What is Merchandising?

Merchandising is simply the act of promoting goods and services that are available for sale at retail levels. Its main objective is to maximize sales by influencing the buyer’s decisions. When done right, this form of selling can help free up time, enhance the buying experience and make the selling process simpler and quicker.

Types of Merchandising

Retailers can specialize in one or a variety of merchandise. These include convenience goods, impulse products, specialty goods and shopping products. Convenience goods are those items that people cannot live comfortably without. They are essential for life and are regularly bought with little effort or decision-making. Examples include cleaning items, personal hygiene products, utensils, clothes and food.

Impulse products are those items that people buy without necessarily planning for them. Customers simply see them and pick them immediately without thinking beforehand. They include magazines, sweets, chocolates and complimentary items.

Shopping products are those goods that customers want more information about before making their final purchasing decision. Customers may research them online and compare them with other brands. Because of the intensive research involved, these goods do not sell quickly. Examples include electronics and furniture.

Specialty goods are those products that customers are willing to do extensive research on, travel long distances and even pay more to acquire. Customers are not willing to accept another offering and do not compare them with other products because they know exactly what they are looking for. Examples of specialty goods may include expensive wine or alcohol, service experts and luxury cars.

Excelling as a Merchandiser

A merchandiser is the one who makes all things possible in the store. He determines the quantities of the products on offer, sets the prices, creates display signs, develops marketing strategies and establishes coupons or discounts. A merchandiser also trains new employees and teaches sales tactics to existing workers.

In order to excel in this profession, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED. However, most employers require applicants with bachelor’s degrees. You will get short-term and on-site training to help you learn how to use the equipment and meet all the job requirements.

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Apart from education, you must possess certain skills to succeed in the job. You must be able to apply your mathematical skills to work out budgets and understand the sales figures. You must have good computer knowledge to produce accurate spreadsheets and graphs. Other essential skills include the ability to work effectively in a team, good oral and written communication skills and commercial awareness.

Career Path for Merchandisers

Anyone who wants to work as a merchandiser will begin as a trainee for at least one month before he is considered fully qualified for the job. Those who are passionate about the job can move on to become team leaders or managers. Team leaders and managers may be grouped into geographic regions or groups, depending on the size of the firm.

Merchandisers Salaries and Job Outlook

A merchandiser who is experienced earns an average salary of $12.11 per hour. This translates to $47,365 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment rate for merchandisers to grow at the national average rate for the next 10 years.

Since people’s savviness is widening, many companies have to stay ahead of consumers’ expectations. Innovation and experimentation will have a key role in retailers’ merchandising techniques.