What is the Job Description of Retail Sales Associate

If you want to be a celebrated retail sales associate, then you must be one who understands your duties and responsibilities, down to every information in your job description.

But how can you know the job description of a retail sales associate plus your daily duties and responsibilities when you don’t have the job yet?

We’ve got you covered.

This article provides full details of what a retail sales associate must do every day.

A full understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a retail sales associate outlined in this job description guide will set you up for success.

This article outlines the necessary qualifications, skills, duties and responsibilities of a retail sales associate.

By the end of this article you will have full knowledge of what to expect on the job.

Who is a retail sales associate?


A retail sales associate is someone who helps to provide a great customer experience and increases a business’s revenue. 

The role of a retail sales associate is one that requires excellent customer relations skills, impeccable communication and the ability to handle tense situations. 

These people are the face of the business and they create rapport with customers guiding them throughout the buying process.

They do this by explaining the uses and benefits of products and services, and assist customers in making the right purchasing choices. 

Retail sales associates also assist with marketing and promotion of company’s products and services and ensure they meet all customers’ needs.

This in turn encourages customers to come back for repeat business. 

They may also handle payments and assist customers to their vehicles. 

An experienced Sales Associate makes a lasting impression on customers and makes sure they leave your business with a good experience.  

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What does a retail sales associate do? – Daily duties and responsibilities of a retail associate

Sales associates are essential to the final step in that supply chain process, helping customers select and purchase products. 

The job description of a retail sales associate may vary depending on the company you work for and the products you’re selling. 

But generally, the duties and responsibilities of a retail sales associate include customer service, sales, and administration. 

To be more specific, here are some of the common duties and responsibilities you will find in a retail sales associate job description:

1. Retail sales associates guide customers to make buying decisions

It is part of the duties and responsibilities of a retail sales associate to work closely with customers to determine their needs.

They do so by answering their questions about the company’s products and recommend the right solutions.

They also actively seek out customers in the store to ask them what they need and proceed to advise or direct them. 

Thereby, offering help and direct assistance to make buying decisions.

2. They help in the smooth running of the store.

Because of the close relationship with their customers, retail sales associates are almost like the customer service representative.

As a result they help facilitate activities within the store and improve efficiency.

3. Help to resolve customer complaints 

Since retail sales associates interact first hand with customers, they help to promptly resolve customer complaints and ensure maximum client satisfaction. 

They also answer all customer questions and queries without having to involve higher authorities. 

4. Stay updated with product features

Retail sales associates help customers to make buying decisions. 

As a result, it is their duty and responsibility to stay up-to-date with the latest product features and maintain the store’s visual appearance in high standards.

You can develop product knowledge as a retail sales associate by reading current vendor tags and pamphlets.

Additionally, you can attend training classes in order to be effective at communicating the features of a product to customers. 

5. A Retail Sales Associate is responsible for all sales activities 

The retail sales associate activities include greeting customers, answering questions, offering assistance, and providing product information.

They also ensure that products are cross-sold by suggesting items and lending opinions.

In addition, they organize and replenish front stock as well as maintain a clean and tidy work and retail space.

6. They show excellent customer service and marketing skills

A retail sales associate’s responsibilities may also include showing excellent customer service and marketing skills.

It is your duty to convince customers to make a purchase in the store.

They also present new products to customers and discuss other available options. 

In addition, the retail sales associate has a duty of keeping the selling floor stocked with merchandise.

They assist in displaying merchandise or organizing the selling floor as well as stock areas.

7. They process all payments

One of the daily activities of a retail sales associate is to process payments by totalling purchases.

They also process checks, cash, credit cards and other payment methods. 

In addition, they deal with and process all customer refunds as well as exchanges courteously and professionally.

Other duties and responsibilities of a retail sales associate 

  • Ensure that customers enjoy high levels of customer satisfaction through excellent service
  • Work towards meeting and even exceeding the department’s sales goals on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure proper customer service
  • Build productive trust relationships with customers and attend to their individual shopping needs.
  • Receive and process newly received shipments
  • Adhere with company’s inventory control procedures and help organize back stock as well as perform inventory counts
  • Suggest different strategies for improving sales
  • Upsell to customers when appropriate; promote current sales, promotions, coupon deals, etc.
  • Encourage customers to sign up for store membership benefits
  • Take direction from and report all unusual activities or any major incidents to the supervisor.
  • Help create a positive environment for customers to shop and buy

At the end of the day, the duties as responsibilities of a retail sales associate aim towards achieving excellent customer service, while consistently meeting the store’s sales goals.

