Who is a Merchandiser?
Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people ~ Morris Hite
Merchandisers are also known as “image consultants of the retail world”. So what does a merchandiser exactly mean? A merchandiser is a professional who supervises the number of products present or to be present in a store or at a retail website. A career as a merchandiser involves making sure whether the products arrive on time or not. If you are interested in retail business, then a career as merchandiser might be a choice for you. Read the complete article to know more about what is merchandising and factors such as skills and education required, job scope, career growth, work environment, and how to become a merchandiser?
Merchandiser in a Nutshell
A career as a merchandiser requires one to promote specific products and services of one or different brands, to increase the in-house sales of the store. Merchandising job focuses on enticing the customers to enter the store and hence increasing their chances of buying a product. Although the buyer is the one who selects the lines, it all depends on the merchandiser on how much money a buyer will spend, how many lines will be purchased, and what will be the quantity of those lines. In a career as merchandiser, one is required to closely work with the display staff in order to decide in what way a product would be displayed so that sales can be maximised. In small brands or local retail stores, a merchandiser is responsible for both merchandising and buying.
Quick Facts for Merchandiser
Fashion, Design, Marketing, Manufacturing
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
A career as merchandiser is suitable for every gender. Merchandising jobs require candidates with good communication skills, organisation skills, and critical analysis skills, which are not biased to a specific gender.
Any special needs
People with special needs might find the job challenging since in a career as merchandiser, one requires to meet several people on a regular basis, manage one or more store branches while making strategic decisions related to sales and image consulting of the store.
Table of Contents for Merchandiser
What is the role of Merchandiser?
A career as a merchandiser requires one to play a key role in the retail sector, since the profit of a company or a store is measured by how successfully a merchandiser manages their work. In a career as merchandiser, one is responsible for setting prices, planning promotions and markdowns according to the requirement of the store/ brand. A merchandiser also supervises the delivery and stock distribution of product stock along with dealing with the suppliers. In addition to this, merchandisers are involved in working closely with the purchasing department and the buyers of the store. They do so in order to speculate, plan, and monitor the stock levels of the product being purchased and the products being left out.
In a career as merchandiser, one is required to plan the product prices, prepare the sales and stock plan with their buyers. Merchandising job also involves planning the purchase budgets and presenting the sales speculation to the retailers.
In a career as merchandiser, one is responsible for communicating with the distributors, suppliers, buyers, stores, and the analysts. Merchandising jobs require the merchandisers to accompany and guide buyers while visiting manufacturers. A merchandiser is also responsible for meeting the stock suppliers along with managing the distribution of product stocks.
Negotiations are a big part of a career as merchandiser. A merchandiser negotiates product prices from buyers, orders the product stock, schedules delivery dates, and completes the paperwork relevant to the negotiation.
A career as a merchandiser involves keeping a library of documents complied with appropriate data related to sales, investment, and profits made. A merchandiser is also responsible for producing layout plans for stores, forecast profit and sales and report it to the concerned sales head.
In a career as merchandiser, one analyses the bestselling price points, colors and styles of the products. A merchandiser is also responsible for analysing previous session’s sales experiences and strategise a new and improved plan accordingly.
A merchandiser is responsible for working closely with the sales and display staff to manage the products display of the store. Merchandising job involves keeping an eye on the products with less profit and coming up with effective measures to reduce prices and set promotions for those products. Not only this, a merchandiser is also responsible for managing the junior staff along with its training and supervising.
Types of a Merchandiser
Fashion merchandiser - Fashion merchandisers are involved in activities related to fashion forecasting. Prime responsibilities of a fashion merchandiser is to speculate upcoming fashion trends, to design and develop a new plan accordingly, to create new samples for testing, and to plan their production in order to get more efficiency.
Product/ Export merchandiser - A product merchandiser is responsible for handling the complete process right from receiving the order to fulfilling the shipment. Product merchandiser is responsible for setting a communication with every department and resolving their issues.
Retail merchandiser - A retail merchandiser takes care of the buyers at the final stage and helps in purchasing the right product in the right amount to the right customer at the right price. A retail merchandiser is responsible for providing information to customers, producers, and everyone in the middle.
What is the workplace/work environment of Merchandiser like?
In a career as merchandiser, one is required to closely work with the display staff in order to decide in what way a product would be displayed so that sales can be maximised. In small brands or local retail stores, a merchandiser is responsible for both merchandising and buying. Merchandisers work in a corporate environment with a regular 9 to 5 job.
Does Merchandiser require travelling?
Merchandisers are occasionally required to travel in order to perform client meetings, manage different retail stores. Other than that, they do not travel often.
Full Time, Part Time
Merchandisers are required to work in a regular 9AM to 5PM shift pattern. Merchandisers might also work on weekends to meet deadlines.
Career as a merchandiser offers both kinds of employment - contractual and permanent. The contractual employment is provided on a short-term project whereas permanent employment requires regular services of a merchandiser.
Merchandisers work in private offices or retail stores. Most of their time goes by meeting clients, buyers, and in communication with the display staff. The rest of their time is spent in their office.
Presence in Geographical Area
Merchandisers can find job opportunities in both urban and semi-urban areas. Some of popular destinations for merchandising jobs are Bengaluru, Jaipur, Mumbai, Chennai, Gurugrum, and Noida.
