Best Online Retail and Sales Management Programs

Read our guide to find out which online bachelor's in retail and sales management are best and what makes each program unique.

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by Bethanny Parker

Published on December 22, 2021 · Updated on April 26, 2022

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A bachelor's in retail and sales management prepares students for management careers in retail stores. This program covers business topics such as management, merchandising, and marketing. Coursework also covers finance and retail sales.

The average in-state tuition for a four-year public university is $9,580 per year. Out-of-state students pay an average of $27,437 per year. Online schools may charge more or less than their on-campus counterparts. Some schools charge in-state rates to all online students.

A bachelor's in retail and sales management typically takes four years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs, allowing students to finish faster. Learners who take summer courses or have transfer credit may also finish faster.

According to Nov. 2021 Payscale data, bachelor of science in retail management graduates earn an average base salary of $60,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for sales managers to grow 7% and jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to grow 10% from 2020-2030.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Program?

Successful salespeople are usually extroverted, confident, and good at listening to their customers' needs and interests. They are also resilient and good at multitasking—traits that come in handy while studying to earn an online bachelor's degree.

A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years to complete and requires at least 120 credits. Part-time students need more time to complete the program. Learners who take more than the minimum number of credits each term may finish early.

Some business or business administration degrees offer retail and sales management as a concentration or specialty. Options may include a BA or BS in business administration or a bachelor of business administration (BBA) with a concentration in retail and sales management. Some programs may require labs, practicums, or internships.

BA, BS, and BBA degrees differ mainly in their general education requirements. A BA degree typically requires a foreign language, whereas a BS requires more science. A BBA degree focuses more on business and has fewer liberal arts courses.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Program?

Strayer's bachelor of business administration program features a concentration in retail management. This concentration features required courses similar to those in a bachelor's in retail and sales management program.

Consumer Behavior

In this course, students learn how to analyze consumer behavior and target their marketing according to customer needs. They study how social dynamics impact customer behavior.

Retail Management

Students enrolled in this course study the management of retail operations, including in-store and online selling. Students learn about market research, merchandising, retail image, and operations management.

Marketing Communications

This course covers digital marketing, social media, word of mouth, and branding concepts. Students learn how to choose the right communication channels to advertise their company's brand, products, and services.

Business Logistics Management

Business logistics management teaches students the configuration and components of supply chains in retailing and marketing operations. Students learn about supply chain design options, channel performance monitoring, and forecasting.

Strategic Market Pricing

In this course, students examine various factors in making pricing decisions. They learn about pricing and cost analysis. They also learn how pricing strategy changes over a product's life cycle.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Program?

The admission requirements for an online bachelor's in retail and sales management typically do not differ from those for an in-person program. Prospective students must fill out an application, request official transcripts, and submit test scores. Some schools require a minimum GPA or minimum test scores for admission. Some also require an essay or recommendation letters.

Application

No matter where you decide to attend college, the process starts with an application. Each school has its own application, but many schools also accept the Common App. The Common App allows students to fill out their information once and submit it to multiple schools. Most schools charge an application fee. Sometimes, students may apply for a fee waiver.

Test Scores

Many schools require students to take a college entrance exam such as the ACT or SAT. The school may require a minimum score for admission, or they may require additional math and English courses if you score below a certain level. The additional courses do not count toward a college degree.

Letters of Recommendation

Some schools require letters of recommendation from people who know you and believe you have what it takes to succeed in school. If you have just completed high school, your teachers, principal, or counselor may be willing to write a recommendation letter for you. If you have been in the workforce for a while, you may consider asking a supervisor.

Essays

College application essays are typically between 400-600 words in length. Although they are short, they can be difficult to write. Your essay must make a good impression on the admissions staff among hundreds or thousands of other applicants. Take the time to polish your college application essay until it shines.

Official Transcripts

You'll need to submit official high school transcripts and transcripts from any colleges you have attended. If you have college credits, the admitting college will determine whether they meet the requirements for any of the courses in your program. If so, you may earn transfer credits and need to take fewer classes. If you did not graduate from high school, you'll need to prove that you have a GED diploma.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Degree?

Career Outlook

The BLS projects jobs for sales managers and advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to grow as fast as average from 2020-30. The BLS projects 27,900 new jobs for sales managers by 2030 and 31,800 new jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers.

