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Become A Retail Specialist

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Working As A Retail Specialist

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $21,780

    Average Salary

What Does A Retail Specialist Do

Retail sales workers include both those who sell retail merchandise, such as clothing, furniture, and cars, (called retail salespersons) and those who sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts (called parts salespersons). Both types of workers help customers find the products they want and process customers’ payments.

Duties

Retail sales workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and offer them assistance
  • Recommend merchandise based on customers’ wants and needs
  • Explain the use and benefit of merchandise to customers
  • Answer customers’ questions
  • Show how merchandise works, if applicable
  • Add up customers’ total purchases and accept payment
  • Inform customers about current sales, promotions, and policies about payments and exchanges

The following are examples of types of retail sales workers:

Retail salespersons work in stores where they sell goods, such as books, cars, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, furniture, lumber, plants, shoes, and many other types of merchandise.

In addition to helping customers find and select items to buy, many retail salespersons process the payment for the sale, which typically involves operating cash registers.

After taking payment for the purchases, retail salespersons may bag or package the purchases.

Depending on the hours they work, retail salespersons may have to open or close cash registers. This includes counting the money in the register and separating charge slips, coupons, and exchange vouchers. They may also make deposits at a cash office.

For information about other workers who receive and disburse money, see the profile on cashiers.

In addition, retail salespersons may help stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays.

For some retail sales jobs, particularly those involving expensive and complex items, retail sales workers need special knowledge or skills. For example, those who sell cars must be able to explain the features of various models, manufacturers’ specifications, different types of options on the car, financing available, and the details of associated warranties.

In addition, retail sales workers must recognize security risks and thefts and understand their organization’s procedures for handling thefts—procedures that may include notifying security guards or calling police.

Parts salespersons sell spare and replacement parts and equipment, especially car parts. Most work in either automotive parts stores or automobile dealerships. They take customers’ orders, inform customers of part availability and price, and take inventory.

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How To Become A Retail Specialist

Typically, there are no formal education requirements for retail sales workers. Most receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months.

Education

Although retail or parts sales positions usually have no formal education requirements, some employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent, especially employers who sell technical products or “big-ticket” items, such as electronics or cars.

Training

Most retail sales workers receive on-the-job training, which usually lasts a few days to a few months. In small stores, an experienced employee often trains newly hired workers. In large stores, training programs are more formal and usually conducted over several days.

During training sessions, topics often include customer service, security, the store’s policies and procedures, and how to operate the cash register.

Depending on the type of product they are selling, employees may be given additional specialized training. For example, salespersons working in cosmetics get instruction on the types of products the store offers and for whom the cosmetics would be most beneficial. Likewise, those who sell computers may be instructed on the technical differences between computer products.

Because providing exceptional service to customers is a priority for many employers, employees often get periodic training to update and refine their skills.

Advancement

Retail sales workers typically have opportunities to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some employers want candidates for managerial positions to have a college degree.

As sales workers gain experience and seniority, they often move into positions that have greater responsibility and may be given their choice of departments in which to work. This opportunity often means moving to positions with higher potential earnings and commissions. The highest earnings potential usually involves selling “big-ticket” items—such as cars, jewelry, furniture, and electronics. These positions often require workers with extensive knowledge of the product and an excellent talent for persuasion.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Retail sales workers must be responsive to the wants and needs of customers. They should explain the product options available to customers and make appropriate recommendations.

Interpersonal skills. A friendly and outgoing personality is important for these workers because the job requires almost constant interaction with people. 

Math skills. Retail sales workers must have the ability to calculate price totals, discounts, and change owed to customers.

Persistence. A large number of attempted sales may not be successful, so sales workers should not be discouraged easily. They must start each new sales attempt with a positive attitude.

Selling skills. Retail sales workers must be persuasive when interacting with customers. They must clearly and effectively explain the benefits of the merchandise.

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Retail Specialist Jobs

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Retail Specialist Career Paths

Retail Specialist
Graphic Designer Marketing Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Service Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Director General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Consultant Senior Sales Representative Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Sales Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Person Sales Consultant Sales Manager
General Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader General Manager Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Person Account Executive Sales Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Territory Manager Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Security Officer Account Manager
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Retail Specialist?

Retail Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

56.3%

Male

41.5%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.2%

French

11.4%

German

5.7%

Mandarin

4.1%

Portuguese

4.1%

Italian

3.3%

Chinese

3.3%

Japanese

3.3%

Hindi

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Hebrew

1.6%

Turkish

0.8%

Gujarati

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Bulgarian

0.8%

Hawaiian

0.8%

Igbo

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Kurdish

0.8%
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Retail Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.9%

Liberty University

5.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.2%

University of Alabama

4.5%

University of North Texas

4.5%

University of Utah

4.5%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

4.5%

University of Central Florida

4.5%

Johnson County Community College

4.5%

University of Houston

4.5%

Florida International University

4.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

Columbus State Community College

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.5%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.7%

The Academy

3.7%

Columbia College Chicago

3.7%

Metropolitan Community College

3.7%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.7%

University of Mississippi

3.7%
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Majors

Business

28.2%

Psychology

6.4%

Marketing

6.3%

Criminal Justice

6.2%

Management

6.0%

Communication

5.6%

Health Care Administration

4.7%

Graphic Design

4.6%

Accounting

4.3%

Computer Science

3.3%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

General Studies

2.7%

Nursing

2.6%

English

2.4%

Cosmetology

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.3%

Information Technology

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.1%

History

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.7%

Other

29.9%

Associate

12.9%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

1.8%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Retail Specialist

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  1. Customer Service
  2. New Merchandise
  3. Retail Store
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided superior level of customer service through accurate and immediate response to inquiries from branches representatives and customers.
  • Maintained a strong relationship with these clients by updating them when unique new merchandise arrived or when sales would take place.
  • Merchandised retail stores in assigned territory.
  • Provided expert knowledge of mobile and desktop solutions to customers at the Willow Bend Apple Store.
  • Developed and gave product knowledge presentations for targeted marketing events.

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Top Retail Specialist Employers

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