A product or merchandise is a tangible item that can be touted for businesses. It is offered to a market with a motive to satisfy demands. In a retail organization, the entire process of procurement of merchandise is viewed as part of its integral activities.
From planning to control, every stage holds importance. Against this backdrop, much importance is given to retail merchandising. The act of contributing to the sale of products to the end users is what is retail merchandising. Every retail business has its product line(s) to take care of while offering to the consumers. And it is merchandising itself that presents an attractive picture of products, prompting customers to buy and become secret brand ambassadors.
Merchandising refers to any practice which, for a major part, is meant to affect the sales of products in a favourable manner. This is the only practice that spreads awareness, attracts prospective customers and compels the target audience to making purchases. Hence, managing this process is essential. Merchandising management comprises the development of strategies to make sure that at the right place and at the right time, the right product is bought at the right price. Everyone associated with the retail industry has to deal with merchandising activities.
Benefits of merchandise management:
- Attracting customers: It is by the way of merchandising you enhance the appeal of your brand or product in the eyes of the prospective customers. This is how you entice them, ultimately increasing the traffic showing up in your store. Not only the interiors of the store and the product itself should be exciting, different or affordable enough to allure, but the exteriors of the store should be able to give all the reasons to the customers to drop by and have a glance even if they were not interested to do so. This is the point where the role of signage and exterior design comes into play.
- Augmenting sales: The effect of impeccable merchandising strategies is long felt, particularly on the sales of the company. Taking sales to peaks is a contribution of many factors such as pricing, product packaging, display, arrangement, promotional marketing and sales signs. If a perfect combination is attained, there is no way that sales would not get affected in the desired way.
- Bringing customers back, again and again: Successful merchandise management can be measured from how often a customer returns and with what assertiveness. If the expectations of customers are met precisely, he/she is bound to return and chances are that he/she will turn loyal if no other competitor of yours comes up with a better product at the same price, given other things are the same. And if the management technique succeeds in making the customers as the secret brand ambassadors, who are spreading the word around and compelling their near and dear ones to buy your product, think you employed the best merchandise management tactic.
As far as management of promotional products is concerned, it deals with the sourcing, storage and distribution of your marketing products. By managing promotional merchandise, you work towards improving your brand’s equity and quality of products, plus ensuring that your promotional goals are realised in the best way. It is always advisable to outsource product management to the professionals, like Arcadia, who have equipped themselves with all – in terms of resources, knowledge, experience, etc. – what it takes to conquer in it. As per the requirement, such professionals can furnish you with any promotional item that can do the job, including brochures, sample kits and points-of-sale items.
By Jason Markwick, Director, Arcadia Corporate Merchandise