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What Is a Retail Sales Associate and How to Become One

Retail Sales Associate

What Is a Retail Sales Associate?

A retail sales associate is an entry-level salesperson who works in a retail store selling products to customers. As a retail sales associate, your responsibilities and duties include maintaining stock in an orderly fashion and completing sales transactions. You use your product knowledge to help potential customers make informed purchase decisions. You represent your company and provide exceptional customer care at all times. You play a vital part in reaching your company’s sales goals and upholding the excellent reputation of your company.

How to Become a Retail Sales Associate

The most important asset toward becoming a Retail Sales Associate is good customer service skills. To be considered for a Retail Sales Associate role, you’ll likely need a high school degree or GED and some prior retail experience, though typically not more than a year. Candidates should be comfortable working a register, using POS systems, and handling cash or credit card transactions. You’ll need reliable transportation to get to work on time and be able to maintain a flexible schedule, sometimes working evening, weekend, and holiday hours. Retail Sales Associates should have an eye for keeping a space clean and welcoming. While the Retail Sales Associate position is an entry-level role, you can help advance your career by enrolling in retail-based or CRM software training.

How to Be a Good Retail Sales Associate

A good retail sales associate has the right blend of product knowledge, sales skills, and friendliness to succeed in this career. To be a good sales associate, become very familiar with your store’s various items, their uses, and advantages. Work hard to keep the sales floor clean and organized so that it is as attractive as possible for customers. Greet customers and treat them in a friendly and professional manner at all times. Strive for accuracy during all transactions to ensure totals and change are given accurately. Finally, be a team player—help your fellow associates and manager whenever possible and work to be a positive influence on the team.

Retail Sales Associate Job Description Sample

With this Retail Sales Associate job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Retail Sales Associate role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an energetic, dependable retail sales associate to join our growing team. You will directly assist customers, process transactions, help merchandise the sales floor, and play a vital role in making our retail experience a positive one. Top-notch customer service skills are a must, as is the ability to learn product knowledge quickly and thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Welcome and greet customers as they enter the store
  • Offer help and provide direct assistance to customers
  • Provide in-depth product knowledge, including features, benefits, and overall value
  • Answer customer questions and concerns
  • Attend to unique and individual shopping needs of each customer
  • Cross-sell and encourage beneficial product add-ons
  • Upsell when appropriate; promote current sales, promotions, coupon deals, etc.
  • Explain store-member benefits and encourage customers to sign up
  • Process purchases, returns, and exchanges
  • Handle customer complaints in a calm and professional manner
  • Report anything unusual or any major incidents to management
  • Help organize back stock and perform inventory counts
  • Process newly received shipments
  • Organize and replenish front stock and help merchandise store
  • Maintain a clean and tidy work and retail space
  • Be enthusiastic and informative about all products
  • Help create a positive environment for customers to shop and buy
  • Take direction from and report to assigned supervisor
  • Work as a team to achieve sales goals

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent preferred
  • Previous retail, sales and/or hospitality experience a major plus
  • Computer literate; familiarity using POS systems
  • Extremely personable, positive, and approachable
  • Fantastic customer service skills
  • Comfortable standing for long periods of time; can lift up to 20 pounds
  • Able to work various shifts, including weekends and holidays