From virtual assistants to gamification, how ecommerce is using tech for training and development

Ecommerce companies are adopting technology to not only create productive and efficient workplaces but to also create inclusive workplaces.

The journey of ecommerce is closely intertwined with the history of modern technology. Explosive growth in technology coupled with rising consumer demand is propelling the ecommerce industry to its current heights and beyond.

As ecommerce companies try to cater to this growth, they are also attempting to create work conditions that make it easier to attract, train, and retain skilled workers. When it comes to the large workforce, the industry employs to pick, pack, process and deliver customer orders. Consequently, even as these companies continue to focus on technology innovations to help their customers, they are also pioneering tech-enabled competitive workspaces, allowing workers to learn, be empowered, and inspire others around them.

Notwithstanding technological advancements, people are the most valuable assets in an organisation. Integrating personnel—onboarding, training, and assimilation—is one of the most vital aspects serving to build strong links between them and the organisation. It has long-lasting effects on productivity, job satisfaction, and worker retention, and has the potential to deliver great customer outcomes if done successfully.

Ecommerce companies are also turning towards technology to optimise learning and development

However, traditional training and processes can often lead to new hires feeling overwhelmed with documentation, meeting new colleagues, and memorising redundant processes. To solve for this fatigue, companies are increasingly moving toward simplified and digital processes. For example, app-based learning platforms are being used for activities, such as new-hire orientation, continuous learning such as refresher courses to address knowledge gaps, on-demand learning, and performance-enhancement training. All of this leads to seamless onboarding and upskilling processes that do not require trainers to be on-hand and cause minimal disruptions to the overall workflow.

To ensure that new workers feel welcomed into the organisation, and are motivated and productive, companies are experimenting with virtual assistant technology to replace the traditional ‘Buddy’ system. For example, Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices containing standard questions for all inventory-facing functions are deployed across select fulfilment centres in India. This has resulted in a substantial reduction in the time required for individuals to assist and address queries of new associates.

Ecommerce companies are also turning towards technology to optimise learning and development, such as the use of AI-enabled learning management systems to create customised and adaptive training, and Gamification to bolster experiential learning. In particular, Virtual Reality (VR) is being used to improve the efficacy of the training methodology and evaluate personnel through assessment-based virtual experiences. With VR’s potential to create realistic, low-risk work scenarios, new hires can learn the requisite skills and procedures associated with their roles while also being actively involved in the training process. This contributes to improved memory retention, minimised learning curves, reduction in training hours, and a better hands-on and fun experience.

Further, ecommerce companies are adopting technology to not only create productive and efficient workplaces but to also create inclusive workplaces. Take, for example, Amazon’s partnership with SignAble, a virtual and interactive interpreter platform that facilitates effective communication and real-time troubleshooting for personnel with hearing and speech impairments. It helps them communicate with other colleagues by virtually connecting them with interpreters in real-time. In particular, SignAble has played an integral role in enabling people with disabilities to get their COVID-19-related safety queries answered by an associate in sign language. Such easy access to interpreters has significantly contributed to higher collaboration, strengthened morale, and a greater sense of purpose across the workforce.

Technology and various developments are changing the way people go about performing their jobs. Ecommerce companies thus are constantly evolving in order to meet the rising demands of consumers and the workforce. Technology is not only enabling ecommerce companies to adapt to evolving work environments, but is also creating the opportunity for personnel learning and development to be better than ever before. It is also facilitating accessibility and helping overcome barriers and challenges associated with conventional work environments. Technology has become the driving force behind the transformation of both individuals and companies, nurturing our future for the better.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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