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Educators' Guide for Pedagogy and Assessment

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Unit: 1. Introduction to Retail, Sales and Customer Care


Learning Outcome: 1. I can understand the retail sector and the range of retail occupations.

1 I can outline the business of retailing.

  • The business of retailing: retail; retailer; retail outlet; distinguishing between products and services.

2 I can describe the different types of retail channels used within the Maltese context.

  • Retail channels: shops; catalogues; online selling; flea markets; showrooms; television shopping; mobile kiosks; door-to-door trading; supermarkets; shopping complexes.
3 I can describe the characteristics of the local retail environment, and its importance for the Maltese economy.

  • The characteristics of the local retail environment: sole traders, small-scale companies, franchises; mono-brand stores; multi-brand stores; highly competitive environment and limited market size; the impact of the internet and online shopping; the positive and negative impact of EU accession.

  • Its importance for the Maltese economy: retail trade as a high percentage of the locally-registered business units; retail as a major source of employment.

4 I can identify different retail occupations and the related skills, attributes and behaviours.

  • Occupations: e.g.: sales assistant, stock controller, shelf stacker, customer service representative, store manager, supervisor, team leader, delivery person, warehouse supervisor.

  • Skills: customer service; sales; cash handling; teamwork; merchandising; problem solving; communication; time management; computer skills; literacy and numeracy.

  • Attributes: e.g. good personal appearance, flexible, proactive, honesty, empathy, ability to multi-task.

  • Behaviours: courteous, positive, confident, positive attitude.

Learning Outcome: 2. I can recognise the importance of teamwork in retail.

5 I can outline the key aspects of teamwork in a retail environment.

  • Key aspects of teamwork in retail: valuing the strengths of others; valuing the attributes and opinions of other team members; working towards common goals; providing support to teach others; accepting advice; listening; communicating with other teams; communicating with other departments.

1 I can associate teamwork with a good working environment and business success.
Good working environment and business success: 

  • Team productivity: working together to efficiently complete retail tasks, importance of communication within the team to avoid wastage, duplication of tasks, customer complaints and confusion.

  • Dealing with stressful situations: importance of remaining calm; working together to solve problems; limit the impact of stressful situations.

  • Customer experience: creating a welcoming atmosphere; teamwork as a positive sign for customers; positive customer relationship.

  • Building and maintaining the team: team-building exercises; maintaining motivation; fairness.

Learning Outcome: 3. I can outline the retail selling process.

6 I can state factors that influence customer expectations.

  • Factors: social and demographic factors; economic factors; level of education and experience; competitor products.

7 I can describe the five steps of the selling process and other key aspects that can influence the process.

  • The five steps of the selling process: meet and greet; understand needs; demonstration; summarise; closing the sale.

  • Key aspects that can influence the selling process: knowledge about the key areas and layout ; knowledge about other departments of the outlet; knowledge about products and services offered; awareness of special offers; market awareness.

8 I can list factors that indicate the closure of a sale.

  • Factors: spending time looking at the product; asking questions about details; asking about price; requesting more information; asking for payment details; trying out the product; questioning by customers; body language.

2  I can explain how to communicate effectively with customers during the sales process.

  • Basic communication skills which are essential in the selling process: greeting; effective questioning through open-ended and closed-ended questions to identify customer needs and match products/services; empathy; checking for understanding; feedback; termination.

3 I can explain how a Point of Sale is used in retail.

  • Main structure: e.g. cash register (for smaller outlets), computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display, barcode scanner.

  • Back office functions of the POS system: e.g. inventory control, purchasing, transfer of products from one location to the other (for multiple store brands).

  • Other typical functions of a POS system: e.g. store sales information, reporting, sales trends.

Learning Outcome: 4. I can demonstrate good customer service in a retail environment.

9 I can outline the benefits of good customer service for retail business.

  • Benefits of good customer care: engagement of customer; increased sales and profits; customer retention; positive image; obtaining feedback from the customer.

1 I can provide a positive impression when dealing with customers in a retail environment.
Positive impression:

  • Personal hygiene: attention to body odour; hair care; attention to bad breath; clean shoes; good overall cleanliness; uniform care.

  • Respectful body language: posture; eye contact; use of appropriate tone of voice and clarity; gestures.

2 I can assist customers in a retail environment.

  • Assisting customers: acknowledging the customer and listening attentively to his/her needs; identifying ways how to help the customer in the best way possible; describing the features of a product or key elements of a service in a customer-oriented manner; providing alternatives if original request cannot be handled; termination/closing the sale.

4 I can explain how to deal with a customer complaint.

  • Dealing with a complaint: identifying the nature of the complaint and remaining calm; asking the customer about the problem to check your understanding; actively listening to the customer; apologising, empathy and professionalism; referring the customer to the appropriate channels if complaint cannot be handled.

Learning Outcome: 5. I can understand the key elements related to consumer rights in Malta.

10 I can list the main authorities, legislation, regulations and institutions that deal with consumer rights in Malta.

  • Authorities: the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority; the Malta Communications Authority.

  • Legislation: the Consumer Affairs Act.

  • Regulations: Price Indication Regulations; Consumer Credit Regulations; Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations; Distance Selling Regulations.

  • Institutions: the Consumer Claims Tribunal.

5 I can outline the information that should be given to consumers prior to the sale of goods or services and the main consumer rights when buying goods and services.

  • Information to consumers prior to the sale of goods and services: the main characteristics of the goods or services; the name, address and telephone number of the trader; the total price of the goods and services; arrangments for payment and delivery where applicable; duration of the contract and conditions for termination of the contract where applicable.

  • Rights:  the right to receive information about the two-year legal guarantee of conformity for goods; rights related to the delivery of goods; rights of consumers during sales; rights related to return of unwanted goods; rights related to deposits.

3 I can produce a leaflet with basic information about consumer rights.

  • Leaflet criteria: neatness; creativity; reliability of information; good balance between images and text; good use of language.

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