What Do Cashiers Do? (Responsibilities, Skills And Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 11 October 2022

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cashiers are responsible for collecting payments, managing transactions and ensuring the financial aspect of trades between customers and the store occurs legally. They are aware of the store's layout, product placements and are usually adept at providing quick responses to any questions asked at the counter. Understanding what a cashier does gives you an idea of their role at departmental stores and shopping malls, where store owners expect them to showcase exceptional customer service skills. In this article, we learn what do cashiers do, their responsibilities and the skill set that may help you become one.

What do cashiers do?

If you are considering a role in customer service, you may benefit from knowing the answer to "What do cashiers do?". Cashiers are typically customer service professionals who manage everyday operations at the counter of a retail store. They manage cash registers and create bills for customers based on purchased items. While they scan the barcode of most of these items chosen by customers and tally the price and product information on their accounting software, they also present on-the-spot offers to increase sales and promote customer satisfaction. Besides packing up the items for the customer in a bag and greeting them, cashiers may guide customers on product locations, product types and varying categories of product prices based on their budget.

Related: What Is The Difference Between Sales And Marketing?

Responsibilities of a cashier

As a cashier and on-site customer service expert, you may execute the following responsibilities:

Scan products and create bills

Cashiers may use barcode scanners to automate the process of updating the store's inventory. They scan each product brought by the customer to inform the inventory management and billing software. Such automated processes indicate other employees at the store to restock the shelves and ensure these products are available for new customers. Also, cashiers add the relevant tax additions on the bill depending on the types of products purchased. Apart from operating a cash register that keeps a strict record of all transactions, they may require troubleshooting barcode scanners to prevent long lines of customers from waiting.

Perform transactions using software

Another responsibility of cashiers is to adapt to computer software and understand how to add or remove a product, update payment details, notify about inventory restocking and print accurate bills. As the software generally records customer data such as their name, address, email, shopping history and sometimes, card details, cashiers also know how to read, sort and use such data for promoting products and offers. Because software updates can be frequent, cashiers may have to learn how to input the order details and complete the transaction manually.

Issue receipts, refunds and discounts

Customers may enquire about past purchases because of damaged or malfunctioning products, expired items or may even request an exchange for any reason. To resolve this, cashiers may access their register records and prompt the software to print return or refund receipts, as requested by the customer. As their goal is customer retention, they try to compensate for the inconvenience by offering discount coupons or complimentary items similar to the purchase. This may call for further knowledge of various accounting software features and ensuring the database accounts for these complaints while also communicating them to the concerned authorities.

Related: What Does A Retail Manager Do? (With Duties And Skills)

Market new products

Communicating with customers gives cashiers the opportunity to market or cross-sell a new product while greeting them. Since the communication period is really short near the counter, the cashier presents a persuasive and summarising tone of voice. Such opportunities to market new products could help the retail store dedicate a new shelf to a new vendor, bringing in more business. Thus, cashiers may display a knowledgeable personality and briefly explain why the customer must invest in the product and the product's benefits.

Resolve customer enquiries

Customers may often arrive with queries on product sizes, durability, materials, prices and even state their difficulty in locating specific products. Cashiers may have to redirect these customers to particular store sections and this requires them to be aware of product positioning across various areas of the store. Apart from this, customers may ask about the arrival of products they are waiting for and about product quantities to understand how much to purchase. Customers can also ask for assistance in shopping by requesting a trolley or giving out an item list for an employee to gather and bring to the counter.

Check inventory

As shoppers ask cashiers about product availability and location on the spot, cashiers are typically fast at checking the inventory through the software and catering to the customer's requirements. Such inventory management skills are imperative to providing a positive in-store experience for the customer. Cashiers refer to inventory data even when management authorities want reports on product sales, defective products or a list of products that require restocking. Sometimes, based on the software quality, they can generate automated reports depending on all the previously inserted inputs.

Helpful skills for a cashier

Here are a few skills which may improve a cashier's performance at work:

Computer literacy

As cashiers are responsible for interacting with hundreds of clients daily, they may use computers to complete transactions and record payments faster. This could require accurate and speedy typing skills. An ability to use software features to look up products that the barcode scanner cannot detect also helps, as this takes care of the downtime caused by the scanner. Even in cases of searching for products across the store digitally, inputting a few keywords or product codes can help locate the product by accessing the inventory database.

Related: Guide: What Does A Customer Service Representative Do?

Mathematical skills

Despite a calculator taking care of a significant portion of the cashier's mathematical responsibilities, a decent knowledge of mathematics can make a cashier's transactional duties much more manageable. This skill is beneficial when cashiers return change for cash payments or when the computer is not working and they perform manual calculations. Another important use of mathematics is to execute quality assurance while the customer checks out their order. This makes sure there are no mistakes in calculations and neither the store nor the customer is the victim of a miscalculation.

Product knowledge

Cashiers with strong knowledge about a product's placement and features may be eligible for a raise or promotion, as this information can increase customer satisfaction rates. Besides knowing the store layout and the location of each category of products, cashiers may be aware of unique features that distinguish a product from its competitor. If they can justify why similar products have different prices from another and how they are suitable for the customer's search, the buyer would invest less time investigating these details themselves. Such skills improve in-store customer experiences and give customers a reason to return.

Communication skills

Clear and result-oriented communication can be amongst the most valuable skills of a cashier. It supports problem-solving and does not demand excess time from the customer. The more refined their communication skills are, the simpler it becomes for in-store teams to work in an orderly manner and this increases productivity and organisation. Cashiers can be direct and approachable with their communication skills and resolve any issues brought up by fellow employees, customers or management-level professionals. If customers from different nationalities or customers speaking in unfamiliar dialects visit the store, the cashier may have to adapt to their communication style.

Customer service

This skill includes the manner in which you treat customers, converse with them, resolve their in-store problems and offer them discounts or offers on behalf of the retail store. Customers usually come across cashiers, as they are a crucial checkpoint in the sales funnel. The shortest interactions between the two may define whether the customer comes back or purchases more on the same visit. Thus, a positive attitude, friendly style of greeting and professional presentability can ensure the cashier is doing a great job at customer service.

Related: What Is A Customer Relationship Manager? (Duties And Skills)

Additional skills a cashier can have

Here are additional skills that can help you become a cashier:

  • confidence and proven experience to work under pressure and impatient customers

  • attention to detail by ensuring they scan all products and bill customers accurately

  • patience when customers decide to change their shopping decisions during the checkout process

  • punctuality to ensure all employees can work in their shifts and cashiers are present before the store opens

  • knowledge of point of sale (POS) tools to create bills and generate reports

  • ability to multi-task on the counter

How much does a cashier earn in India?

A cashier earns an average salary of ₹1,60,092 per year in India. Whereas cashiers in the capital of India, Delhi, earn an average salary of ₹2,87,148 per year. Despite the fluctuating rates, this average salary can vary based on the retail store, professional experience and benefits offered by the company.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles