6 Essential Skills to Work in Retail Environment

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Working a career in retail has many benefits. It allows you to work part-time or full-time, gives you flexible hours, allows you to meet many different kinds of people, help people in your unique way, gives you the opportunity for advancement within the company, and competitive wages. While working in retail is not always easy, it can be very rewarding since you’ll learn many essential business skills along the way.

When you are working in the retail environment, remember that you won’t know everything right away, As long as you’re open to learning, you’ll do just fine.

Here are the six essential skills to work in retail environment:

Skill #1: Shelf management

Shelf management is one of the essential skills to work in retail, and it will make your life so much easier. Make sure to pay attention to where all the sections are in your store when you get a tour on your first day. Customers are going to ask you where things are – this is a given. You don’t want to be caught not knowing where something is and only have a blank expression to offer your customers. Familiarize yourself with the location for the point of purchase displays in your store, along with other shelves and primary displays.

In the same vein, know where the restrooms are, where the key to the restroom is (if the doors are kept locked) and know where the water fountains are located (if there are any). In the case of an emergency, know where the fire extinguishers are located and where the emergency exits are. You can never have too much knowledge or be too prepared!

Skill #2: Research

When you first start working for a company, there will be many things you don’t yet know about the company that you need to learn – like the company culture. Each company has its own mission, its own goals, and its preferred way of operating. You should receive an orientation during your first few days where you’ll likely watch videos, read manuals, and have meetings with managers and other staff to learn the company culture. Make sure you do the proper research and memorize these important guidelines.

Once you know what the company culture is, you’ll be able to act in such a way that demonstrates it though everything you do. Knowing this and being able to adapt to that specific environment will help you succeed.

Skill #3: Memorization

Every store has its own policies. As an employee of that store, it’s your job to memorize the policies so you can properly inform customers when the opportunity arises. This is particularly helpful when dealing with customer returns. You’ll want to know exactly what the return and exchange policy is, so you don’t inadvertently accept a product that was not eligible to be returned. The same thing goes for other policies your store may have. The more informed you are, the better you can do your job.

Skill #4: Personable skills

Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? Most likely you have, and most likely you remember how awful it was. Vow not to be that person by being personable. It may be harder at times since by working with the public you will have to interact with different personalities and attitudes. Being personable will allow you to handle each situation professionally. Keeping your cool and being a friendly face around the store will not only make your interactions with customers easier, but it will definitely impress your boss.

Skill #5: Adaptability skills

In retail, things can change from one day to the next, and even one minute to the next. By being adaptable, you’re setting yourself up for success. Even if your main role is running the cash register, for example, a co-worker that usually works the back of the store may have called in sick and your manager may need you back there.

By knowing in advance that you’ll need to be adaptable, this skill will help you to better deal with these situations. Always be flexible and your manager will come to realize they can rely on you when they’re in a pinch.

Skill #6: Customer service skills

Above all else, when working in retail, be sure to provide a great customer experience. Customers come to the store to get what they need, and they expect to be greeted by friendly staff. If a customer has a question which you don’t have an answer to, it’s your job to find out.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially in the beginning. Your manager will be happy that you’re trying to expand your knowledge of the store and its products. If a customer asks you where something is and you’re free, actually bring them to where the product is and show it to them. Do whatever you can to create a positive experience. Treat your customers the way you would like to be treated if you went into a store.