By Ashlee Anderson
So-called ‘retail jobs' are everywhere you look. From behind-the-scenes stockers and inventory clerks to front-and-center cashiers and sales-floor reps, a number of in-store employees help make the retail experience a pleasant one for shoppers.
And while you might automatically call to mind in-store positions when thinking of retail jobs, the truth is, there are many remote retail jobs to choose from too – ones that allow you to take on various roles in this consumer-driven industry without ever having to step foot in a store.
If you come from a retail background, enjoy helping consumers pick the right products, or want to lend your expertise while working with some of your favorite businesses and brands, check out these remote jobs perfect for the retail pro.
1. Customer Service & Sales
A growing number of major e-commerce sites and stores with both online and brick-and-mortar presences rely on virtual retail specialists to answer product questions, investigate billing issues, process orders, and issue returns. This usually means taking inbound phone calls, but some companies give consumers a chance to initiate contact via chat or email, too.
If you've previously worked on a sales floor or behind a customer service desk, you already have many of the skills needed to work as a remote retail specialist in a sales or customer support role. Some of the major companies that hire virtual retail specialists include:
Amazon gears up for their busiest months (November-January) by hiring seasonal associates to assist holiday shoppers with everything from product purchases to shipping inquiries. Keep in mind, some seasonal positions last as long as six months and can even lead to full-time, permanent employment.
You can work from home helping customers place catalog orders as either a full-time or seasonal customer service representative at Williams-Sonoma. To be considered, candidates must live within driving distance of The Colony, Texas or Grove City, Ohio to attend training and in-person meetings.
Disney virtual team members assist online Disney Store shoppers by answering inbound phone calls and emails. The primary goal of Guest Service Representatives is to ensure all online shoppers have a “magical experience.” This can include everything from answering general questions to helping someone locate the perfect product for a gift. To see if they're hiring in your state, search for “working from home” on their Careers Page.
As the leader in interactive retail, HSN offers several opportunities to work from home as a sales representative. This location-based remote retail job (Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee) answers incoming calls from customers wanting to place orders and upsells products as appropriate.
Through their Work-from-Home Program, Neiman Marcus offers remote retail jobs that help support their web and catalog customers through email, live chat, and over the phone. Currently, these positions are only available to residents in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area.
Needle connects retail experts with shoppers looking to make online purchases. This is an extra income opportunity where you’ll use your brand expertise to make product suggestions to online shoppers. To become a Needle Advocate, you need to fill out a profile, demonstrate specific brand knowledge, and complete a free certification process.
2. Personal Shopper & Stylist Remote Retail Jobs
If you think you might enjoy working in a virtual retail environment but aren’t interested in pursuing customer service jobs, consider becoming an online personal shopper or stylist.
Most remote personal shopper positions are fashion-related. This means you might put together special-occasion looks you know clients will love, suggest seasonal pieces to supplement an existing wardrobe, or build an outfit based on a person's individual style. The remote stylist position you apply for will determine the type of products you'll recommend.
Operator “Experts” get to suggest their personal favorite products as they help people shop for everything from beauty supplies to home décor, electronics, and fashion apparel. Using the Operator app, users send in product-related questions or requests, and Experts respond with personalized recommendations. Experts earn a commission every time a product sale is made.
Stitch Fix delivers stylist-picked clothing and accessories directly to consumers' doors. Stylists are passionate about fashion and enjoy helping women look and feel their best by expressing their personality through their wardrobe. This part-time position is only open to residents of select metropolitan areas with additional areas being considered all the time.
3. Remote Retail Jobs in Direct Sales
When it comes to online jobs in the retail industry, there are seemingly endless opportunities to earn in direct sales. For those retail pros with an entrepreneurial spirit, a career in direct sales may be the perfect fit.
What’s great about direct sales is you can work with companies whose products you genuinely love and can stand behind. If you’re a lover of jewelry, consider becoming a stylist with Stella & Dot or if eco-friendly and organic household products are a part of your lifestyle, perhaps working as a consultant with Celadon Road makes sense. Whatever your interests, chances are there's a direct sales company that's right for you.
Remember, this is a business opportunity, so it's up to you to create your success. Direct sales consultants earn a commission on each item purchased – the more you sell, the more you earn. Fortunately, there is no shortage of helpful advice and insider’s tips to help you get started on the right foot so you can build your own profitable direct sales business that appeals to your interests while earning a living promoting the things you love.
At-Home Retail Jobs
Before stepping into a store to apply for a retail position, remember all the opportunities to earn a living in the industry while working remotely. Between virtual customer service, supporting consumers of big-name brands, to business opportunities as a direct sales consultant, there are plenty of ways to work retail while working from home.
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Ashlee Anderson is a freelance writer, blogger and gig economy enthusiast who enjoys the freedom and flexibility of working remotely. After starting a note taking business in college, she’s continued to work for herself as a solopreneur ever since. Today, Ashlee continues to embrace solopreneurship and the endless possibilities to make money as an independent worker. She encourages others to ‘think outside the cubicle’ so they too can find happiness in working on their own terms. Follow along with Ashlee over at Work from Home Happiness where she shares plenty of practical advice, ideas, and beginner-friendly ways for freelancers, solopreneurs, and remote workers to use their existing skills and experience to earn a living from home.
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