There are plenty of guides on how to get a promotion, but it’s hard to find any telling us how to get promoted in retail.

In a highly competitive retail world, this goal is extremely hard to achieve, despite the fact that young retail professionals have more opportunities than ever. Read on to find out how to move up the career ladder in the retail industry.

1. Understand What You Are Doing

Why did you choose the retail industry? Do you realize what you’re doing and why? Have an honest talk with yourself. Do you enjoy doing what you’re doing?

This talk will either motivate you to reach success or help you determine what you truly want to do in life. When you’re motivated to do your best, you’re more likely to get a promotion fast.

2. Master Good Learning and Listening Skills

Whether you’re a young retail professional or you’ve been in this industry for years yet haven’t achieved any success, start with your learning and listening skills. How fast do you learn? What about your memory?

The way you absorb information plays a key role in how fast you grow and move up your career ladder. Of course, it’s impossible to remember everything you learn. That’s why you should learn to filter unnecessary information and keep the useful info in mind.

retail promotion

It’s also crucial to pay attention to your listening skills. When you’re young, one of the easiest ways to get promoted is by being a good student. Listen carefully to your managers or boss, or find a mentor who will help you upgrade your skills.

Even if you feel like your boss is speaking nonsense, don’t interrupt. This nonsense can cost you a promotion. 

3. Learn the Environment and Culture

There are suit-and-tie retail workplace environments that have their own requirements. Other environments might be more casual and laid-back. But still, the majority of environments are a mix of two previous ones.

Sometimes people enjoy working in the retail industry, but they give up on it because their store is the wrong environment.

Moreover, there are three types of culture to know, such as small-business culture, entrepreneurial culture, and corporate culture. Small-business culture exists in both small and big companies and requires taking risks and fast growth.

Entrepreneurial culture involves taking risks, embracing independence, and upgrading services and products non-stop.

Corporate culture is actually a hierarchical organization that has strict rules, a variety of management and reporting, and formalized and stratified paychecks and employee benefits.

How to Get a Promotion in Retail

If you’re not ready for corporate culture, choose either a small business or entrepreneurial setting. In small-business culture, working hard is enough to get promoted.

4. Treat your Customers Well

Customers always choose the place where they’re treated well. You can offer the best service or product ever, but if you don’t treat your customers well, they won’t buy what you sell. One of the most effective ways to get a promotion in retail is to win customers’ love.

Ditch your pride and ego, and most importantly, be friendly no matter your mood. Leave your mood swings and problems at home. When a customer likes your product or service, they’re more likely to recommend you to their relatives, friends, and coworkers.

The secret of successful retail is hidden in details. The hardest thing might be to handle unsatisfied or angry customers in a way that will bring them back to the store. This is the moment where your ego should take a backseat to the task at hand.

You also shouldn’t be afraid to apologize for bad service.

5. Manage Your Time Efficiently

Time is money and when you can’t manage it, you don’t earn anything. Retail professionals are great time managers. No matter what your workplace culture is, chances are your retail environment is rather hectic.

Prioritize your tasks and organize your sales. Stay away from time-wasting activities, distractions, and procrastinating.

How to Get a Promotion in Retail

Make sure you know what your boss requires you to deliver each day, week, or month. If you think it’s too much or you can’t perform some parts of your job, be honest about it. It’s better to ask for help in the beginning than to fail in the end.

Also, try to figure out where you can take some 15 to 30 minutes per day to go the extra mile. If you only do the minimum, you can’t expect a promotion.

6. Know What You Sell

If you sell just to sell and get a salary to pay your bills, you might stop dreaming of a promotion immediately. You should be well aware of what you’re selling so that you could answer the trickiest questions customer questions.

Oftentimes, sellers come to you and ask you, “Can I help you?” When you (unexpectedly to them) say yes and begin to ask questions, they have difficulty answering any.

If you’re new to the retail industry or you’re new in the company, don’t expect your boss to tell you each detail about your product or service.

You should do your own research and know exactly what you offer to people. Customers will appreciate your knowledge and will come to you again next time.

7. Find a Mentor

A mentor knows a lot about retail and they can provide you with information that you won’t find online. A mentor won’t do your job for you, yet they’ll point you in the right direction.

How to Get a Promotion in Retail

Your mentor shouldn’t be super rich, but they must have a lot of experience in the retail industry. Ensure your mentor doesn’t envy you or belittle your skills.

You shouldn’t be competitors, either. Their task is to motivate and inspire you rather than belittle your abilities.

Once your employer sees how you do your job, chances are they’ll give you a promotion. If you do the minimum and expect to get promoted, it’s less likely to happen.

A promotion should be earned. It’s hard work that requires tons of time and effort. Despite all the myths, it’s still worth it to do your best to get a promotion in retail.