Enhancing Retail Success: The Importance of Digital Skills
E-Learning Modules for Retail Workers
In today’s fast-changing world, technology is growing quickly, and what people like to buy is changing too. Stores are different now – there are physical ones and ones online. This change means that workers in stores need to learn new things. They need to be good at using technology to help customers and make sure everything runs smoothly. To do this, they need to learn digital skills. E-learning modules that teach these skills are very important because they help these workers learn and become better at their jobs. These skills are like a map that helps them succeed in the new world of retail.
Digital skills are not just about using tools; they also help workers make customers happy. Workers can understand what customers like and suggest things they might enjoy. This makes customers happy and more likely to come back. Workers also need to know how to manage different ways of selling, like in stores or online. Digital skills training helps them do this well.
As we look closer, there are some specific examples that show why learning digital skills are important for people working in stores today. These skills help workers connect the old and new ways of shopping, make shopping experiences personal for customers, handle different ways of selling, and help workers grow in their careers. So, let’s take a closer look at why e-courses that teach digital skills are a must for retail workers who want to do well in today’s technology-driven world of retail.
Adapting to How People Shop
People shop online a lot now. Retail workers need to know how to help customers online, like using websites and handling online payments. They also need to be good at both traditional and online ways of helping customers.
Getting Friendly with Technology
In the background, technology is changing how stores work. There are computer systems that manage what’s in stock and software that helps with sales. Digital skills e-learning courses can teach retail workers how to use these technologies easily, making things work better and reducing mistakes.
Making Customers Feel Special
Digital skills are not just about tools; they’re about making customers feel important. By understanding what customers like and using tools that keep track of their shopping habits, retail workers can suggest products that customers will love. This makes customers happier and more likely to come back.
Dealing with Different Shopping Channels
Retail is not just about one way of shopping anymore. People can shop in stores, on websites, and even on social media. Retail workers need to know how to keep everything smooth and consistent across these different channels. Learning digital skills helps them do this well.
Growing Careers with Skills
Learning digital skills isn’t just for now; it’s for the future too. Retail workers who know how to work with technology can get better jobs and move up in their careers. As retail keeps changing, these skills will become more and more valuable.
Retail is a tough business and being successful means staying ahead. Workers with digital skills can help stores be more creative and find new ways to attract customers. They can spot trends early and use technology to make the store better.
In conclusion, as the retail world changes because of technology, the skills that workers need must also change. E-learning courses that teach digital skills are crucial for stores that want to do well in this new time. By helping retail workers learn how to use digital tools, work with technology, and make customers happy, businesses can make sure they not only do okay but also do really well in the always-changing retail world.
Estonia (BCS), 09.08.2023
What is DigiComp and how is it connected with the project DigiSkill-Retail?
The Digital Competence Framework (DigComp) constitutes the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens that aims to reach a common European understanding of what digital competences are and help in the creation of policies related to digital skills’ development. The DigComp Framework establishes 5 main areas:
1. Information and data literacy; 2. Communication and collaboration; 3. Digital content creation; 4. Safety; 5. Problem solving.
Figure 1. DigComp 5 areas and the 21 specific digital competences [src: https://joint-research-centre.ec.europa.eu/digcomp_en]
These areas are further detailed into 21 competencies in total that are mapped with 4 overall and 8 granular levels, starting from foundation to highly specialized level.
Figure 2. DigComp progression levels [src: https://ictcertification.org/]
At the same time, the European Framework for Digital Competences for Educators (DigCompEdu) provides a general framework for the development of digital competences, and it is addressed to teachers at all levels of education. It contains 22 competences organized into six areas that explain how digital technologies can be used to enhance the educational process.
How are these 2 frameworks utilised in the DigiSkill-Retail project?
Digital skills have become essential in the retail sector. Sales assistants and retail salespersons need in-depth knowledge of the goods that they sell and know the latest trends in retail. Nowadays, it is more important than ever for retail workers to adopt an advertising policy through which they will not only inform their customers, but they will also maintain their image, create purchase incentives, and build trust with their clients and associates. Digital media also allows the exchange of ideas with colleagues or customers. Last but not least, it is observed that more and more retail companies set up their own online shop on various channels in order to boost their sales.
As part of the DigiSkill-Retail project, surveys were carried out in partner countries with people who are working either in VET education or in the retail sector. The aim of these surveys was to discover which competence deficits exist in retail regarding digital competences as they are mapped in DigiComp2.0 and DigiCompEdu Frameworks. Once the partners had collected all the information from their national surveys, they created a comparative competence matrix which weights the different competence deficits in each national context, as well as the different degree of development of the existing competences in the same contexts.
