Apparel Group Logo

How Apparel Group’s strategic onboarding program gets its frontline ready to deliver world-class CX

Enabled retail associates that go above and beyond

Apparel Group, a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate based in the UAE, serves millions of customers across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) every year. They operate over 2,000 retail locations in 14 countries and represent over 80 global brands. The award-winning organization is on a mission to make sure that their customers have exceptional, unforgettable, retail experiences every time they step into a store.

In order to continue surpassing the expectations of their diverse clientele, Apparel Group would need to revisit their approach to associate onboarding and training across their retail operations in the GCC.

Strategy + knowledge growth metrics = impact

By partnering with Axonify, Apparel Group was able to bring to life their vision of implementing a strategic approach to onboarding & training that also provided a way to track correlated knowledge growth and competency improvements to business impact.

Through Axonify, interactive digital onboarding and training programs were deployed as part of general onboarding and customized for unique sales associate roles.

They have achieved and maintained 91% participation and a training frequency of 4-5 times per week across all brands and delivered a total of 4,591 training ‘days’ in the first year alone.

As part of this comprehensive onboarding program, the New Joiner’s Path provided an immersive introduction to the company, its culture, values, language and key HR processes to ensure a smooth hiring process. Hand-in-hand with onboarding were the Sales Associate Paths-guided training programs for floor staff intended to teach them all about the retail customer experience, covering everything from the 4 Step Sales Process and loss prevention to in- depth product knowledge, styling advice and valuable guidance for visual merchandising.

These paths ensured that Sales Associates were equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to exceed expectations in all aspects of their role.

These paths were key parts of The Apparel Group’s On-The-Job (OTJ) training approach and gave associates a clear understanding of their new role and responsibilities as well as a single point of access to the product, brand and company knowledge that’s critical for them to deliver on and transcend expectations.

As an additional means of fostering company culture, driving continued engagement and enabling sales initiatives, Apparel Group created the Retail Hub community within the Axonify platform.

  • Impact
    8% increase in sales for Skechers brand
    20% increase in productivity across all brands
  • Behavior change
    2,133 behavior observations were completed, and 1,933 observations were marked as exceptional, scoring 100%
  • Knowledge growth
    Knowledge growth: 13%
    Baseline: 67% and Current: 80%
  • Engagement
    Participation rate 91%, 4 – 5 times a week on average 174K of extra training sessions

Apparel Group Store Associates

Here, associates could connect with stakeholders from across the company and team members at different locations and access content including sales topics from leadership in both Arabic and English.

Weekly sales challenges provided an opportunity for friendly competition and individual associates could be celebrated and recognized for their on-the-job accomplishments—all from one hub.

Apparel Group Device In Hand
“The platform is very interactive and informative, which keeps me motivated to look back on a daily basis and helps me improve my knowledge.”
– Youssera Daoudi, Store Manager, Calvin Klein

Big business results

The program and platform proved to be a perfect match.

Providing associates with on-demand access to learning content and resources through Axonify led to delivery of a total of 36,731 digital learning hours which if delivered in a traditional in-person format would have cost 5.9 million AED.

Nearly 2 million AED cost saving came from reducing their onboarding program from a 4-day to a 1-day classroom event. Cost savings included instructor time, facilities and logistics to provide the training and employee time savings spent on the platform rather than leaving the floor to attend training.

The improved quality of training and continued excellence of Apparel Group’s sales force also resulted in a 10% increase in overall business results and improvement in overall customer satisfaction.

  • 309K
    Introductory Topics completed
  • 221K
    # of Daily Sessions (3 Questions a Day = 663K questions)
  • 174K
    # of Extra Training Sessions
  • 36,731
    Learning Hours through Axonify (4,591 Training Days)
91% Participation
17x Frequency
5.9M AED Saved

With the adoption of Axonify, Apparel Group has seen a 20% growth in frontline productivity and the Skechers brand an 8% overall increase in sales. These numbers are proof positive that a strategic approach to learning is well worth the investment and effort required for its successful implementation.

Apparel Group also saw a 30% increase in the number of employees who completed learning activities and a 25% increase in time spent on the platform compared to traditional learning methods.

Using the comprehensive reporting in Axonify, Apparel Group was able to provide personalized recommendations for learning and development activities to make the experience more relevant and engaging for associates.

These recommendations led to an optimized flow of work that made it easier for staff to learn new skills and knowledge relevant to their job and reduce or eliminate time spent off the sales floor for training so they focus could stay focused on the customer experience.

Apparel Group Skechers Store

Skechers Logo

Person with checkmarkIncreased frontline
time to productivity

Chart icon8% overall
increase in sales

Blue skies ahead

Apparel Group's Retail Hub on a mobile device

With this experience, Apparel Group is setting its sights on identifying other areas for ongoing improvement while exploring additional tactics that could further improve its approaches. Things like employee events, rewards programs and self-directed learning initiatives that leverage new technologies, like Al and virtual reality to further enhance the learning experience of their teams, are next on the list.

The successful collaboration between Apparel Group and Axonify highlights the importance of learning in the flow of work combined with easy access to real-time insights that measure business impact.

This isn’t the end of their story but a continued commitment to explore and discover new and innovative ways to support the growth and development of their associates and a renewed dedication to the customers who make Apparel Group such a success.

Apparel Group Brand Logos

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