The modern world revolves around the retail sales culture. A company depends on its retail sales to stay afloat and make a profit. Sales assistant responsibilities include methods to make the sales process smooth. It’s a common saying that the “customers know best”. While the statement is presumptuous in a sense, it still portrays the retail sales environment accurately. Of course sales depend on a lot of factors such as product integrity and marketing initiatives. At the end of the day these factors will make little difference if the sales assistants don’t make the cut
If you are looking to pursue a career in retail the first job will be that of a sales assistant. To be frank it’s a demanding job both physically and mentally. With that in mind if you still think retail is your place then read on to find out what it means to be a sales assistant.
Who are Sales assistants
Sales assistants are a crucial cog in the sales process. Not only do they help customers with purchases but also ensure the smooth running of the store. Sales assistant responsibilities are as numerous as they are essential. Retail customers are a demanding class that require attention while at a store. Sales assistants showcase the variety and quality of products to the customer to help them make the right choice.
All these criteria make the sales assistants job one of the toughest in the 21st century. In 2018, about 400,000 individuals worked as permanent sales representatives while more than 900,000 worked part-time in the UK according to Statista.
The sales assistant job has some standard requirements you must meet to qualify. Although the requirements vary the process can be divided into 3 ways,
a. Through college degree
b. Apprenticeships/ Volunteering
You can work as an apprentice or volunteer at a store for experience and put in a word for permanent employment
c. Direct applications
You can drop a direct application with a cover letter featuring relevant experience and necessary skills. Keep in mind though, the chances of landing a job with direct application without previous experience are slim to none.
Sales Assistant Responsibilities and Duties
A sales assistant plays numerous roles. Instead of creating a broad list of duties we’ve categorised the responsibilities into two broad sections. As a sales assistant you will have to intermittently alter between these duties throughout the work week. Being good at any one of these is just not enough. So if you think you need to work on your capabilities we recommend you do so beforehand. Here are the sale assistants responsibilities in depth,
A sales representative’s first and foremost duty is to tend to the customers. The shelf jungles at retail stores is a challenge for customers to navigate and find what they’re looking for. Customers can come into your store for any number of reasons so be prepared. To summarise your responsibilities would be,
The second sort of responsibilities you’ll have to complete are store oriented. They include,
Apart from the various responsibilities you learned in the previous section, there are certain skills that you must possess. These skills are meant to aid you in carrying out the duties of sales assistant efficiently. To list a few of these skills,
1. Have an engaging and polite personality.
2. Be comfortable in public settings.
3. Possess confident mannerism.
4. Keep helping mindset
5. Be physically fit
6. Have a comprehensive understanding of your area of sales products
7. Be a team player
8. Have sufficient knowledge of inventory techniques.
9. Have a tidy and smart appearance
10. Know how to be articulate
Retail is a vast world of opportunities and the prospects are lucrative for those who meet the sales assistant responsibilities. You could find work as a sales assistant in a store, stock room, garden centre or at a garage. Wherever you join the responsibilities are quite similar.
You could start your job with a retailer intermediate apprenticeship. You could even apply for a job directly if you have necessary experience such as part-time work during Christmas. The sales assistant post through several promotions will bring you up as high as floor supervisor or sales manager of the store.
This means you’ll earn a lot more than as an assistant, but you need to have the years under your belt. You may specialise in customer services or merchandising depending on your preference. With ambition you could even open your own retail store and sell products to your liking.
A sales assistant’s average income is around £17,838 annually according to Glassdoor. We also checked out Indeed who’ve put the average hourly rate at £8.59. Although the top ten percent receive double of this at £16.25.
In the old days the sales assistants were considered to play very little role in the retail process. Hence, many thought the job to be requiring no real ability or skill. This notion has been gotten rid of.
Today a capable team of sales assistants can make or break a retail store. The staggering developments in technology, increasing level of competition and increasing customer demands with the adoption of new working practices are fueling rapid change in the retail world. This change is having a profound impact on the responsibilities of sales assistants.
Many aspects of customer service and sales involve basic understanding of human behaviour and psychology. Without these necessary skills it can be very difficult to be employed as a sales assistant. If you think you can handle crowds and manage sales numbers on everyday of the week the retail world eagerly awaits your footsteps.