Payscale data from Nov. 2021 reports an average annual base salary of $60,000 per year for those with a bachelor of science in retail management. However, many students get a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in retail and sales management. Payscale data from Sept. 2021 reports an average base salary of $69,000 per year for those with a bachelor's in business administration. Business administration is one of the most popular college majors.

People with a bachelor's in retail and sales management often work in advertising, public relations, and wholesale trade. They may also work in the professional, scientific, and technical services.

See where a bachelor's in retail and sales management can take you. Learn more about business administration careers.

Career Paths

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan marketing efforts to attract customers to their products and services. They work with staff or department heads to determine the advertising media to use, create marketing plans, and discuss budgets. They oversee the hiring of marketing, promotions, and advertising staff and manage their activities.

Median Annual Salary: $141,490

Sales Managers

Sales managers oversee sales teams. They create training programs, analyze sales data, and set goals for their team members. Sales managers also approve expenditures and plan spending for the sales department. They create special pricing plans or discount rates for their products and services.

Median Annual Salary: $132,290

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers direct the hiring of new staff members, including the recruiting and interviewing processes. They oversee a business or organization's administrative functions. These managers mediate disputes and handle disciplinary issues. They also supervise and plan the work of support personnel.

Median Annual Salary: $121,220

Product Development Managers

Product development managers perform market analysis to identify customers' needs and oversee the development of products to meet those needs. They must be creative and show good critical thinking skills to come up with ideas for future products and services. Product development managers also need a strong understanding of advertising and marketing.

Average Annual Salary: $84,890 (as of Nov. 2021)

Merchandise Planners

Merchandise planners create effective merchandise strategies to increase profits for their companies. They manage inventory, recommend promotions, and analyze past performance to project future results. Merchandise planners meet with staff to receive input to update their forecasts. They estimate monthly revenues and report their progress to their department managers.

Average Annual Salary: $76,130 (as of Nov. 2021)

Retail and Sales Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

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Continuing Education

Sometimes bachelor's in retail and sales management graduates continue on to earn their master's or a doctoral degree. Master's degree candidates may choose from an MS in retail marketing or international business or pursue an MBA. Many schools offer MBAs with concentrations in management, entrepreneurship, and corporate finance.

People with a master's degree may pursue a doctoral degree in business administration. This is the terminal degree for business administration professionals.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Program?

Cost

Compare the cost of various schools when determining where to get your online bachelor's in retail and sales management. Although the average cost of in-state tuition is $9,580, out-of-state tuition and tuition at private schools often costs much more. Consider the total program cost, including living expenses, transportation, and other fees. Do not rule out out-of-state schools automatically. Some offer in-state tuition to online students.

Program Format

Consider whether the program is synchronous or asynchronous, and full time or part time. Synchronous programs require students to log in at set times, while asynchronous programs do not. Part-time programs benefit those who want to work and go to school at the same time, but they take longer to complete. Learners can complete an accelerated bachelor's program faster than four years.

Location

Location can be important, even when considering an online college. Some online programs require in-person labs or practicums. Check with the school before enrolling to learn about any in-person requirements.

Accreditation

Students should prioritize choosing a school that holds accreditation. Accreditation means that a third party organization has reviewed the school's programs and found them to meet their standards. Credits issued by regionally accredited colleges and universities are often accepted as transfer credits by other institutions, which makes regional accreditation especially important.

Student Support

Student support services include career services, academic advising, and mentorships. Learners can also benefit from tutoring and alumni networking events. Some schools also help arrange internships for their students. Even online students can access most student services. Think about which of these services you need and check their availability before choosing a school.

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs

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Best Online Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs

  1. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Tuition

    $18625

    Based in Corvallis, Oregon State's Ecampus extends the university's programming to students around the globe. The Ecampus offers an online bachelor's degree in business administration with a specialization in retail management. If they want, students can blend online courses with in-person sessions at Oregon State's Portland campus.

