A retail assistant is generally involved in selling products ranging from those in the beauty segment to electronics directly to customers. The main aspects of the job entail: understanding details of the products being sold, helping customers understand what products are best for them based on their requirements, answering customer's questions regarding merchandise, demonstrating how to use the products, providing information regarding product warranty, maintenance, and also delivery options. In addition, the retail assistant also prepares contracts and sales receipts, orders out-of-stock items, processes payments and sets up the merchandise displays. That said, retail personnel are different from salespeople as they are not employed by the manufacturing company nor do they represent the wholesaler.
Retail Job Education Requirements
To get into retail, the educational requirements that most companies prefer are at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Candidates should have basic knowledge of the processes and principles of great customer service and preferably have previous working experience as a sales person or customer service personnel. To succeed in retail, one should have the ability to relate to others and generally have good people skills. Having extensive product knowledge is also a plus, although new hires get some on-the-job training to get acquainted with the products they are going to sell, and the company's procedures and policies. Those with significant experience are usually given positions of greater responsibility with time.
Retail Job Market
According to statistics, retail jobs are bound to grow at the same pace as the average in all other occupations through 2020 as it is a market oriented job segment, meaning that the more money the general public has, the higher the buying power, which consequently translates to a higher turnover in the retail industry.
Retail Job Salary Information
Studies show that on average, a retail store assistant makes between $9 and $28 an hour, with the annual national average being about $38,000. That said, statistics indicate that the pay generally increases after five and ten years in the position. It has also been observed that people working in retail usually move on to other positions after twenty years in the field.