What Is the Job Description of a Merchandiser?

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A merchandiser is a person that ensures that a product or promotional product is in the right place at the right time, and in the proper quantity and quality. Find out about the research that goes into merchandising with help from a marketing, public relations and sales management teacher in this free video on marketing jobs.

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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Mark and we're going to look at, "What is the job description of a merchandiser?" Merchandiser is the person that ensures that the products or the promotional products are in the right place at the right time and in the right quantity and quality. So, in other words, this person's responsible for bringing promotional items to, for example, a supermarket and ensure that they are positioned and merchandised in the correct way. Now, what does that mean? That means that somebody has gone to the trouble of actually studying this. You can't just become a merchandiser. You must learn about the needs and requirements of the job and, of course, be trained in the ways in which it's necessary to be done. It's a very credited job because ultimately, the company will have a requirement but essentially they will leave you as the merchandiser responsible for the implementation of this particular function. What is it? Say, for example, a chocolate company is promoting a brand of its children's chocolate products. It's Easter time. They need to make sure that they have the best and most impactful display available. Why? Because they want people to buy their product. Now, there are many other companies out there as well, so they have to stand out. They have to be different. They have to create some form of design and stand that is going to catch people's eye. It's going to be impactful. Therefore, they have to be very color orientated, very size and structure orientated, very design orientated, very packaging orientated. They have to know where best to place your particular promotion. So, there's lots of requirements here. Now, that alone is important, but they also have to plan ahead because they obviously need to plan their own time, but they need to also know when to order the various tools, packaged items, and merchandising equipment that are going to be available from stores and stock it. Because they're the people who have to run around collecting all of the items and making sure there's enough of those items to go around the various stores that they will be implementing these displays. So, for example, if they're working on behalf of one chocolate manufacturer, they're not just going to one store, they're probably going to be working within a region, which means that they have a time factor running against them. If this promotion is happening from the first of April, they have to make sure that all of those particular merchandising promotions are in place for that agreed period across their particular territory. Merchandisers, also, are self-employed people mostly, which means that they can work for many different companies but they have to be very well disciplined, well organized; they have to know exactly what is going to work for each different company. They have to clearly understand the business of that particular organization and it's requirements, and possibly even measured, as they're self-employed, in terms of the sales that those promotions trigger. So, for example, if they're well-placed and impactfully designed and competitively packaged they might be successful. Of course, if they're not, then there might be a way of measuring how effective that merchandising promotion, in fact, was. So, merchandisers are in a very tight position in terms of getting things right, effectively positioned, and user friendly, obviously to encourage a take-up of that particular activity. They have to work very closely with their sales representatives, as well, because the sales people, actually, are the people that will take the orders from the stores. So, these sales people know how well and how effective that merchandising promotion was. So, it's very important that the merchandiser communicates very effectively with the sales representative of that organization.

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