Retail giant Walmart is rolling out virtual reality training programs to all of its 11,200 stores offering more than 1 million of its associates the same level of training. As of next month, each Walmart associated store will be given up to four Oculus Go headsets for training purposes.
The technology has already been trialled across 10 of its stores with the success of the trail leading to the storewide roll out.
"The great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential. When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels like you actually experienced a situation. We’ve also seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention while improving test scores by 10 to 15 percent – even those associates who simply watched others experience the training saw the same retention boosts,” said Andy Trainor, Walmart’s senior director of Walmart U.S. Academies.
The virtual reality training currently has 45 activity-based modules that provide training across three main areas – compliance, new technology and soft skills such as empathy and customer service. Walmart has said that the VR training is more effective as it allows its associates to make mistakes as they would in the real world and then learn from them.
This is not the first investment Walmart has made in technology. The company has employed the use of the Check Out With Me service which allows customers to adopt on the spot payments by finding an associate on the store floor and using a mobile payment system. The company also uses an app that allows employees to plan the use of upcoming paychecks, giving them the ability to plan saving goals and bill payments in advance. It also provides employees access to wages in advance for unexpected expenses.
Walmart is currently ranked number one of the Progressive Grocer’s Top Grocers of the United States list.