The Retail Sales Associate position is the foundation of the retail industry. This is where customers are served and items are sold. Without the Retail Sales Associate, customers these days would have much less incentive to physically go to a store, as they can purchase just about anything online.
Retail Sales Associates are required to know the products they sell, and they must be able to assist customers with information and even opinions on making purchases. They must be friendly and able to provide good customer service, as they are the people whom all customers primarily deal with in any store. When not on the floor selling merchandise, the Retail Sales Associate is usually responsible for stocking products on the floor and sometimes helps with the assembly of products. The working environment in primarily inside of a store, but some may work outdoors in a seasonal department and some travel to businesses or homes to sell their product may be required. The working hours of a Retail Sales Associate may be more open than those for other industries. Many stores open relatively early around 7 a.m., and some will stay open until 12 a.m. and occasionally overnight. Retail Sales Associate schedules are not normally consistent to the same exact hours and days every week. They may vary with a first shift, a day off and then a third shift, and include weekends. Therefore, Retail Sales Associates must be very adaptable in their ability to work at different times. The tools used while working are generally a pen and paper, a telephone and computer, a bar code scanner, a labeling machine, and hand tools for those who must assemble products. No degree is usually required, but depending on what a store is looking for, a Retail Sales Associate position may require either no experience all the way to extensive experience in sales.
Retail Sales Associates are the backbone of the retail industry. It would be impossible for their industry to run without them. Many Retail Sales Associates start their working career in this position and work their way up the ladder of management.
Retail Sales Associate Tasks
- Attend special training of products/services to understand the product features, trends or styles of the products/services.
- Sell the organization's products/services to new or established customers typically via walk-in business.
- Process payment for products or service, may maintain customer preference records.
- Assist the customer in selecting products/services, answer questions and check for stock and availability.