Qualifications and Requirements of a Retail Sales Associate

To get the job of a retail sales associate, you need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Getting a bachelor’s degree in marketing or similar fields is also a plus.

In addition, you must also have the right retail sales associate skills to stay on this job.

You may need to have proven work experience as a retail sales associate, sales representative or similar role.

If you don’t have prior experience, then the company may train you if they can afford to.

Part of the requirements for being a retail sales associate is having basic understanding of sales principles and customer service practices.

A person who has a good record of over-achieving sales quota will gain preference. 

Having hands-on experience of how to carry out POS transactions is also an advantage 

  • Familiarity with inventory procedures
  • A friendly and energetic personality with a customer service focus
  • Ability to perform under pressure and address complaints in a timely manner
  • Availability to work flexible shifts

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What are the Special Skills and Abilities a Retail Sales Assistant Needs?

Being a retail sales associate requires certain levels of skills since you will be interacting with a lot of people.

Among other things, you should know how to communicate with customers, easily identify the location of products in the shelve etc.

The skills you present to your employer is what will determine whether you have all it takes to run the store.

Here are some of the basic skills you must possess. 

1. Organizational skills

A retail sales associate must be able to easily remember customer’s preferences, keep track of inventory and document all paperwork in the store. 

2. Communication skills

You must be proficient in the language peculiar to your geographical location)

Besides the language, you need to also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 

A good retail sales associate should be able to greet customers, engage in small talks and listen to customer concerns.

Effective communication will help you to handle all situations within the store effectively.

3. Problem-solving skills

A retail sales associate must be a great problem solver.

Having this skill will help in situations when customers have complaints or concerns.

You must be able to show a high level of understanding situations in order to proffer solutions to them.

4. Time management skills

Because of the volume of customers sales associates attend to, you may find you may be everywhere in the store.

As a result, you need this time management skills to be able manage your time so that you can attend to more customers.

5. Product knowledge

A good understanding of the products on the shelves will provide you with the ability to answer customer questions.

It also gives you the ability to help customers make informed decisions thereby building customer trust.

6. Interpersonal skills

Different customers have different kinds of behaviour.

Because of that, you need to have an excellent interpersonal skill to be able to relate with them differently. 

In addition, you need this skill to be able to relate with your colleagues and avoid problems.

7. Team and leadership skills

Employers will like to know whether you can interact well with others as well as take charge when problems arise.

As a retail sales associate, you should be able to work with a team effectively and also contribute your quota where the need be.

8. Retail software skills

You’ll need to understand the specific software that your future company uses.

While having general computer skills is helpful, including your specific proficiency in Microsoft Office skills, for example, will impress employers more. 

Be sure to include these skills if you have experience with them.

9. Numeracy

As a retail sales associate, you need to be very good with numbers.

While it can be easy to depend on retail software, it’s also important to be a good mathematician in a sales associate position.

This skill will help you in a situation where there is a computer glitch or malfunctioning.

In this case, your ability to manually calculate prices, discounts and transactions will be a valuable asset.

10. Languages

Earlier, I said something about understanding the local language of your geographical location.

In addition to that, you need to also understand a few other foreign languages. 

This is because you may encounter customers who speak different languages.

In this case, being able to speak to them in a language they understand will make them feel more comfortable around you.

Your employer might even increase your salaries for possessing bilingual skills.

11. Multitasking Skill

Attending to several customers at the same time is one of the features of working as a retail sales associate. 

Sometime, you may be answering a customer’s questions while completing a purchase transaction for another customer.

As a result, you need the multitasking skill to be able to respond to them all at once.

12. Ability to work under pressure

Retail companies experience peak periods like holidays where there is high-volume shopping.

This period is important to them as they depend on this period for a significant share of their profits. 

As a result, you must be able to rise to the occasion without any impact on the quality of your work.

How much does a retail sales Associate make in a year?

Depending on your arrangement with your employer, you may receive hourly payments or monthly salaries.

Generally, the wages for retail sales associates range from minimum wage to about $20 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $12.67.

This salary figure also depends on the kind of industry which goes a long way to affect the pay.

For most technical stores (say those who deal in automotive fields) the pay is usually higher.

Retail sales associates may work full or part-time and they may also earn commissions, bonuses, or other incentives for exceeding sales goals.

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