A Brief Insight into the Concept of Retail Merchandising

A Brief Insight into the Concept of Retail Merchandising
Retail merchandising is a marketing method that helps carry on retail business. This Buzzle article provides you a brief insight into the concept of retail merchandising.
BusinessZeal Staff
"The reasons behind why people are motivated to buy and shop during Thanksgiving are about as complicated as human behavior is. Some do it for the fun of it and the excitement of being able to get deals not everyone can get, while others want to truly take advantage of the sales and price reductions in order to stretch their dollars and what the dollars can buy for them and their families."
― Adel Mekraz, Retail merchandising and management program director, UW-Stout's College of Management.
So, what is retail merchandising, actually? To understand this, you have to first understand what the word 'retail' means. Retail, in its simplest form, is the sale of goods from the business to the consumer. However, this is not done directly; retailers buy goods from the manufacturer and then sell them to the public. In fact, a lot of people get confused between 'wholesale' and 'retail' as well. Wholesalers or distributors also communicate with the manufacturers, and are a link between them and the retailers. That is to say, wholesalers purchase goods from the manufacturers, sell them to the retailers, who in turn, sell them to the public. It is a huge supply chain. Retail merchandising, is thus, a process by which the merchandisers sell the retailers' goods to consumers. Basically, they are responsible for making sure that sufficient products are available to the public at a reasonable price.
Process of Retail Merchandising
  • Retail merchandisers, as mentioned above, help provide the right products to the right customers in the most optimized way possible.
  • They need to establish a good relationship between themselves and the manufacturers and distributors, as well as the clients.
  • Goods received from the distributors are checked, meaning the per unit price, acquisition price, etc., details are verified, and it is ensured that delivery is carried on smoothly.
  • Goods are efficiently displayed at the proper stores and marketed to generate high sales.
Services
  • Retail merchandising services summarize the host of responsibilities that a retail merchandiser has to fulfill, some of which are outlined in the points below.
  • These services help organize and maintain retails stores.
  • A major service that retail merchandising offers is the communication with the distributors as well as the manufacturers.
  • The merchandisers have to ensure that the right products are available at the right place, at the right price.
  • They have to handle all the in and out sales and maintain records.
  • Exceptional customer service must be a major service; having a good relationship with clients is what helps publicize the business.
  • Merchandisers must be adept at assisted selling - that is to say, they must provide satisfaction to the customer as well as the retailer.
  • The product must be sold such that the customer is happy with the service, quality, and price, while the retailer is happy with the profit and extended customer base.
  • Merchandisers need to negotiate prices, quantity, transport, sales, and other details with the manufacturers.
  • They must be able to predict accurately, the upcoming trend settings in the retail industry so that proper plans can be formulated for ensuring maximum profit.
  • Stock level control plays a major role in bringing about efficient sales, they must be able to manage the distribution of stock.
  • They must manage the budget, be adept at learning specialist software, and also provide associate training, i.e., train and supervise the junior staff to provide additional services.
  • They must handle any supply/distribution problems and resolve sales conflicts.
  • Merchandisers must handle retail marketing - an important phase of merchandising in order to promote products at the right place and increase profitability.
  • Retail merchandising services must be efficient to provide the best, advanced, and up-to-date technology to clients and also help in retail auditing.
  • They must establish good working relationships with every dealer and ensure the per unit price, proper delivery, and appealing display of the goods.
  • Often, the display part of services comes last, after the pricing and other details. This is an important phase, especially in cases of lifestyle and fashion merchandising.
  • Marketing is an important service, they must ensure that the goods are promoted as much as possible, and in the best way.
Trends
  • Assessing retail merchandising trends is an important part of the process.
  • The merchandiser should be able to predict product reception as well as customer reaction.
  • He needs to be abreast of the latest innovations so that he can adopt the trends into his retail plan.
Mobile Shopping
  • One of the ways of predicting the changing trends is to know from where customers are most comfortable regarding shopping.
  • Nowadays, with the advent of the smartphone, a majority may be comfortable with mobile shopping.
  • Retail merchandising can focus on this issue by marketing their products attractively on websites.
  • Newer apps and other designs on the mobile help retailers promote their products and increase opportunities.
Social Media
  • Combining promotion with social media is a brilliant trend that has caught on in the recent half a decade.
  • Merchandisers can use digital media platforms to promote products, check responses, and accordingly lay down future plans.
  • The interface that they provide for the consumers must be user-friendly, and exactly as the consumer wishes. For instance, the user will prefer reading reviews about the product in question first, rather than reading about the product offering.
Good Quality
  • Trends always have to be predicted by minute observations.
  • The demand and supply chain varies according to the change in trends. Many retailers follow the trend of making the shopping experience 'content-rich' for customers.
  • Working towards selling products in the most lucrative way possible is the aim of assessing trends in retail. And, they have to be assessed frequently, as they keep changing.
  • Stocking good-quality products goes a long way in good merchandising.
Discount Opportunities
  • Many retailers offer discount stores, dollar shops, sale opportunities, etc. This is another one of those rising and ever-changing trends.
  • Recession and inflation are two other factors that can influence the trends and the demand and supply chain.
  • Along with managing trends, merchandisers have to manage and control the stock levels and distribution as well.
With a plethora of products and stores, inventory control is another important factor in retail merchandising. Nowadays, there are several inventory management software available for the same.
Tips
Retail merchandising tips will help you understand the importance of the retail business and how the product display phase matters in the same. As already mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, appealing stores always help, especially in case of fashion.

Product Access
  • One of the main tips you need to follow is to have easy product access.
  • If there is a new entry in the store, is it placed at the correct place, where it can catch the customer's eye? Or is it somewhere inside, isolated, such that the customers cannot even see it?
  • Have a separate place assigned for new arrivals, sort them out efficiently, train your staff to engage the customers well, and after an initial display period, categorize the products and place them in the right sections so that other new entries can make their way in.
Attractive Storefront
  • If you are into fashion or lifestyle, have a visually appealing storefront.
  • Make an attractive, bold colorful billboard, have the products displayed near the entrance, have the essentials printed out beautifully. This is what will entice your customers.
Layout
  • Next in line is your store layout.
  • Nothing should be haphazardly arranged; everything needs to be at its proper place.
  • Customers are always in a hurry, they might browse for one product, pick it up, and in all probability, leave it in some other section.
  • When you are into retail merchandising, such small details matter the most.
  • Have your staff look out for these glitches and ensure proper product placement. This is especially true in case of supermarkets.
Complementing Interiors and Exteriors
  • Your external as well as internal look should reflect perfection.
  • Have a catchy tagline or something similar to lure customers.
  • If you are into lifestyle merchandising, create different themes and categorize products accordingly. This will certainly be an attention seeker.
Seasonal Availability
  • Keep track of seasonal sales. And do not assume that there are only 4 or 5 seasonal changes in a year.
  • Product value and appeal change according to the customer.
  • While it is true that fur coats and the like would be more in demand with the onset of the winter, if a particularly famous film star dresses up similarly in a movie despite the warm weather, you will immediately notice a marked rise in the demand for such coats. This point should be taken note of.
  • Lighting, color, setting, competition, product quality, etc., every little thing matters in retail merchandising. They should all be taken care of to ensure maximum profitability.
Retail merchandising is a very vital process in the sale of products, and involves tremendous responsibilities. These merchandisers play a crucial role in the company; it is how efficiently they do their work that determines the profit and loss situation.