Barlean’s has partnered up with Experticity to offer a unique online retailer education tool.

Natural products retailers can take a short course on topics like omega-3s, omega-7s and Barlean’s company history on a special training Web site. Upon completion, retailers will take an online test for the chance to rack up prizes and discounts for product purchases.

Experticity has offered similar educational tools for numerous companies, including some others in the natural supplements industry. “At Experticity, we focus on two key initiatives: building and rewarding expertise,” states Inga Johnson, senior vice president of marketing at Experticity. “To do so, we build content for retail sales associates designed to improve the conversation with the consumer...We then deliver this information in short, interactive formats with a gamified quiz element to help associates retain the knowledge and better speak to a product or brand’s key selling points.”

Members on the network can reach benchmarks that compare them against their peers, and course takers earn certifications on brands (like Barlean’s), take expert challenges and earn badges in certain categories (like nutrition). Says Johnson, “All of these efforts help members unlock specific brand discounts, sampling programs, or special incentives based on their performance.”

This type of training can be especially useful for retail stores. Experticity recently completed a study of 63,500 sales associates across 330 stores over two years. “The results, published by Dr. Marshall Fisher from the Wharton School of Business, showed that retail associates who completed a course sold 69% more than their peers who did not,” states Johnson.

It takes about five minutes to finish one session, which includes a content course and knowledge quiz. Says Johnson, “This five-minute timeframe has proven to be effective in holding attention and retaining knowledge on digestible chunks of information.”

At Expo West, attendees got a taste of the program with the Experticity Vending Machine featured in the Barlean’s booth. Retailers can contact their sales rep for more information on how to participate.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2015