what is a sales assistant?

A sales assistant works directly with customers, usually in a physical location. When you work as a sales assistant, you'll represent the entire company. This means you'll need to be polite, stay cheerful when you're stressed and remain patient when a customer has a complaint. Sales assistants deal with a lot of pressure, but you'll make a customer's day if you know how to meet their needs. As a sales assistant, you'll also do the following:

  • Greet customers
  • Answer questions
  • Take phone calls
  • Place orders
  • Guide customers to the right area
  • Stock shelves
  • Keep your area tidy

Resources for sales assistants;

sales assistant jobs

average salary of a sales assistant

A sales assistant averages about £19,000 per year according to glassdoor. However, some retail sales assistant jobs pay minimum wage, which can be as low as £7.25 an hour. Entry-level sales assistant jobs typically pay the least, particularly if you work for a retail store. However, major retailers often give their sales assistants a small yearly raise, and bonuses if the store meets its sales quota. You'll get a pay increase if you find a higher-ranking job in the company, like a department supervisor. Most retailers offer positions that have the same duties as those of a sales assistant, but with more power and responsibility.

factors that affect your salary

If your company requires more knowledge, experience or education, they might pay more than £15 an hour. You'll qualify for overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours a week. Some retail stores are strict about overtime hours, but others give extra shifts when they need the assistance. The salary for part-time workers varies because employers will schedule you to work any number of hours up to 39. Picking up extra shifts allows you to take home a bigger paycheck at the end of the week. Other factors include meeting individual sales quotas and getting positive reviews from customers.


types of sales assistants

Floor workers are the most common types of sales assistants. If you're a floor worker, you'll walk around a retail store and help customers. You'll either have to stay in a certain department or walk throughout the entire store. Stockers are another type of sales assistant. These people stock the shelves, unpack stock and answer questions whenever they come across a customer. Cashiers are a type of sales assistant that's confined to a cash register or front desk. As a cashier, you'll ring up items, bag purchases and ask customers about their experience. As a front desk worker, you'll have more complex responsibilities like processing returns and dealing with customer complaints.


working as a sales assistant

Sales assistants have a number of responsibilities. Every store has a different job description, but most positions involve interacting face-to-face with customers. Here's what you need to know before you start looking for a position as a sales assistant.

sales assistant job description

Generally, every sales assistant interacts directly with customers. You'll answer their questions, point them to the right aisles, help them find products, sign them up for services and help them with anything else that they need — within reason. Other duties include walking through the aisles to find customers or standing at a designated service desk to assist customers. Customers will ask you if certain products are in stock. If they're not, you may have to order them through your store's system. While sales assistants aren't part of management, customers will come to you with comments and complaints. Some stores expect you to greet customers when they come in so that they can start their day with a positive experience.


work environment

Sales assistants usually work indoors, although some assistants work outside if their store has an outdoor section. You'll more than likely to spend your entire shift on your feet, even if you work behind a desk or cash register. Since they interact directly with customers, sales assistants usually don't work in a cubicle or office setting. Additionally, sales assistant jobs usually don't require travel except for training. Most jobs offer a combination of online and in-person training to get you started. The work environments vary, but sales assistants usually work in well-lit buildings with heat, air conditioning and easily accessible restrooms. You'll have to wear safety gear if you work in a store with loud or dangerous equipment.

work schedule

Sales assistant jobs offer a combination of full-time and part-time positions. If you take an entry-level position in a retail store, you'll typically start with a part-time job and gradually advance to full time. Part-time positions offer anywhere from zero to 39 hours, depending on the week. Some companies must give you a certain number of hours every week, but that's not the case for every store. Full-time positions offer 40 hours a week with the possibility of overtime.

types of shifts

You might find a job with a regular 9-to-5 shift, but sales assistants often must take on late-night or early-morning hours. Keep your off-work schedule flexible because you'll probably have to work holidays and weekends. Your store may offer an overnight shift that involves stocking shelves or interacting with customers who come in at odd hours. Part-time workers often get rotating shifts that switch between mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights. Overnight shifts are likely if your store is open 24 hours a day.

job outlook

As long as businesses need to interact with customers, sales assistant positions will always exist. You can find a sales assistant job just about anywhere, even in small towns and rural areas. This means that this occupation has a relatively positive outlook. Small and large businesses are opening new locations every day, creating more jobs throughout the region. If you do well in your job, you're a good candidate for growth and advancement. Many people have started as entry-level sales assistants and ended up becoming store managers.


education & qualifications

Sales assistant jobs usually require no education beyond a GCSEs. At most, some companies ask for an associate's degree. You usually don't need much higher education to secure an entry-level position, for which you'll receive most of your training on the job. If you get the chance, you should continue your education so that you qualify for high-ranking jobs. Some stores offer training programs and tuition reimbursement that help you get the education that you need to succeed in the industry. Even if they don't have degree programs, you'll still learn important skills along the way.

Please use these images in the context of inclusion projects
Please use these images in the context of inclusion projects

skills & competencies

Every sales assistant needs customer service skills to succeed in this job field. This includes having a friendly, cheerful demeanor even when you're not in the best of moods. If a customer has a bad experience with a sales assistant, it reflects badly on the entire business. You'll also need to ask the right questions to figure out the customer's needs. Sometimes, they know what they want, but don't know how to find it. Other times, they think they have it figured out but need a knowledgeable employee to gently correct them. It's your job to ensure that the customer walks away with the product or service that they need.

additional skills

Other skills include the ability to think on your feet and handle stressful situations. When the store gets busy, you'll have to juggle two or three customers at once. Once in a while, you'll encounter unexpected situations and need to figure out how to resolve the issues. Patience is a virtue when working with customers. Most of them are agreeable, but you'll always have one or two people who are in a bad mood. You'll need to be polite and avoid feeding into their frustration. It's best to know when a manager should take control of certain challenging situations.



Here are the most asked questions about working as a sales assistant.


working with randstad as a sales assistant

Working as a sales assistant has its challenges, but it's ultimately a positive experience. You'll gain new customer service skills and sharpen your existing talents. When you stay busy all day, you'll learn about multitasking, helping several people at once and managing your time wisely. In fact, you'll uncover strengths that you didn't know you had. Since sales assistant jobs have a high turnover rate, you could climb the corporate ladder and land yourself high-paying positions. Over time, you'll gain even more skills to use in just about any industry.

more advantages

Many people like this job field because it doesn't have outrageous requirements. You don't need a degree and multiple certificates to get a job as a sales assistant. You just need to meet the basic qualifications. Once you get your foot in the door, it's possible to make a career out of your time at the company. With flexible scheduling, you can continue your education, spend more time with your family or focus on whatever else is important to you. Sales assistant jobs are unique in that they offer the chance to work overnight instead of during the day. If you're a part-time worker, you will have even more flexibility.

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