Career Development

What Does a Retail Sales Merchandiser Do?

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

Retail sales merchandisers are responsible for promoting the products of one or more retail companies. They commonly work with a team of salespeople, helping to coordinate their efforts and ensure that they’re all working toward the same goals.

Retail sales merchandisers typically spend most of their time on the road visiting retailers in person. They may also visit other locations such as warehouses or distribution centers to gather information about upcoming product launches or inventory changes.

Retail Sales Merchandiser Job Duties

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

  • Maintaining relationships with existing clients and building new business with potential clients
  • Developing marketing plans to promote products to customers through in-store displays, social media, and other tactics
  • Monitoring inventory levels of merchandise to ensure that sufficient quantities of popular items are available while eliminating excess inventory of unpopular items
  • Developing presentations that feature new products or lines in order to entice store managers to purchase them
  • Estimating sales volumes based on historical data about seasonal trends in order to determine how much product to purchase from manufacturers
  • Planning and conducting presentations at trade shows or other events in order to promote specific products to potential buyers
  • Educating customers about new products or services in order to increase sales
  • Maintaining a high level of customer service by greeting customers warmly and helping them find what they need in the store
  • Selling products that are listed on the company’s inventory, such as furniture or electronics, to customers who are shopping in stores

Retail Sales Merchandiser Salary & Outlook

Retail sales merchandisers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of retail sales merchandisers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited by the increasing use of self-service technology, such as electronic price tags and automated checkout systems, which allows retailers to reduce their staffing needs. In addition, online shopping has reduced the need for some types of merchandising workers, such as those who arrange displays in stores.

Related: In-Depth Retail Sales Merchandiser Salary Guide

Retail Sales Merchandiser Job Requirements

A retail sales merchandiser typically needs the following:

Education: Retail sales merchandisers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed some college courses. Taking classes in business, marketing and advertising can help you prepare for a career in retail sales.

Training & Experience: Retail sales merchandisers typically receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning the store’s layout, merchandise and computer systems. It may also include shadowing current employees to learn the daily tasks and responsibilities of the job.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not required for most aspiring retail sales merchandisers, getting a professional credential can improve your job prospects and enhance your skillset.

Retail Sales Merchandiser Skills

Retail sales merchandisers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Retail sales merchandisers communicate with customers and coworkers throughout their workday. They use verbal and nonverbal communication to help customers find products, answer questions and complete transactions. They also use communication to work with other employees to restock shelves, move merchandise and complete other tasks.

Product knowledge: Product knowledge is the ability to explain the features and benefits of a product. This can help you educate customers about the products you sell and encourage them to make a purchase. You can learn about products by reading product descriptions, researching the company that makes the product and asking other employees about the product.

Time management: Retail sales representatives often have multiple tasks to complete in a day, so time management is an important skill for them to have. You can use time management to help you prioritize your tasks and complete them in a timely manner. For example, you might use time management to ensure you complete all of your sales duties before the end of your shift.

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to interact with customers in a friendly and helpful manner. As a retail sales merchandiser, you may be responsible for greeting customers, answering questions and directing them to the products they’re looking for. Customer service skills can help you build trust with customers and encourage them to make a purchase.

Organization: Retail sales merchandisers often work in teams with other sales associates and managers. Having strong organizational skills can help you work more efficiently and complete your tasks on time. Organization skills can also help you keep track of your sales data and inventory.

Retail Sales Merchandiser Work Environment

Retail sales merchandisers work in a variety of settings, including retail stores, warehouses, and office buildings. They may be required to travel to different locations, such as stores in different states or even different countries. Retail sales merchandisers typically work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays to accommodate the schedules of their customers. The work can be physically demanding, and retail sales merchandisers may be required to lift and carry heavy boxes of merchandise, set up and take down displays, and stand for long periods of time. The work can also be stressful, as retail sales merchandisers must meet deadlines and quotas and deal with customers who may be unhappy with the merchandise.

Retail Sales Merchandiser Trends

Here are three trends influencing how retail sales merchandisers work. Retail sales 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 Rise of the Digital Shopper

The rise of the digital shopper is a trend that is quickly changing the retail landscape. As more and more people shop online, retailers are having to adapt their strategies to meet the needs of these shoppers.

This means that retail sales professionals need to be familiar with the latest trends in e-commerce, such as mobile shopping and social media marketing. They also need to be able to effectively communicate with customers via email and chat platforms.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As businesses focus more on customer experience, they will begin to place a greater emphasis on the role of the sales team. This means that retail sales professionals will need to be well-versed in customer service skills in order to create a positive experience for customers.

In addition, retail sales professionals will need to be knowledgeable about the products that they are selling in order to answer any questions that may come up. By focusing on customer experience, businesses can ensure that their customers are happy and likely to return again in the future.

Greater Use of Technology in Retail

Technology is being used in retail in a variety of ways, from using tablets to help customers find what they are looking for to using artificial intelligence (AI) to make recommendations.

As technology becomes more prevalent in retail, sales professionals will need to learn how to use it to their advantage. This includes learning how to use AI to make recommendations, as well as understanding the benefits of using tablets to help customers find what they are looking for.

How to Become a Retail Sales Merchandiser

A career in retail sales merchandising can be rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start off on the right foot by getting the right training and education. Many retailers offer their own in-house training programs, so it’s a good idea to check with your local stores to see what they have to offer.

You should also consider taking courses or certification programs that will help you develop the skills needed for this job. For example, many retailers require their merchandisers to have knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You can learn these programs online at sites such as Lynda.com or Skillsoft.com.

Related: How to Write a Retail Sales Merchandiser Resume

Advancement Prospects

Retail sales merchandisers may advance to supervisory positions, such as assistant store manager, in which they would oversee the work of other sales staff. With experience, retail sales merchandisers may also advance to store manager or other management positions in their company. Some retail sales merchandisers may eventually open their own retail store.

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