Retail sales associates sell goods and services to customers. As retail professionals, they work in stores, where they do everything from helping customers select merchandise to processing payments. Sales associates perform the following tasks:
Recommend solutions: Some of the most important tasks for retail sales associates include talking with customers, assessing their needs and desires and recommending appropriate solutions. In a sales associate job, you may need to become a subject matter expert on the merchandise you sell to provide practical suggestions that meet customers’ requirements.
Answer questions: Retail sales associates often handle basic customer service tasks like answering questions and explaining policies. As a retail specialist, you might help customers locate merchandise in the store or respond to customer inquiries about price or function.
Demonstrate merchandise: Many retail associates use product or service demonstrations to generate sales. In this job, you might guide customers through a technology tutorial, prepare a recipe or assist shoppers who are trying on clothing.
Advice about promotions: To encourage the sale of goods and services, retail associates are often responsible for telling customers about discounts. In this role, you might explain promotion guidelines and calculate sale prices for customers.
Process purchases: In many cases, retail sales associates handle customer payments and calculate amounts owed. In this position, you might scan barcodes or enter merchandise details into a point-of-sale system before accepting cash, checks, credit cards or other forms of payment.