Shopping is an enjoyable activity for most people. However, with people finding it necessary to work long hours, the need to hire personal shoppers is increasing. If you love helping other people and you are a passionate shopper, this is a job you could enjoy.
See Also: How to Become a Store Manager
1. What Do Personal Shoppers Do?
Their duties include:
- Meeting with clients to discuss their shopping needs
- Advising clients on items that can best suit their needs
- Shopping the required items—which could range from household items to high-end fashion clothes—and delivering them to clients
- Staying abreast of product and service trends in the retail industry
- Helping clients to select the right gifts for various occasions
- Maintaining positive relationships with clients
- Keeping clients’ shopping information confidential.
2. Work Environment
Personal shoppers who work as in-house employees in retail stores work about 40 hours a week, including weekends and holidays. Those who are self-employed have more control over their work schedules.
While formally employed shoppers spend their time in the retail stores they work for, independent shoppers travel a lot, as they have to move from store to store looking for various items.
According to the National Careers Service, personal shoppers earn around £19,000, while managers can make up to £25,000 annually.
4. Entry Requirements
Apart from having strong interpersonal and shopping skills, no specific training is required to get hired. However, it is advantageous to seek a post-secondary credential, since you will be able to stand out from the crowd. These qualifications include:
- Level 1 Award in Principles of Customer Service
- Level 2 Extended Award in the Principles of Customer Service in the Retail Sector
- Level 2 Diploma in Fashion Retail
Alternatively, you can also pursue a retail apprenticeship.
5. Important Qualities
To be a competent personal shopper, you need:
- Superior shopping skills
- Strong budget management skills
- Strong people skills
- Strong decision-making skills
- Analytical skills to assess a client’s shopping needs
- Customer service skills
- A respect for cultural diversity
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Math skills
- Organizational skills
- Multitasking skills
- Negotiation skills
- A good understanding of the retail industry
- Time management skills.
6. Career Progression
Early in your career, you will certainly start out as an assistant personal shopper. With some experience, you will be hired as a personal shopper.
If you wish to acquire advanced qualifications and enhance your chances of attracting clients or employers, then you can go for a Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Retail and Level 4 Diploma in Fashion Retail with Marketing and Business.
The Fashion Retail Academy also offers short courses in fashion styling that you can pursue to enhance your understanding of body shapes, color and wardrobe styling.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of personal shoppers include:
- Department stores
- Established personal shopping consultancies
After gaining several years of personal shopping experience, you could be promoted to the position of personal shopping manager – a job that involves supervising junior personal shoppers. Or you could move into self-employment and establish your own personal shopping service or consultancy.
See Also: How to Become a Fashion Consultant
Finally, job opportunities for personal shoppers are typically available in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and other major cities across the UK. The most successful shoppers are self-employed, so you should strive to network and find your own clients.