Career Development

What Does a Merchandiser Do?

Find out what a merchandiser does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a merchandiser.

Merchandisers are the people who make it possible for you to buy the latest fashions, electronics, toys, and other consumer goods. They travel from store to store buying products from manufacturers and suppliers, then sell those products to retailers who in turn sell them to consumers.

Merchandising is a fast-paced industry that requires strong interpersonal skills and an ability to multitask effectively. Merchandisers must be able to work well with vendors, suppliers, and other merchandising teams while also managing their own inventory and sales goals.

Merchandiser Job Duties

A merchandiser typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Establishing relationships with vendors to ensure that merchandise is delivered on time and meets specifications
  • Researching market trends to determine which products will be most successful in the current marketplace
  • Communicating with store managers regarding new product lines or upcoming promotions to ensure that displays are designed appropriately
  • Reviewing reports from previous merchandising campaigns to identify areas for improvement in subsequent efforts
  • Ordering merchandise from manufacturers and suppliers to meet specific store needs, including seasonal items such as Halloween costumes or Christmas decorations.
  • Maintaining inventory levels of products in stores by monitoring sales and replenishing stock as necessary
  • Identifying opportunities for new products or product lines in order to increase sales volume in existing categories
  • Meeting with store managers to discuss upcoming events or promotions and ensuring that displays are appropriate for the event or promotion
  • Assisting with special events such as fashion shows or art openings by designing and assembling display equipment

Merchandiser Salary & Outlook

The salary of a merchandiser can vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $57,500 ($27.64/hour)

The employment of merchandisers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Merchandising jobs are expected to be less susceptible than some other types of retail jobs to automation and e-commerce, which should limit the decline in these jobs. However, retailers will continue to seek out merchandisers to help them increase sales and profits by tailoring their product offerings to specific customer groups.

Related: In-Depth Merchandiser Salary Guide

Merchandiser Job Requirements

A merchandiser typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: A high school diploma or GED certificate is often a minimum requirement for merchandisers. Some employers may prefer a minimum of a two-year associate degree in a related field, such as marketing or business.

Training & Experience: Merchandisers typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or managers. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the products they sell. Merchandisers may also receive training in the use of inventory management software.

Certifications & Licenses: Merchandisers do not require any certifications to earn their position. However, many schools offer accredited retail merchandising certification programs. These programs allow merchandisers to gain additional knowledge about the retail industry and test their skills to earn a promotion.

Merchandiser Skills

Merchandisers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Time management: Time management skills can help you manage your tasks and deadlines. This can be important when working in a retail environment, where you may be responsible for updating social media accounts, creating displays and stocking shelves. Being able to manage your time well can help you complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Communication: Communication is another skill that can help you in your career as a merchandiser. You may be required to communicate with other employees, such as sales representatives, to ensure that the products you sell are in stock and that the store has the right amount of products to meet customer demand. You may also need to communicate with suppliers to ensure that you have the right products to sell.

Organization: A strong organizational skill can help you keep track of inventory, sales and other business records. It can also help you keep track of your merchandise and ensure you have enough of each product to meet customer demand. Organizational skills can also help you keep track of your schedule and ensure you complete all your tasks.

Product knowledge: A merchandiser needs to have a thorough understanding of the products they sell. This includes knowing the product’s features, how to use them and the benefits of each product. This knowledge can help you sell products effectively and answer customer questions. You can also use product knowledge to create displays that highlight the product’s features and benefits.

Teamwork: Working as a team can help you and your colleagues complete tasks more efficiently. You can use teamwork to help you organize and merchandise products, as well as complete other tasks throughout your workday.

Merchandiser Work Environment

Merchandisers typically work in retail stores or in the corporate offices of retail companies. They may also work in warehouses or distribution centers, where they may oversee the receiving and shipping of merchandise. Some merchandisers travel to trade shows or to meet with manufacturers and suppliers. Most merchandisers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Retail stores are usually open during evening and weekend hours, so merchandisers may be required to work some evenings and weekends. Some merchandisers may be required to travel overnight to attend trade shows or to meet with manufacturers, suppliers, or customers.

Merchandiser Trends

Here are three trends influencing how merchandisers work. Merchandisers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Online Shopping

The growth of online shopping is a trend that is quickly changing the way people buy products. As more and more people turn to the internet to find the best deals, businesses are starting to realize the importance of having a strong online presence.

This means that merchandisers will need to be familiar with online marketing techniques and how to optimize their websites for search engines. They will also need to be able to create effective social media campaigns that drive traffic to their sites.

More Focus on Personalization

As customers become more accustomed to receiving personalized experiences, they will expect retailers to provide them with a similar experience when it comes to shopping. This means that merchandisers will need to focus on providing a more personalized shopping experience for their customers.

One way to do this is by using data-driven insights to understand what each customer wants and then delivering that experience through personalized recommendations and product displays. In addition, merchandisers can also use technology such as artificial intelligence to automate some of the tasks involved in personalizing the shopping experience.

A Greater Emphasis on Branding

Branding has always been important for businesses, but in recent years it has become even more essential. This is because consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of advertising and are looking for ways to identify trustworthy brands.

As a result, merchandisers need to be aware of the importance of branding and how to create a positive image for their company. They need to be able to develop products that reflect the values of the company and communicate its message to customers.

How to Become a Merchandiser

A merchandiser career can be a great way to start your retail career. As a merchandiser, you’ll be responsible for planning and executing the sale of products in-store. This includes everything from creating displays to stocking shelves with the right products.

To become a successful merchandiser, it’s important to have an eye for detail and be able to think creatively. You should also be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. Additionally, it’s helpful if you have experience working in retail or have knowledge of fashion and trends.

Related: How to Write a Merchandiser Resume

Advancement Prospects

The most common way to advance in this career is to move to a larger company. There, you will likely have more responsibility and be able to work with a larger budget. You may also be able to specialize in a certain area, such as visual merchandising or store planning.

With experience, you may be promoted to a position such as buyer, category manager, or product manager. In these roles, you would be responsible for selecting the merchandise that is sold in the store. You would also be responsible for negotiating prices with vendors and setting the selling price of the merchandise.

If you are interested in management, you may be promoted to a store manager position. In this role, you would be responsible for all aspects of the store, including the merchandise, the employees, and the finances.

If you are interested in working in a corporate setting, you may be promoted to a corporate position, such as director of merchandising or vice president of merchandising. In these roles, you would be responsible for the merchandise in all of the stores of the company.

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