Career Development

What Does a Retail Salesperson Do?

Find out what a retail salesperson does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a retail salesperson.

Retail salespeople are the face of many companies. They interact with customers on a daily basis and help to build relationships between these companies and their clients. Retail salespeople typically work hard to ensure that their company’s products or services are presented in the best possible light.

Retail Salesperson Job Duties

A retail salesperson typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining an awareness of current trends in fashion and style to suggest products that will appeal to customers
  • Presenting product information to customers, answering questions about products, and suggesting related products
  • Performing cash register functions such as ringing up purchases, processing credit cards, and collecting payments from customers
  • Selling merchandise such as clothing, appliances, or electronics to customers in stores or through online sites
  • Providing excellent customer service by demonstrating knowledge of products and services offered, providing product information, answering questions, resolving complaints, and resolving problems
  • Maintaining an inventory of products and recording price changes to ensure that prices are correct throughout the store
  • Providing customer service by helping customers find what they need, answering questions about products, and suggesting additional items based on preferences and interests
  • Making sure that the store is clean and well organized, including arranging merchandise on shelves, using mannequins to display clothing, setting up displays, and arranging window displays
  • Reporting inventory levels to supervisors so that stock can be replenished as needed

Retail Salesperson Salary & Outlook

Retail salesperson salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)

The employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Growth in e-commerce should lead to more retail sales, as online shoppers buy products from their computers, tablets, and smartphones. However, this growth may be offset by automation in some areas of retail establishments, such as self-checkout lanes at stores.

Retail Salesperson Job Requirements

A number of qualifications are often necessary to become a retail salesperson, which may include:

Education: Retail salespersons are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer a candidate who has completed a degree program in sales or business.

Training & Experience: Retail salespeople typically receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning the store’s layout, products and policies. It may also include shadowing a current salesperson to learn the basics of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not generally required for this role. However, certification can give you a competitive edge over other candidates and demonstrate your skills and ambitions to prospective employers.

Retail Salesperson Skills

Retail salespeople need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for retail salespeople to build relationships with customers. You should be able to communicate effectively with customers to understand their needs and find the right products for them. You should also be able to communicate with your coworkers to get customer information, process transactions and answer questions.

Product knowledge: Product knowledge is the ability to answer customer questions about the features and benefits of a product. It’s important to know the details of the products you sell so you can answer customer questions and help them find the right product for their needs. You can learn product details by reading product information, talking to a manager or asking other sales representatives for information.

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to understand and meet the needs of customers. Retail salespeople should have excellent customer service skills to help customers find the right products and answer any questions they have about the products. Customer service skills can also help you build relationships with customers and encourage them to return to the store.

Problem-solving skills: Retail salespeople are often faced with challenges that require them to think quickly and develop solutions. For example, if a customer is unhappy with their purchase, a salesperson may need to find a way to make them happy again. This may involve offering a refund or exchanging the product. Being able to solve problems quickly and effectively can help you build strong customer relationships and increase sales.

Organization: Organization is a necessary skill for retail salespeople. You should be able to keep track of your customers’ information, including their names, phone numbers and email addresses. You should also be able to keep track of your store’s inventory and sales records. Organization skills can help you be more efficient and effective in your job.

Retail Salesperson Work Environment

Retail salespersons work in a variety of settings, including department stores, clothing stores, drugstores, and grocery stores. They may also work in nontraditional places such as kiosks in malls or temporary stores set up during holiday seasons. Most retail salespersons work full time, and many work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some salespersons may work on commission, which means that they are paid a percentage of the value of the merchandise they sell. In general, the more experience a retail salesperson has, the higher his or her earnings will be. Retail salespersons must be able to deal with the public, which can be challenging at times. They must also be able to stand for long periods of time and lift and carry heavy boxes of merchandise.

Retail Salesperson Trends

Here are three trends influencing how retail salespeople work. Retail salespeople will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Digital Shopper

The rise of the digital shopper is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, retailers are having to adapt their strategies in order to stay competitive.

This trend is especially important for salespeople, who need to be able to understand how to sell products online. They need to be familiar with the different platforms that customers use to shop, as well as the best ways to market products online.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As businesses focus more on customer experience, salespeople will need to focus on providing a positive experience for customers. This means that salespeople will need to be knowledgeable about the products they are selling, as well as the company’s policies and procedures.

In addition, salespeople will need to be able to communicate effectively with customers in order to understand their needs and provide solutions that meet those needs. This requires strong interpersonal skills and an understanding of what makes customers tick.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the retail industry. This is evident in the increasing use of technology in stores, such as self-checkout lanes and electronic shelf labels.

As technology becomes more prevalent in retail, salespeople will need to learn how to use it to their advantage. This includes learning how to use software to track sales and manage inventory, as well as using social media to connect with customers.

How to Become a Retail Salesperson

A career in retail sales can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the business world. It offers the opportunity to learn about different industries, develop customer service skills, and build relationships with suppliers.

The best way to start your career in retail is by getting experience in different stores. Try working for different retailers that sell different products. This will give you a better understanding of what sells well and what customers want. You should also take advantage of any training opportunities offered by your employer.

Related: How to Write a Retail Salesperson Resume

Advancement Prospects

Retail salespersons can advance to positions with more responsibility, such as assistant manager or store manager. Some salespersons become buyers or purchasing agents for their store or for a group of stores. Some open their own retail establishments.

Many experienced retail salespersons move into other occupations, such as customer service representative, insurance sales agent, or real estate broker. Some become self-employed as independent consultants or sales representatives.

Retail Salesperson Job Description Example

Are you passionate about fashion and love helping people find the perfect outfit? Do you have an outgoing personality and thrive in a fast-paced environment? If so, we want you to join our team!

We are looking for a retail salesperson to join our team and provide excellent customer service to our clients. As a retail salesperson, you will be responsible for greeting customers, helping them find the perfect item, and processing transactions. The ideal candidate will have previous experience working in retail, be able to work well under pressure, and have a strong sense of fashion.

If you are a people person with a passion for fashion, we want you on our team!

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Greet customers in a friendly and professional manner
  • Assist customers with finding the products they are looking for
  • Answer customer questions about products, pricing, and availability
  • Offer suggestions and advice to customers based on their needs
  • Help customers complete their purchase transactions
  • Process payments and handle returns/exchanges
  • Stay up-to-date on product knowledge and current promotions
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area
  • Stock shelves and displays as needed
  • Complete opening and closing duties as assigned
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures
  • Provide outstanding customer service at all times

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven customer service experience in a retail setting
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Flexible availability for evenings and weekends
  • Basic math skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher in business, marketing, or related field
  • 1-2 years of retail sales experience
  • Experience working with POS systems
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite
  • Strong merchandising skills

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