Walmart uses virtual reality to train for Black Friday

Idaho Business Review – As retailers prepare for the traditional Black Friday start to holiday shopping, they are turning to a new tool: virtual reality. Walmart now offers virtual reality (VR) training in all 200 of its Walmart Academies, located in stores, which help provide a standard way of training the associates. Managers and market associates take the training as well as hourly staff and supervisors.

Employees who have undergone the training show a five to 10 percent increase in test scores over employees who have not taken it. Trainers use video, recorded at a Walmart electronics department during an actual Black Friday sale, to point out situations to a classroom and discuss how they should be handled. These could include safety issues, missing resources, and other potentially stressful situations.

VR is expected to be a big player in the world of retail. Goldman Sachs predicted in 2016 that the market for AR and VR in retail would reach $1.6 billion by 2025, while BRP Consulting’s 2018 Digital Commerce Survey found that 32 percent of retailers surveyed expected to implement virtual reality within three years.

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