Business suits, snazzy briefcases, the smell of polished shoes, the hurried tapping of hundreds of feet echoing in the underground, the pushing, the stress, the cups of scalding coffee held onto as if for dear life – yet salespeople have come a long way since this collective image burnt into our brains more by ‘90s films than by actual reality.
A more realistic picture would include shots of folk sitting in the most creative positions on a sofa, contortionist-style, tapping away on a precariously perched laptop.
Sales and Retail jobs – what’s the difference?
Putting it quite simply, Sales Jobs entail selling information, goods, services and property.
So what makes them any different from Sales & Retail Jobs? Well, typically, Retail Jobs entail selling relatively small amounts of goods directly to the customer, from a single point of purchase.
This “point of purchase” may be a brick-and-mortar store, a catalogue, an online shopping site, or a handy app on a mobile phone. Usually the buyer is the so-called “end-user” – that means the person who will actually use the goods or benefit from the services.
The expression “end-user” stems from the fact that this kind of buyer lies at the very end
of the supply-chain: manufacturers sell large quantities of products to retailers, and the latter try to sell those products to the general public.
- Thus, what is sold, usually is not destined for resale.
- Retail sales can be considered, therefore, a smaller segment of “selling” in general.
- As a matter of fact, the whole “Retailing” category isn’t restricted to the mere action of selling alone: one must also take into consideration all the business functions which are part and parcel of retail – for instance, customer service, management, and so on.
How does Retailing work? What are its main goals?
If prompted, one may reply that the main goal is selling the product and/or service in question to as many customers as possible – what else?! However, that’s just a small part of the job and, in some cases, not even the most important one: modern salesmanship is more about the “customer experience”. Delivering an excellent customer experience is fundamental for any business.
The advantages of a great costumer experience include:
• an increase in customer satisfaction
• an increase in customer loyalty – people will be more likely to return to your point of purchase
• a decrease in complaints, refunds, returns and bad reviews
• an increase in recommendations and positive reviews.
So how does one improve the customer experience? Here are a few useful implementations:
✔ Refine your product display: in your store with the help of a Window Dresser (now better known as a “Visual Merchandiser”),
✔ Who can create eye-catching displays, or on your ecommerce site with a Web Designer, tasked with delivering visual concepts;
✔ Streamline the buying process: the easier the consumer can find what they’re looking for – be it in a physical shop or on an online marketplace – the more likely they are not going to get frustrated and give up on the purchase.
✔ This can be achieved through the work of the Customer Service Representative who can interact with the customer via instant chat, tollfree phone numbers, or in person;
✔ Promote your products/services through digital merchandising by employing the services of Online Merchandisers, who analyse traffic data, measure customer interest and determine the most effective sales strategies;
✔ Make your service unique: some retailers offer additional services such as the consultation with a Personal Shopper, gift wrapping, and so forth.
What kind of Retail careers are there?
With almost 3 million workers, the retail industry is the UK’s largest private sector employer. Therefore, there’s a wide variety of employment opportunities, from customer-facing roles to marketing positions.
Here are some examples:
- Branch Manager
- Buyer and Purchasing Agent
- Customer Service Representative
- Beauty consultant
- Human Resources Specialist
- Logistics Coordinator
- Loss Prevention Specialist
- Warehouse Operative
- Team Leader
- Web Designer
- Online Merchandiser
- Visual Merchandiser
- Personal Shopper
In retail, salaries can be quite variable, depending on position, market and experience. Nevertheless, a formal education isn’t always a necessary requirement, and there are opportunities to grow with a company and move up the career ladder.
|Job Category||Sales & Retails|
|Salary||From £8.72 To £10|