Introduction:
A merchandiser is known as a key person who is commonly concerned in business promotion by buying and selling of goods. The merchandiser usually works with all departments in a company— management, design, procuring, and production, sales and promoting to confirm the finished product is executed correctly and on time. Merchandising is a process which helps to arbitrate production and marketing sections. It is a complicated procedure of practices and actions used to encourage and uphold certain types of commercial activity. The individuals who engaged in this sector are known as a merchandiser. A merchandiser has to perform as a communicator between buyer and seller. He starts the conversation with the buyer or his agent and creates a friendly environment between both parties. Usually, merchandiser works with the design team to display the product or promote product line efficiently.
A merchandiser is a key person in any production house if we evaluate his entire job routine. They have to know many terms and definitions to continue his assign job smoothly. They should have strong negotiation and communication skills with visual and analytic capabilities. He or she should follow 4 R’s (Right Quantity, Right Quality, Right Cost & Right Time) strictly if they wish to execute their assign job perfectly. Merchandising actions may indicate display techniques, pricing, free samples, market analysis, shelf talkers, on spot demonstration, special offers, consumers feedback and other point-of-sale methods.
Who Is a Merchandiser?
Theoretically, a merchandiser is a person who plans, develops and presents a product to a target market. In reality, he is a person designated to coordinate between the customer and manufacturer to ensure product quality and specified shipment time. In the context of the situation, a merchandiser is an individual who sources customer, negotiates with him, secures an order, sources materials, follows up production, shipment & makes regular contact with the buyer during the whole period from obtaining order up to the delivery of the consignment.
Importance of merchandising:
Morris Hite was a prominent American author, advertising consultant and self-educated person said
“Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people.”
                                                                                         – Morris Hite
He illustrated the following line to comprehend the significance of the above statement. Merchandising strategy boosts up products sales, clear product’s rack and makes you ahead to reach your targets than your competitors.
The word merchandising has become very popular in young generation. And the job of merchandisers has also taken a very popular dimension in this country. The concept of marketing & merchandising has somewhat emerged from the cover of the phrase merchandising. Marketing refers to promotion, delivery & sales of a product to the customer while merchandising means planning, development &” presentation of merchandise (product or product line) for a target market in respect of prices, assortment, timing, styling, etc. Merchandising department is the pivotal center for coordinating the development of merchandise, its design, realization of design, and up to the delivery of the merchandise to the customer.
The job of merchandisers has, of late, become very challenging and complicated due to a number of reasons:
1) Frequent fashion change
2) Growing complexity of line and product development
3) Complex channels of distribution and sales
4) Increasing emphasis on Quick Response relationship between buyer-vendor-customer etc.
Under the business circumstances of the local company, merchandisers are increasingly engaged in sourcing and securing orders, preparing a material list, sourcing suppliers & their materials, etc.
flow chart of merchandising task
The work of merchandising may be the following:
1. Study of fashion trend & fashion forecasts in association with fashion designer
2. Considering potential target customer
3. Sourcing information about the customer and his profile (type of customer)
4. Sourcing information about a product, its categories, styles, specifications, assortments, size details, etc.
5. Sourcing foreign buyers
6. Negotiating orders, cost calculation, pricing, securing orders through master LC
7. Sourcing fabrics, trims & accessories
8. Placing order for the above materials & making regular follow-up
9. Getting samples made, making costing & pricing of the same
10. Rectifying samples if necessary
11. Completing the whole sampling procedure as per customer requirement
12. Getting buyer’s approval of the sample
13. Estimating lead time
14. Production & shipment planning
15. Keeping track of raw-material arrival, production cycle, and organizing inspections
16. Monitoring production & product quality
17. Making regular liaison with the customer and keeping him updated on order & production status
18. Follow-up client instructions in respect of packing & packaging
19. Arranging product delivery on time.
20. Follow up customer direction in respect of shipment and inform him shipment details
21. He has to coordinate with shipping/export departments
22. Arranging payment against export order.
23. Quick response follow-up in respect of the buyer’s query.
Merchandisers must coordinate & follow-up with each and every development & monitor all the processes in product realization. It is the Job of the merchandisers to update information with the customer about all aspects and status of the order. Customers must be informed only to day basis about the progress of the concerned order, and all queries must be responded on an emergency basis. Merchandisers cannot and must not keep the customer waiting.