Retail Store Cashier Job Description
Learn About the Duties, Pay and Qualifications for This Job
Retail store cashiers are the most important point of contact for retail customers, making it one of the most demanding job in any brick-and-mortar retail operation. Not only do cashiers need to be fast and efficient, they also need to provide great customer service at all times.
A retail store cashier's job is broader than just point-of-sale (POS) cash register operations. The typical cashier will also have promotional, stocking, cleaning, selling, greeting and accounting duties as well. While many are part-time employees, full-time hours and regular schedules are also possible at larger retail chains, as well as some smaller and independently-owned retail operations. The duties and daily tasks of a cashier can vary widely depending on the size of the retail operation and the total number of store employees.
Retail Store Cashier Key Job Responsibilities
The key responsibilities of a retail store cashier include POS cash register, enforcing store policy, promotion and customer service. Depending on the size of the retail operation, cashiers may also have sales floor and backroom duties.
Register Operation Responsibilities
Operating registers or point-of-sale devices is the cashier's primary duty. They may involve cash, checks, credit cards, gift cards, store credits, coupons, marketing promotions and loyalty rewards club points. Complete knowledge about how to complete each transaction quickly and efficiently is key.
Cashiers perform a wide variety of financial transactions using the point-of-sale system. The cashier should be familiar with the system, whether it is a traditional cash register, or computer-based system, laptop, tablet or mobile device. And all POS transactions must be conducted with a pleasant, helpful demeanor with all customers, no matter how busy the store may be.
At the beginning and end of the shift, it is usually the cashier's responsibility to count the drawer and balance the till for loss prevention and accounting purposes. A correct balance of financial transactions is generally considered essential — failure to correctly conduct sales transactions is a common reason why some cashiers may be fired.
Policy Enforcement Responsibilities
Every retail operation has policies for merchandise returns and exchanges, gift card redemption rules, and payment option regulations. The proper procedure for providing discounts on damaged merchandise, the return policy on regular and clearance items and the appropriate person to contact in the event of an issue with a transaction are some of the situations that a retail store cashier may encounter on every shift. The cashier must know these rules, procedures and regulations, and be ready to enforce all of the company and retail store policies.
Promotional Facilitation Responsibilities
The cashier should also know about current promotional offers, sales, discounts, coupons, loyalty club rewards and any other short-term events that affect sales activities. Because marketing campaigns and seasonal promotions are often crucial for retailers, it is vital the cashier facilitate these transactions as they were designed — which is to the benefit of both the retailer and the customer. As the primary contact for the completion of sales transactions, the cashier should be able to answer questions about promotions and pricing.
Customer Service Responsibilities
The customer service responsibilities are equally important. A cashier is viewed as a brand ambassador by customers who may not interact with any other employee. That's why cashiers need to make a positive impact on the brand value of their employer with every interaction.
A cashier is expected to greet customers, easily establish rapport and build positive relationships with customers. A friendly, helpful and approachable demeanor is key at all times, even when dealing with customer dissatisfaction, and unhappy, frustrated, angry or confrontational customers. It is the cashier's goal to resolve customer issues effectively so each customer walks away with the most positive impression possible.
Qualities of a Successful Retail Store Cashier
Because retail store cashiers constantly handle cash and sensitive financial information, they must be trustworthy, honest, fair and maintain the privacy of customers without fail. Efficiency, focus, attention to detail and the ability to multitask are also important qualities of a successful cashier.
A positive attitude, steady disposition, a sincere desire to assist customers and exceed expectations are all qualities the best cashiers naturally possess. The ability to work well under pressure, and being able to maintain a high level of energy and enthusiasm are also qualities the most successful cashiers demonstrate daily. Cashiers are often required to work varied schedules, weekends, holidays, and shortened or lengthened shifts, so they should be flexible.
Cashiers must be able to walk and stand on their feet for long periods of time. The job duties can be physically demanding, requiring lifting, bending, reaching and carrying merchandise, as well as lifting and moving displays, and promotional signage and materials.
Excellent verbal communication skills are essential, as well as strong math and organizational skills. The cashier must be self-motivated and self-directed, and be able to work unsupervised. Equally important, the cashier must be a cooperative team member and assist other employees in every way possible in order to contribute to the overall success of the retail operation.
Prior Experience Needed
It is helpful to have some cash handling or other sales experience before applying for a retail store cashier position, even if that experience came from volunteer or school activities. Even though a cashier is generally considered to be an entry-level retail position, some of the largest retail chains still require prior experience and/or education to be considered for a position.
Retail store cashiers are usually required to have a high school diploma or GED. Higher school credentials are sometimes required in consideration for future retail career advancement that may be made available.
Average Pay and Compensation
A cashier is often a part-time employee, which generally does not include health insurance or any of the best retail employment benefits. The positions are almost always classified as hourly and often qualify for minimum wage. Retail store cashiers are may also get paid sales commissions or sales bonuses based on individual or store performance. Another perk includes merchandise discounts, even with a part-time classification.
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly salary for a cashier in the United States was $9.72 as of November 2018. The pay range for a cashier was between $7.83 and $12.65.
Who's Paying What?
Payscale.com rated the best and least paying retailers for full-time cashiers in the market. Lowe's, Walmart and Target ranked among the top three, paying an average cashier's salary of $24,000, $23,000 and $20,000 respectively. Kohl's ($18,000), Walgreens and Dollar Tree ($17,000 each) all had the lowest pay scales for cashiers out of those ranked as of November 2018.