A personal shopping assistant is someone who purchases items for other people who do not have the time or the ability to do so on their own. They can also work in stores to help customers find the right items for them. While you don't need a specific degree or certification, you can take courses to get the skills you need for the job. With a little effort, you can start shopping for other people!
Part 1 of 3: Developing the Necessary Skills
Step 1. Choose the type of shopping you want to specialize in
Personal shopping assistants can offer their services for any type of item, so choose an area that you want to focus on. While some buy household items, others might buy clothes for their customers. Choose the type of purchases you want to make and offer it as your main service.
- Senior shopping typically includes groceries and household essentials.
- Other shop assistants can choose styles and clothes for people who don't have time to shop.
- If you want to buy fashion items, focus on a certain aspect of this field, such as tops or footwear. This way, you won't be overwhelmed when choosing an entire wardrobe.
Step 2. Work on developing your customer service skills
Personal shopping assistants must work closely with their customers in order to provide the best experience for them. Be attentive to their needs and communicate with them clearly. Be patient with them so they feel comfortable when you serve them.
Give them your undivided attention when working with them so that you can develop a personal connection between the two of you
Step 3. Learn to manage a budget
Personal shopping assistants must work with their customers' budget to get the most out of their money. Learn to use programs like Excel or Google Sheets to make budget tables with ease. Pay close attention to prices and the things that customers want, in order to give them the best experience.
Determine if a friend or family member can mention a budget and the things they want so you can practice shopping for them
Step 4. Have a flexible work schedule
Many personal shopping assistants work after normal business hours or on weekends, as those are the times when their customers are available. Manage your time well so that you can meet and shop for customers on short notice. Some shopping assistants also have to visit multiple stores, so make sure you can get around easily and in a timely manner.
You should always be available to clients so they can trust you to get the job done
Step 5. Follow fashion trends to find out which styles are popular
Read fashion magazines and catalogs to determine which trends and styles are predominant. Go to stores frequently to see new items that are arriving, so you can familiarize yourself with the products and stay informed about them.
If you plan to be a grocery or other household items shopper, you won't need to pay much attention to them
reviews fashion trends for all body types and lifestyles to be able to work with diverse clients.
Part 2 of 3: Get an education
Step 1. Focus on business and math classes at school
If you're still in high school, sign up for math classes and business or marketing electives. Pay attention and study hard, so that you can learn to run a business and develop budgets that you can use. Take notes so you can review them later.
If you've already finished school, look up courses online to keep learning
Step 2. Get a degree in communications or marketing if you want
Since personal assistants need to work with clients and promote themselves, look for colleges that offer 2- or 4-year programs. Focus on taking courses in financial management, business, and interpersonal communication. This way, you will have the skills to work effectively with clients.
You don't need a degree to become a personal shopping assistant, but it can be beneficial for you to learn how to run your own business
Step 3. Get a degree in fashion if you want to be a clothing shopping assistant
Many universities offer courses in fashion or design management. Pay attention to these courses, and focus on classes that explain trends and styles in fashion. Spend some time reading and studying to be able to pass all the exams and learn how to run your business.
You don't need a fashion degree to be a personal shopping assistant, but it could give you more credibility
Establish a network of contacts with teachers and classmates, in order to get potential clients or tutors.
Step 4. Get certified by the Association of Image Consultants International
The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) is an independent organization that certifies personal shopping assistants in the fashion industry. The certification requires you to take an online exam that will cover questions about fashion trends and how to communicate with others in a personal shopping environment. If you pass the exam, you must submit an online portfolio with your work and customer ratings. If the AICI accepts the portfolio, you will be certified!
You don't need a certification to become a personal shopping assistant, but it will look better on your resume and give your work credibility
Part 3 of 3: Get a job
Step 1. Start looking for salesperson positions in stores with personal shopping assistants
Some major department stores offer personal shopping assistants, so you can recommend items to them. Search stores in your area and find out what charges are available to them.
- Even if the store doesn't have shopper charges, you can reach out to customers to determine if they want your services.
- Some supermarkets also have these charges, in which you will have to take care of customers' online orders.
Step 2. Find a tutor or internship with another personal shopping assistant
Browse the internet to find other assistants in your area and determine what their services are like. Contact them and find out if they accept apprentices or offer internships. Tell them what your career goals are so they can help you as best they can.
If there aren't any in your area, go to a nearby department store to see if they offer this service
Step 3. Create a website and social media accounts for your service
Since many personal shopping assistants have their own business, you will have to create your brand so that others can find you. Create social media accounts for your business so others can find and follow you. Post frequently so they can see what you do and notice that you are actively accepting clients. If possible, go to a web designer to create your page, whereby customers can communicate with you and get more information easily.
Write a blog if you want to include updates on trends or styles you like, so that customers will get excited about them
Step 4. Make business cards that you can hand out to potential clients
Make business cards using editing software or an online template. Be sure to include your name, phone, email, and website so they can easily find you. Give your card to customers so they know how to contact you to inquire about your services.
Leave your business cards on public bulletin boards so people can easily find you
Step 5. Talk to potential clients to determine if they want your services
If you are going to work in a store, talk to customers to determine if they are interested in using a personal shopping assistant. If you don't work in sales, talk to the people you know. Ask them to meet with you so you can chat and see if they would work well together.
Ask your clients if you can use them as references to reach more people
Step 6. Set your hourly rates
Many personal shopping assistants charge by the hour as they need to go to multiple stores and this can take time. Pick a starting price to consult with clients, which is typically around $ 25 to $ 30 per hour, and meet with them to discuss what they expect from the service. Then you can charge an additional $ 20 to $ 30 for each hour you spend shopping.
- The average annual salary for personal shopping assistants is $ 30,000 to $ 57,500.
- As you gain more experience and have a lot of clients, you can start charging more for your services.
- Do not take a percentage of the amount the customer spends, as they might think that you are looking for expensive products to earn more money.