February 8, 2024
People who work in retail need a variety of skills to serve customers. Customer-facing and social skills aren’t enough these days as successful retail workers also have management, design, mathematical, and computer skills. Here are some actual retail skill examples that you can choose to grow within your team to improve customer experience and personal development.
Retail skills are abilities and know-how that can help you excel in any company that sells products and services. These skills can be technical, involving retail-specific tasks you'll perform in the workplace, or soft skills that enhance how you interact with others at your job.
One example of a technical skill is learning how to use a POS system at the cash register, while a great example of a retail soft skill is product knowledge.
When you’re working in retail, you’re expected to be skilled in facing and serving customers. Customer service skills are needed to properly and effectively help your customers before, during, and after they buy your products. Employees with strong people-skills are typically polite and approachable, and with a helpful attitude. They are also knowledgeable about a customer’s needs or concerns and are able to find solutions for them that lead to positive purchasing experiences.
While retail management skills and marketing skills can be learned from a book, soft retail experience skills like effective communication, presentation skills, emotional intelligence, public speaking, and conflict-resolution need to be developed through continuous practice and experience. As a manager, you can help by enrolling your staff in courses to improve employee skills for retail. Having improved customer service competencies can lead to more happy customers. And more happy customers can lead to positive brand recognition and increased profits.
If you’re looking for ways to train your employees and their retail skills, look no further, because there is a free and easy-to-use solution. EdApp is a mobile learning tool that you can use to distribute training to your staff anytime and anywhere. From its course library, you can find ready-made courses like Retail Services – Communication that can be sent to your teams in just minutes.
Try EdApp at no cost and learn to create positive customer experiences today!
Retail sales staff need to listen and give their full attention to the customer when talking to them, and active listening can help achieve this. Active listening is a type of listening that includes paying attention to the customer’s tone of voice, facial expression and body language, interpreting what they’re saying, and reiterating their concerns or needs back to them. This makes the customer feel heard and can improve your staff’s overall verbal communication and non verbal communication skills.
While your staff can naturally develop a good communication and interpersonal retail skills over time while working, you can make an active effort to improve your team’s active listening skills. Interpersonal skills training courses explore the importance of communicating effectively and its impact on clients and company performance.
Retail operations are no longer limited to physical pop-ups and stores. Ecommerce and online shops are growing and retail staff now need to know how to assist customers with online purchases and market themselves on social media and other websites. Tech literacy is becoming a much-needed retail skill as workers use point-of-sale (POS) systems, on-the-floor tech like iPads, and digital catalogs almost every day.
With the increased use of technology in retail, staff need to know how to protect themselves from tech-related health risks and cyber-attacks. EdApp’s Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment course will familiarize your workers on how to safely work with screens, while Payment Security (for Cashiers) will help them identify suspicious behavior and activity. With EdApp’s built-in authoring tool, you can edit these courses to better suit your company’s policies, regulations, and brand.
Retail workers don’t just assist a single customer and their requests – they’re managing several customers at once. From finding products for customers who need help to looking out for new ones coming into the store, your staff will need to know how to support multiple customers with different needs at the same time.
However, facing customers isn’t the only thing retail staff does. They would also be sorting through inventory and cleaning up displays. With so many tasks happening at once in a fast-paced industry, your workers could end up tiring themselves out if they’re not careful. Teach your workers skills for retail jobs like fatigue risk management and apply strategies to avoid unnecessary risks and accidents.
Time management is a retail skill that comes with the ability to effectively multi-task. With so many tasks needed to be done during shifts, your staff will need to know how to manage their time and themselves effectively. Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and other time management software is also needed since different technologies are being used to keep track of employees and their shifts.
Explore different ways on how you and your employees can better manage time with EdApp’s Sales Professionals’ Guide to Time Management. By effectively managing time, your company could work together to improve personal performance and results.
Numeracy is another critical retail skill. Retail workers work with numbers every day. Counting inventory, calculating discounts, managing cash, and giving change are just some of the tasks that require staff to be good at numbers. Both physical and digital money is being managed and transferred by many people in retail, so it’s important that the people in charge of this money are accurate and confident in their computations in order to avoid any unnecessary risks.
Employees in retail work together as a team to try and deliver the best shopping experience to their customers. Collaborating with different departments is common when answering customer questions or sourcing products. In cases of staff shortages, it’s not uncommon to work extra shifts or unfamiliar roles. Team players are always ready to offer and receive feedback that they can apply to their roles to become better employees. Those with strong teamwork skills needed in retail may even move on to leadership roles.
Encourage teamwork and camaraderie in your company by hosting team-building activities or training courses. Many corporate training platforms offer discussion features to encourage sharing of ideas and feedback with one another, so consider EdApp when looking for ways to host online training programs.
Product knowledge and company and industry knowledge are essential when working in retail. It’s business awareness that helps employees answer customer questions about products and policies. There are also many processes like loss prevention and merchandise control that happen behind the scenes, hidden from customers. In addition to these topics, retail workers should undergo accident investigations training course to best protect themselves and customers. While you can train workers to become more aware of these processes, having someone around with a solid background understanding of the field and company is useful.
In such a fast-paced environment like the retail industry, employees would need to be able to adapt to new changes, different needs, and difficult situations on a regular basis. Withstanding adversity and bouncing back from challenges is an essential skill that all of your workers should possess. Learn more about how you and your team can gain resilience together through EdApp’s Personal and Team Resilience course.
The last retail skill on this list is the ability to concentrate on many different details. Being detail-oriented can ensure that mistakes like giving out the wrong change to a customer, mislabeling stock items, or setting up a wrong window display won’t happen. It’s a crucial skill when you’re trying to attract customers to your products or brand.
Luckily, it can be trained through lots of practice and exercise, so try to have your staff regularly go through routine checks. Check out Stocking and Visual Merchandising (for Fashion Retail), online courses that can be taken on any mobile device. Your teams can take these retail employee training courses in between assisting customers, giving them access to relevant and up-to-date information instantly.
Join for free and learn how to build a competent retail workforce with EdApp!
Darcy is a learning expert at EdApp, a mobile-based training platform that helps businesses bring their training solutions to the next level with democratized learning. She has a background in content writing and specializes in eLearning and global communications. When she’s not writing SEO-optimized content, she’s trying to finish her video game backlog.