Tips on Starting Work as a Retail Employee

Starting work in retail can be daunting as a face-to-face customer service role, especially if you worked a job with little customer interaction beforehand. Having a high degree of interpersonal and communication skills is key to being successful in most retail roles. If you are looking to begin work as a retail employee, then mastering communication skills will help you to perform better at your job and enjoy your time more when you are working.

Whether you are at a till or working the shop floor as a sales representative, you will have to interact with customers in a variety of different situations throughout your workday.

Here are some tips on how you can succeed at working in a retail position.

Always be Polite and Responsive

As stated before, customers will come to you throughout your workday. When approached by a customer, it is important to be friendly and appear happy to speak with them. This will help the customer to feel appreciated and enjoy their time shopping.

Active listening is also another way to show the customer that you are engaged with them. Nonverbal communication such as smiling and nodding can do wonders. It is also important to avoid using closed-off body language, as this can make you appear like you don’t want to talk. Keep a friendly demeanor and an open posture when communicating with customers.

Respond to customer inquiries quickly and don’t keep them waiting long. Using nice language such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can help as well.

Retail Employee

Learn the Products and Store

Within the first couple of weeks, learning the store layout is important. Knowing what goes where and how to find it is helpful for sorting stock and can help you assist customers searching for a particular item.


Maintaining an air of professionalism will look good to customers and your employers. The first way to do this is to keep your uniform looking neat, tidy, and presentable. If you look at the part, customers will be happier to approach you, giving you more opportunities to show off your expertise.

You should also stay professional in your behaviour. If a customer approaches you with a grievance, it is important to stay calm to try and de-escalate the situation. When an issue occurs, taking accountability on behalf of the business, even if you aren’t to blame, can help to smooth things over.

Always be respectful to your supervisors and friendly towards other employees.

Customer Service and Training

Customer service is the key skill for you to hone in on. Greet customers as they come into the store. If they look like they are lost or need help, they approach them and help. Exceptional customer service can keep customers loyal to the store for years to come.

Training is also vital in a retail position if you want to get paid more and rise through the ranks. There are quite often new training opportunities, and taking them will look good to your managers while also helping you to grow your skills.

Working in retail can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, and customers can feel exhausting to deal with, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to success in any job. Hopefully, these tips will help you to succeed.