Sales Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Sales Assistant, or Sales Associate, works on the sales floor providing assistance directly to customers. Their duties include greeting customers who enter the store, managing the cash register or point of sale system and helping customers find products in their store.


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Sales Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Sales Assistant needs to make a positive connection with customers to secure purchases. Sales Assistants are typically responsible for:

  • Greeting customers and offering assistance
  • Recommending products or merchandise to help customers
  • Answering questions and addressing concerns
  • Informing customers about sales, promotions and policies
  • Demonstrating how products work 
  • Taking payments for purchases and packaging purchases
  • Stocking merchandise and creating displays
  • Taking inventory and monitoring sales floor 


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What does a Sales Assistant do?

Sales Assistants typically work in brick-and-mortar retail stores. They must be knowledgeable of the store layout, inventory and company policies in order to provide accurate information to shoppers. A Sales Assistant will help locate products for customers, place orders and holds, process transactions and keep the sales floor organized and well-stocked. They often act as the face of the company and must uphold company values both in how they dress and how they interact with customers.


Sales Assistant skills and qualifications

Successful Sales Assistant candidates will have various skills and qualifications needed for the duties and responsibilities of the job. Most will maintain a focus on customer satisfaction with a foundational knowledge of the business and the applications and uses of the products and merchandise. A Sales Assistant’s skills and qualifications could include: 

  • The ability to communicate effectively
  • The ability to read, write, and perform basic math
  • A professional appearance
  • A friendly and outgoing demeanor
  • A concern for others and a desire to help
  • Knowledge of point of sale systems
  • Strong customer service skills


Sales Assistant salary expectations

A Sales Assistant makes an average of $14.27 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.


Sales Assistant education and training requirements

Sales Assistants typically need to have a high school diploma or GED. In some cases, an associate degree may be necessary. Typically, Sales Assistants receive on-the-job training, which can last a few days or up to several months. They are usually guided by a more experienced Sales Assistant who offers training sessions on customer service, security, policies and procedures, cash and payment handling and register operation. 

Depending on the products sold, some Sales Assistants may be given specialized training on how to use, model or display the merchandise. Additionally, they may receive continuous training to learn about new products and services. 


Sales Assistant experience requirements

Generally, no prior experience is required for entry-level Sales Assistants. However, a background in customer service or retail can be beneficial. Communication skills are necessary to effectively assist customers and process payments accurately. Some Sales Assistants may need up to 1 year of related experience. 


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Frequently asked questions about Sales Assistants


What makes a good Sales Assistant?

Sales Assistants must demonstrate certain qualifications and skills in order to excel at their jobs. Look for the following when hiring Sales Assistants: 

  • Positive attitude: Sales Assistants are front facing employees who interact directly with customers. A positive attitude is key. 
  • Self-motivation: When not helping customers, excellent Sales Assistants keep themselves busy by cleaning the store, restocking shelves and handling other tasks without needing to be told to do so by a manager. 
  • Knowledge: Great Sales Assistants know details about the products available for purchase in the store and can answer customer questions when asked. 
  • Problem-solving capabilities: Some Sales Assistants may have to handle an unhappy customer. Knowing how to quickly and confidently solve problems is a great skill for a Sales Assistant to have. 
  • Confidence: Excellent Sales Assistants are confident in their skills and happy to engage with customers to ensure they have a great shopping experience. 
  • Sales ability: In addition to tasks like completing transactions and ensuring the store is well-maintained, Sales Assistants should have some sales abilities and entice customers to make purchases. 


What are the differences between a Sales Assistant and a Sales Clerk?

Sales Assistants and Sales Clerks can perform the same job duties, depending on the needs of the store they work for. In larger stores, Sales Clerks exclusively work at the cash register, while Sales Assistants help shoppers identify the products and merchandise they need and restock shelves. In smaller stores, one person usually handles all sales responsibilities, from checkout customers out at the point of sale station and restocking merchandise. Employers might call these employees either Sales Assistants or Sales Clerks. 


What are the daily duties of a Sales Assistant?

The daily duties for a Sales Assistant can vary from business to business depending on the size of the organization and the number of other people on staff. A few common duties for Sales Assistants include: 

  • Greeting customers
  • Stocking and restocking merchandise as needed
  • Helping shoppers find what they need
  • Managing transactions at the cash register
  • Answering customer questions
  • Liaising with managers as needed
  • Cleaning the store as needed
  • Receiving product deliveries
  • Updating displays regularly

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    Last updated: Apr 23, 2021