Merchandisers are likely to face time pressure since their work is dynamic in nature and requires various last-minute changes. Handling meeting with buyers while coordinating with all the departments of the retail store comes in quite handy.
Generally, merchandisers don’t work overtime but a normal 9-5 schedule. However, due to deadlines approaching or workload, merchandisers might choose to work overtime.
Weekly Hours of Work
Merchandisers are required to work a minimum of 45 hours per week. Generally, merchandisers generally do not work in shifts because the work is not time-oriented. Merchandisers working on a part-time basis might work under shifts.
How to become a Merchandiser?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Merchandiser?
Communication skills: As a merchandiser, one is required to meet various people in a single day from various departments in order to maintain coherence, finalise the stock details, and purchasing plans of the store. Hence, having good communication skills is very important to succeed in a career as a merchandiser.
Financial skills: A merchandiser is required to plan the product prices, prepare the sales and stock plan with their buyers. A merchandiser also negotiates product prices from buyers, forecasts profit and sales and reports it to the concerned sales head. In order to successfully complete these skills, a fair knowledge of finance is required.
Critical thinking skills: Critical thinking skills are an essential part of a career in merchandising since a merchandiser is required to analyse the bestselling price points, colors and styles of the products, keep an eye on the products with less profit and come up with effective measures to reduce prices and set promotions for those products.
Attention to detail: Apart from exhibiting creativity for the store layouts, merchandisers are also required to possess a keen eye for details that are usually left behind. The everyday responsibilities of a merchandiser requires to know how the market trends are and what customers tend to buy more.
Working under pressure: Consumers markets are constantly changing, implying that deadlines can be strict for merchandisers. Merchandiser is a demanding role that requires them to keep reps on their toes on a daily basis. Hence, being organised and working well under pressure are the keys to succeeding in a career as merchandiser.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Merchandiser?
Merchandising is a vast field with a plethora of opportunities for internships for students. From leading retailers to small local stores, everybody hires interns to handle the basic merchandising work. Students from different backgrounds participate in these internship programmes and work as an assistant for the managing director, sales team or merchandising manager. In order to apply for these internships, students are required to contact the HR department of the particular company they look to intern in. Or students can also choose to reach out to their professors, T&P cells regarding the leads related to internships.
Career Path Progression for Merchandiser
Associate merchandiser - Associate or executive merchandisers are the position of junior level merchandisers who have just begun their career in merchandising. Junior merchandisers are required to perform secondary duties such as ensuring the stocks are met, scheduling meetings from different departments and clientales.
Senior merchandiser - A senior merchandiser is a professional incharge responsible for supervising all the activities related to merchandising. Some of the responsibilities of a senior merchandiser include managing the junior staff along with its training and supervising.
Merchandiser Jobs and Salaries
Big Bazaar, bigbasket.com
- Average Salary 25000
- Starting Salary 20000
- Junior Level Salary 20000
- Senior Level Salary 40000
Associate or executive merchandisers are the position of junior level merchandisers who have just begun their career in merchandising. Junior merchandisers are required to perform secondary duties such as ensuring the stocks are met, scheduling meetings from different departments and clientales.
A junior merchandiser salary with less than 1 year of experience is somewhere around Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 22,000 per month. After gaining experience of 1 year or so, the merchandiser earns a median salary of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month. The top-level salary of a junior merchandiser is around Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 45,000 per month. Source: Payscale India.
Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Group
- Average Salary 60000
- Starting Salary 50000
- Junior Level Salary 50000
- Senior Level Salary 90000
A senior merchandiser is a professional incharge responsible for supervising all the activities related to merchandising. Some of the responsibilities of a senior merchandiser include managing the junior staff along with its training and supervising.
A senior merchandiser salary with less than 1 year of experience is somewhere around Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 52,000 per month. After gaining experience of 1 year or so, the merchandiser earns a median salary of Rs. 55,000 to Rs. 60,000 per month. The top-level salary of a senior merchandiser is around Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 90,000 per month. Source: Payscale India.
What is the job outlook for Merchandiser?
Merchandising jobs are likely to go down by two percent in the upcoming years. People from marketing, advertising, and promotions are also moving towards the merchandising industry and companies are preferring marketing profiles more for this profession. In order to remain in damned, professionals are required to stay in touch with the relevant field of their choice. Four to five years of job experience in merchandising is enough for reaching success in a career as merchandiser. However, since merchandising is a broad field with economics, marketing, designing, as its key components, shifting from one profile to another is quite easy.
Frequently Asked Questions for Merchandiser
Que. What are the top bachelor courses in order to become a merchandiser?Ans.
Some of the popular bachelor design degree programmes are -
Que. What are the top design entrance exams in India?Ans.
Some of the top design entrance exams in India are mentioned below:
National Institute of Design - Design Aptitude Test (NID-DAT)
National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Entrance test
All India Entrance Examination for Design (AIEED)
PAF Entrance Test
Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination for Design (UCEED)
Que. Are internships available in merchandising?Ans.
From leading retailers to small local stores, everybody hires interns to handle the basic merchandising work. Students from different backgrounds participate in these internship programmes and work as an assistant for the managing director, sales team or merchandising manager.
Que. What does a merchandiser do?Ans.
A merchandiser is a professional who supervises the number of products present or to be present in a store or at a retail website. A career as a merchandiser involves making sure whether the products arrive on time or not.
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