    The retail management specialization includes coursework in supply chain strategy, consumer behavior, and retail management. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. Oregon State does not require ACT or SAT scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $354/credit
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 180 quarter credits
    • Degree Completion Program: No
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online or hybrid
    • School Status: Public
    • Program Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
    • School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  2. Arizona State University-Skysong
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Tuition

    $14166

    Based in Phoenix, ASU offers a variety of online programs to students worldwide. The university's online bachelor's in retail management offers courses in food retailing, essentials of service marketing, retail management, and quality management. Each course lasts for 7.5 weeks and the program offers multiple start dates throughout the year.

    Applicants must meet ACT or SAT score thresholds, place in the top 25% of their high school class, or have a 3.0 high school GPA.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $447/credit in-state; $541/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 semester credits
    • Degree Completion Program: No
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • Program Accreditation: N/A
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  3. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty serves more than 100,000 students around the globe in large part thanks to its online programs, which include an online bachelor of science in business administration in marketing and sales. The program features eight-week courses in marketing research, consumer behavior, sales management and professional selling, and retailing and category management.

    Incoming transfer students can bring up to 90 credits with them. Applicants must submit all prior transcripts and have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $390/credit
    • Program Length: 3.5 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120 semester credits
    • Degree Completion Program: No
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • Program Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  4. Central Washington University
    Location

    Ellensburg, WA

    Tuition

    $14647

    Located in Ellensburg, CWU offers a bachelor's in retail management and technology that allows students to complete all coursework online or through a hybrid format. Notable courses in the specialization include principles of retailing, international retailing, sustainable retailing, retail information technology, and retail management.

    CWU's FlexIT format allows students to work through quarterly asynchronous coursework at their own pace. CWU offers guaranteed admission to applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university does not require ACT or SAT scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $555/credit in-state; $1,657/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: Varies
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 180 quarter credits
    • Degree Completion Program: No
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online or hybrid
    • School Status: Public
    • Program Accreditation: N/A
    • School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Retail and Sales Management Programs

Is a bachelor's in retail and sales management worth it? true

Yes. For most students, a bachelor's in retail and sales management is worth it. The total tuition for the program averages $38,320 for in-state public school students. The average annual income for graduates is $60,000 per year. Depending on their pre-college incomes, most students should recoup the cost of their education in a few years.

The return you'll earn from your investment varies depending on the cost of the school you choose and the job you land after graduation. If you have sales experience and expect to land a sales manager job after graduation, you'll recoup your investment faster than someone who works as a retail store manager after graduation.

What can I do with a bachelor's in retail and sales management? true

Some of the most common job titles associated with a bachelor's in retail and sales management include retail store manager, human resources manager, and merchandise planner. Other graduates work as assistant store managers, event managers, or area sales managers. Product development managers and assistant buyers are two other potential jobs.

Bachelor's in business administration graduates with a concentration in retail and sales management may work as accountants or information security managers. They may also pursue roles as marketing data analysts, marketing and business development managers, or management consultants.

Are retail and sales management majors in demand? true

Yes. The BLS projects jobs in retail and sales management to grow as fast as average between 2020-2030. The BLS also projects jobs for sales managers to grow 7%, from 2020-2030. In addition, the BLS projects jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to grow 10% and jobs for human resources managers to grow 9% from 2020-2030.

Many of the projected job openings for these occupations will occur due to current employees retiring or changing careers.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in retail and sales management?

Although the average annual salary for someone with a bachelor's in retail management is $60,000, those with a BBA earn more, averaging $69,000 per year. For this reason, students may consider choosing a bachelor's in business administration with a concentration in retail and sales management.

Bachelor's in retail and sales management degree-holders can work as advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. These professionals earn a median salary of $141,490 annually. Sales managers earn a median salary of $132,290 per year. Other popular careers include human resources manager (median salary $121,220), product development manager (average salary $84,890 as of Nov. 2021), and merchandise planner (average salary $76,130 as of Nov. 2021).

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in retail and sales management?

One of the highest paying jobs for graduates with a bachelor's in retail and sales management is advertising, promotions, and marketing manager. These professionals create marketing plans to promote their companies' products and services. They also hire and supervise marketing team members. The top 10% of earners make more than $208,000 annually.

Sales managers also earn a high salary of $132,290. They oversee teams of salespeople, which includes training them and setting goals for their performance. They analyze sales data, create budgets, and approve expenses for the sales team.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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