The DigiSkill-Retail project will use this competence matrix as a basis for the development of digital, practice-relevant micro-learning units for the enhancement of the digital skills and competences in the retail sector. The micro-learning units will be made available as open and free educational resources, accessible by all interested parties in the retail sector, through a dedicated e-learning platform. The results are expected to be released by mid-2024.
- EU Science Hub – Joint Research Centre. Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu). European Commission.
- DigiSkill-Retail (2023). Development and Use of flexible and digital tools for increasing digital skills of vocational students and employees in retail trade. Competence matrix on skills gaps for trade
- Directorate-General for Employment, social affairs, and inclusion (2019). DigComp: The European Digital Competence Framework. Brussels. EU Publications. European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=8203&furtherPubs=yes
- Joint Research Centre (2017). DigComp Framework. EU Science Hub. Luxembourg. European Commission.
E-learnigs develops digital competences of apprentices and are welcome in vocational education and training.
In a current project of the zbb „digiskill-retail“, the focus is on the development of digital learning units for apprentices and employees in the retail sector in vocational education and training. For this purpose, 12 comparative case studies on qualification deficits with regard to digital competences in retail were surveyed among educational personnel.
In Germany, a zbb virtual focus group meeting was held on 25. April 2023 with representatives from educational institutions, vocational schools and retail companies to share and discuss these findings. At the beginning of the focus group meeting there was a short introduction to the digiskill-retail project.
The main topics of debate were:
Do you agree with the individual results from the expert interviews? What do you see differently? The participants of the focus group confirm a good technical equipment at the three learning locations vocational school, educational institution and company. Apprentices can use tablets and promote their digital skills. There are also digital elements in the lessons. Nevertheless, regular training on digital media should take place.
Where do you see the advantages in using the e-learning units in the classroom (teachers/trainees)? And Is the use of the e-learning units with the identified main topics beneficial for the development of digital skills (teachers/trainees)? The participants agreed that the use of e-learning for digital skills training is beneficial. The project manager added that there is a limited supply of trade-specific e-learning units and they are also difficult to find. The need is therefore given and confirmed. The teaching staff supported this statement and thinks that the use of e-learning in the classroom is necessary. The change of teaching methods is important and creates added value. Providing short, small units for apprentices in class promotes digital competences for apprentices.
What other topics are you missing or would you still like to see in order to implement the topic of e-learning in the classroom in a sustainable way? Topics such as online commerce, complaints, exchanges and customer advice are only a small part that can be taught using e-learning units. E-learning on the topic of the multiplication of three, percentage and average calculation or legal and operational regulations of sales contracts would additionally support the teachers in imparting knowledge. Furthermore, customer service via digital communication channels is important and up-to-date. Here, deficits in spelling, grammar and expression were evident among trainees. This was also confirmed by the participants in the focus group and they agreed that this could be included as another thematic focus in the e-learning.
How do you assess the willingness of teachers and apprentices to use the developed e-learnings? Overall, the willingness of the teachers to use e-learning in the classroom was assessed as very high by the participants. The use of e-learning brings variety into the lessons. For the pupils, this use also had a problem-solving effect. Through the use of e-learning, learners can be picked up when they are absent from class or have problems with the subject matter. In this case, e-learning is supportive. In addition, they help the apprentices to prepare better for the corresponding examinations. As a result, e-learning should be increasingly integrated into the training process as well as into teaching, and the needs of small enterprises should not be forgotten. These companies in particular need support in this area.
Berlin (zbb), 03.05.2023
Start of the new project! – Kick-off meeting in Berlin
On 14 October 2022, the kick-off meeting for the zbb’s Erasmus + project „digiskill-retail“ took place with all partners in Berlin. The roadmap for the project has been set and the first steps for the implementation of the individual work packages have been discussed. Overall, it was a very successful start for the zbb as project coordinator with an intensive exchange between all partners!
With the results from the project, the zbb promotes the increase of digital competences and skills of trainees as well as employees in the retail sector. To this end, 40 to 60 retail-specific e-learning units are being developed that correspond to the current level and future needs of the activity profile in the two main occupations of salesperson and retail clerk. The e-learning units are to be used in a variety of ways in the sense of flexible application possibilities both in the national and in the European educational landscape of retail. Furthermore, the use of digital tools during vocational training supports and promotes the professional competences of teachers and trainers.
Berlin (zbb), 14.10.2022