A retail sales associate is responsible for selling merchandise and assisting customers in finding the right product. Day-to-day duties include customer service tasks such as welcoming shoppers, offering assistance, making recommendations, answering questions and explaining the features of products. Other common duties include operating cash registers, bagging products, stocking shelves, marking price tags and preparing displays.
Since a high degree of interaction with customers is required, your retail sales associate job description should mention a strong focus on interpersonal skills. Friendliness and an outgoing personality are big bonuses.
A dedication to customer service and an ability to persuasively explain products are also good qualities to have, as well as the ability to handle money and operate a cash register. Consult the retail sales associate job description below to get an idea of what to include in your own posting.
Retail Sales Associate Job Summary
Our small neighborhood bookstore is searching for an energetic and customer service-oriented retail sales associate to join our team. With us, you’ll share with customers your passion for and knowledge of books to find the perfect read while creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere where readers can curl up and relax. You will also have the chance to design displays, select books to be featured on our recommended reading lists and help create our seasonal promotions, all while enjoying the benefits of working on a small, cooperative and close-knit team. This is a great opportunity for friendly book lovers to build their interpersonal skills while spreading their love of reading to our diverse customer base.
- Greet guests as they enter the shop, ask whether they would like assistance with anything and provide help if needed in a friendly, hospitable and efficient manner
- Remain knowledgeable about and answer questions related to merchandise, sales, promotions and store policy
- Provide recommendations based on customer’s stated preferences, needs and desires
- Create a warm and cozy atmosphere for our guests in accordance with the vision of the store by acting in a welcoming and approachable manner during customer interactions
- Operate a cash register and perform related tasks, including cash handling, credit card processing and opening and closing of the register when on the first or last shift of the day
- Straighten, arrange, stock and dust off merchandise, maintain shelving areas as directed by management and participate in the designing of displays in windows and on tables
- Locate merchandise for customers, placing special orders to find desired items if necessary
- Handle refunds, returns and exchanges with a focus on timeliness and customer service
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Friendly, outgoing demeanor with a strong commitment to customer service
- Ability to express oneself clearly and persuasively when making sales
- Calm, professional demeanor even when confronted by discourteous customers
- Must be able to stand for long periods of time and lift up to 20 pounds
- Previous experience operating a cash register
- Demonstrated interest in literature is a plus
Retail Sales Associate Job Responsibilities
Writing the job responsibilities section is one of the most important tasks in putting together an effective retail sales associate job description. It is this information that gets readers excited about the potential for entering the position. In addition to focusing on the core functions of the role, you should review standard formatting techniques for creating advertisements.
One of the most common ways to organize the salesperson’s duties is in a bulleted list. The job responsibilities section should be the longest section of your job description, but the summary of tasks cannot be too long, or it may intimidate readers. In fact, between six and eight bullet points is a good length. Make the first word of every bullet point a strong action verb to focus the information and strengthen it.
To help you make your retail sales associate job description as polished as possible, review these effective example entries for the responsibilities section:
- Complete transactions, collecting money carefully and returning change accurately
- Interact with customers, answering inquires, providing information and offering assistance
- Greet customers as they arrive, following standard procedures to make them feel as comfortable as possible
- Make recommendations to customers, offering advice for which purchases might fulfill their needs best
Retail Sales Associate Job Specifications
In many ways, the job qualifications and skills section is the opposite of the responsibilities section, although it is just as important. It should be the shortest section of the retail sales associate job description. You want to separate the items into two bulleted lists, one that outlines the mandatory expectations and the other that describes more lenient preferences. This approach has the benefit of being perfectly clear when a candidate is not qualified but granting opportunity to the more talented readers. Common standard requirements include education and professional experience.
The purpose of the retail sales associate job specifications is to help readers understand whether or not they qualify for the position. A well-written summary of necessary proficiencies can cause only the best candidates to apply while details that you throw together quickly may mean you have to sort through an overwhelming number of unqualified applications.
Make your retail sales associate job description as strong as possible by implementing the effective writing strategies demonstrated by these sample entries:
- Must have two years of experience working in the service industry, four years preferred
- Excellent communication skills, including interpersonal, professional and written
- Familiarity with handling money responsibly
- Strong critical thinking, evaluation and analysis abilities
- Experience in a position of leadership preferred