forgetting Curve by reinforcing information into the long-term memory.

When it comes to effective learning, however, repetition alone isn’t enough. Spaced Repetition is needed. This involves revising information at the right intervals – just as someone is due to forget it.



Product knowledge alone isn’t useful. Your staff need to be confident in that knowledge, enabling them to apply it whilst on the shop floor.

Certainty Based Marking (CBM) assesses both an employee’s knowledge and their confidence levels.This method exposes gaps in learners’ knowledge, clearly identifying “Misinformed” learners (employees who have high confidence in their poor knowledge) and “Aligned” learners (employees who have high levels of confidence and accuracy). 

Research suggests that asking learners to indicate their confidence levels stimulates a higher level of thinking. This safeguards against any potential knowledge gaps that could damage your organisation.


Make it fun

Gamification involves adding game-like elements into non-game contexts. These can include leaderboards, badges and points. This encourages staff to engage with their training. Employees can be motivated by fun elements, making it easier to create daily habits.



It is a good idea to incorporate assessments into your product knowledge training. They can demonstrate clear learner progression and highlight areas that staff may need further training on.


Bite-sized chunks

Microlearning breaks information down into small, manageable chunks, instead of long sessions. This helps your employees retain information.

After implementing microlearning, The North Face® saw a 74% increase in knowledge retention amongst employees, and also noted a 50% increase in items per customer basket.


It is important that you develop an effective product training programme to drive sales. Staff should be confident enough to assist customers and offer a positive shopping experience.

To do this, you should keep your training short and regular, and incorporate gamification elements to engage employees.




Why Wranx?

Wranx is a microlearning platform that helps employees build excellent product knowledge. Training can be completed on any device, at any time and in any location.

Our platform uses Spaced Repetition in the form of daily drills – a series of around 10 questions a day. These form part of a month-long module which is created by a team of content writers, giving you a bespoke training programme. Wranx also incorporates gamification elements and allows you to have pre and post-assessments.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 9 Aug, 2021