Walmart Using VR To Train Staff

Walmart working partnership with STRIVR to roll out VR to training centres in US.

There are some situations that can’t be adequately prepared for and only experience can teach people what to do. Some who have worked in retail would say that is the case for situations such as the mad rush of Block Friday or the run up to Christmas. Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retailers, is seeking to address this by using virtual reality (VR) to teach its staff.

Working in partnership with STRIVR, a VR start-up company that has previously worked with colleges and professional athletes, Walmart have developed a 360-degree video training program that includes various scenarios related to areas such as customer service, management or the Black Friday rush. The program offers the trainees on-screen cues inviting them to make decisions based upon the scenarios they encounter.

The training program began after STRIVR met with Walmart and began a pilot scheme in January 2017 which was rolled out to 30 Walmart training centres, which was used to fine-tune the VR experiences to make sure they were meeting the requirements of Walmart staff. The VR training programs last from 30 seconds to five minutes, and act as a complement to traditional training methods.

The STRIVR VR instruction program is being rolled out to all 200 of the ‘Walmart Academy’ training centres to help educate the estimates 150,000 employees of the retail chain that go through the training each year. Walmart management hopes that by the end of the year each training centre will have an Oculus Rift headset and high-end gaming PC to run the VR training content.

STRIVR CEO Derek Belch told TechCrunch: “We don’t do anything that is not a good use case for VR,” he said. “We have experiences for the lowest-level bagger all the way up to the store management. When you have literally the biggest company in the world as your first enterprise customer, that’s kind of a big deal.”

VRFocus will continue to bring you news on VR in training and education.

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