Learn how 3D assets can take your product training to the next level.
Anyone who’s participated in or led a product training session for sales associates is familiar with the limitations of the conventional video formats to convey the look and feel of a product. Video overviews and spec sheets leave much to be desired in terms of engagement and efficacy. The dismal numbers on both ends of the equation — employee and customer satisfaction — bear this out. Nearly half (45%) of retail workers rate their training as ineffective, according to a report by Retail Touchpoints. Meanwhile, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported a nearly two-decade low in customer satisfaction in 2022.
Embracing Form and Function in Brand Training
This is a classic form-and-function problem; when educating people about a product, the best tool for the job is the product itself. Occasionally, logistics prevent this possibility.
Sometimes products are too cumbersome for a training manager to lug around multiple locations, or there are too many to bring them all. Other times, production timelines aren’t synced with training schedules; the product is simply unavailable when sales associates are being educated about it.
But even when products are part of training, the features are often too complex to be deeply understood by sales associates. The features at the center of sales strategies are in the architecture of the product — the logic of its design — go unlearned.
Avoiding Omnichannel Breakdowns
Take for example a running shoe. Let’s look at the description a customer would come across on a brand’s website:
“The ninth iteration of our award-winning Clifton franchise has launched, lighter and more cushioned than ever before. Eliminating weight while adding 3mm in stack height, the new Clifton 9 delivers a revitalized underfoot experience with a responsive new foam and improved outsole design. Removing overlays and hotmelts, the stripped back upper has been consciously crafted with a plusher heel, reflective heel panel, and streamlined tongue with single side medial gusset.”
Phew! There’s a lot to unpack. It’s hard to imagine even an experienced runner being fluent in this product design language, much less someone who only runs casually or is looking to start. In today’s hybridized shopping environment, a likely scenario is one in which someone reads the description online and decides to go check it out in-store to see what all this “streamlined tongue with single side medial gusset” is all about.
Retail managers often express nostalgia for a time when many of their sellers had existing expertise in the product and describe the difficulty of finding such associates now. Today, the average sales associate at a shoe retailer only knows as much as they’ve been trained on. In this situation, often the best scenario is the associate has memorized the same language the shopper saw online and can’t do much other than repeat it. This is an omnichannel breakdown. The customer gets no additional value from the in-store touchpoint.
The Potential of 3D Modeling
So how can associates actually learn deeply about products to better help customers? The solution is simpler than most retailers and brands realize. In fact, they already have it: 3D product models.
Many brands and retailers don’t realize they’re sitting on a training goldmine. These models already exist, but they’re impossible to use when brands and retailers lack a scalable platform to share them with. As customer expectations continue to soar in tandem with sales associate attrition, training has never been more important. Now is the perfect time to put these valuable resources to use.
A company like VNTANA, a 3D content management system for 3D and augmented reality experiences allows any business to easily share 3D designs with internal and external stakeholders. Just like Vimeo and YouTube make it easy to share and embed Video, VNTANA makes it easy to share and embed 3D and AR. But how can these models be integrated into retail and brand training programs? That’s where a tool like Myagi comes in. Brands and retailers are already centralizing resources in retail enablement platforms like Myagi’s to scale training and create networks of brand advocates. The potential for reimagining brand training by incorporating 3D models is profound. Below, is a primer on the benefit of this technology pairing.
Facilitating Deeper Knowledge Transfer and Retention
When it comes to knowledge transfer, the primary difference between conventional training outcomes and what 3D modeling offers is depth and retention. Immersive learning places learners at the center of the experience, transforming them from passive recipients of information into active participants. By actively participating in their own learning journey, sales associates become more motivated, focused, and receptive to the knowledge being conveyed.
3D models enable sales associates to effortlessly rotate, zoom, and interact, allowing them to develop real expertise in the product. As a result, they’re able to articulate value propositions with clarity and conviction.
In the running shoe example above, for instance, a sales associate who’d had a chance to explore the nitty gritty of all those details might’ve been able to illustrate how they all work together in the shoe. In fact, the sales associate might even decide to use the 3D model to showcase the shoe’s features, since they have it handy on their brand training platform:
Customer: Hi, I'm interested in the Clifton 9 running shoe that I saw on your website. Can you tell me more about its features and what sets it apart from the previous versions?
Sales Associate: Absolutely! Let me give you a closer look at the Clifton 9. The sales associate pulls up their Myagi brand training app featuring a 3D model of the Clifton 9.
Sales Associate: Here we have the Clifton 9, the ninth iteration of our award-winning Clifton franchise. It’s been redesigned to be lighter and more cushioned. The sales associate zooms in on the shoe's midsole and points to the 3mm increase in stack height.
The Clifton 9 is going to shed weight while adding 3mm in stack height. The shoe also has a responsive new foam that provides better cushioning. That offers a more comfortable ride throughout your runs. The sales associate demonstrates the shoe's cushioning properties by virtually compressing the midsole on the 3D model.
The outsole design has been improved for better traction and durability. The sales associate rotates the 3D model to highlight the enhanced tread pattern on the outsole.
Customer: That sounds impressive! I appreciate the detailed explanation and being able to visualize the shoe's features. I think I'm ready to try on a pair of Clifton 9s.
Scaling Existing High Quality Training Resources
Instead of investing time and resources into creating new training materials from scratch, companies can capitalize on their existing 3D models, leveraging the investments already made in their creation. This approach allows for a streamlined and efficient process, minimizing additional costs associated with content development.
Utilizing existing 3D models for training enables rapid deployment of training programs. Companies can leverage these models to create immersive and interactive training experiences without lengthy development cycles. The familiarity with the 3D models allows for faster integration into the training curriculum, reducing the time required to roll out new training initiatives.
Moreover, this approach provides scalability, allowing organizations to train larger cohorts of employees simultaneously, regardless of geographical locations. By eliminating the need to start from scratch, companies can deliver training efficiently, ensuring consistent and standardized learning experiences across the board.
By avoiding the need to create new models specifically for training, companies can allocate their resources more efficiently. The costs associated with 3D modeling, such as hiring designers or investing in specialized software, are already accounted for in the creation of the original models. Reusing these assets eliminates the need for additional expenditures, making training both more effective for sales associates and more cost-effective for organizations.
For those eager to unlock the potential of 3D modeling and augmented reality experiences, VNTANA is the answer. Their cutting-edge content management system simplifies the sharing and embedding of 3D designs, just like Vimeo and YouTube do for videos. With VNTANA, you can effortlessly integrate 3D models into your retail and brand training programs, taking your training to new heights.
Myagi, the leading retail enablement platform, complements VNTANA's capabilities by centralizing resources and creating networks of brand advocates. With Myagi, you can scale your training efforts and empower your sales associates with deep product knowledge. Say goodbye to omnichannel breakdowns and hello to customer satisfaction.
The time is now to tap into the treasure trove of training resources your brand possesses. Take the leap with VNTANA and Myagi. Unleash the potential of immersive learning and empower your sales associates to become true brand ambassadors. Get started today and witness the impact firsthand.