What Is Merchandise Retailing (With Benefits And Types)

Updated 6 August 2023

Merchandise retailing brings customers to your store because of your in-store promotional and marketing strategies, allowing for higher sales. Quality merchandising can help accomplish your sales goals and let your store grow in popularity amongst different audiences. If you are a shop owner, store manager, or an aspiring retail merchandiser, learning about the components of retail merchandising and its impact on your business can be a beneficial experience. In this article, we discuss what retail merchandising is, its types and some methods to improve your store's retail merchandising.

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What is merchandise retailing?

If you are trying to increase your store's visibility and footfall, understanding "What is merchandise retailing?" can teach you how to engage more clients by meeting their demands and comfort requirements. Regular activities in retail merchandising include giving out free-of-cost product samples, designing an attractive store and placing high-quality images and descriptions of products. As a store manager, you may be responsible for restructuring the store layout based on the latest products and highlighting items with the greatest selling potential. Retail merchandising is typically an effective tactic for simplifying the shopping experience for customers.

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5 Ways merchandise retailing can help your store

Store owners use merchandise retailing to improve their marketing tactics. Here are five ways in which retail merchandising may enhance the returns your store generates:

1. Offer attractive product displays

Like how e-commerce platforms create attractive product representations, your store can set beautiful product displays. Carefully dividing product categories and designing an easy-to-follow store plan makes it simpler for customers to find their desired products. This makes navigating across the store a comfortable experience for clients, bringing in better sales numbers. If your product displays are curated to suit the buyer's mindset once they visit the store, you may convince them to buy additional products they need. For example, if a customer wants to purchase shoes but notices socks beside the shoe shelves, you might make added sales.

2. Create discount-based pricing labels

Adding a clear pricing label describing the cost of certain products based on their design and usability gives a customer clarity for buying decisions. You can add discounts on the original price and bold the final cost to give the store visitors an impression of discounted rates. Consider adding the discount percentage to make them aware of your exact price offering. Many stores may add a feature list on these pricing labels to emphasise the key benefits and characteristics of their products. If you rely on customers to guide themselves, this retail merchandising technique can reduce the representatives you need.

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3. Plan effective store layouts

Your store's layout can be a deciding factor when improving your customer's shopping experience. Since retail stores may sell multiple product types, try to create a store layout that lets them quickly see all items on display. Attempt to analyse your typical customer's buyer journey and produce store layouts that show them relevant products placed near each other. For instance, displaying frequently used accessories or smaller items near the checkout counter can generate larger revenue because of last-minute purchases. Placing restrooms and in-store canteens at strategic locations can also present a pleasant experience for shoppers.

4. Allow easy product accessibility

Customers can vary in height, weight and other physical characteristics. This means different customers may have their own limitations when trying to reach a product on a higher or lower shelf. Either assign department-wise customer service representatives, design product placements with easy accessibility or create dedicated sections for people with disabilities. This might ensure your clients can reach and examine any product they like while also easing their product search efforts. Accessibility also indicates the location of trial rooms and what store areas have payment counters.

5. Consider all senses

Just like customers have different physical characteristics, the strength of their senses also varies. While some customers may have poor vision, others can better understand smell or are more receptive to sounds. For this reason, try incorporating in-store strategies where you can capitalise on all human senses. For instance, creating audio cues through loudspeakers for seasonal sales or time-based discounts can attract customers to sections you wish. In case an area has limited stock or recently updated product offerings, retail stores can guide all visiting customers through speakerphone announcements.

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Reasons merchandise retailing is important

Time-tested retail merchandising solutions can improve your performance as a store manager or retail merchandising professional. Here are a few reasons retail merchandising is important:

Increase in customers

The manner of displaying products through store windows can excite passer-bys and increase the number of store visits. For retail shops with a self-explanatory and inviting storefront, customers can expect what products are available and enter accordingly. Once you organise the directional in-store signage, new customers face fewer troubles when searching for products. Many global retail chains use clockwise signage since counterclockwise signage has not produced evident benefits to sales and customer experiences. Another factor is the lighting your store uses. As customers prefer well-lit spaces, it is best to use bright lighting techniques.

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Better customer engagement rates

Retail stores have the potential to make customers buy multiple products and create high-value bills. Designing a store with pleasing aesthetic interiors and exteriors can influence customers to spend more time browsing the shop. This increases the chances of selling more items and improves the customer's dependency on your product line. Some customers might share their shopping experience on social media and help your store's reputation. Such actions inform their friends and family of your store's existence and develop into more leads and engagement rates.

Greater inventory returns

Well-planned retail merchandising methods allow in-store visitors to quickly search for their preferred products. Store managers can design and divide sections by regularly restocking shelves and placing out-of-stock labels on shelves where products are unavailable. These methods help your customers stay updated on the inventory and plan their purchases. Provided you constantly stock and refresh the inventory with in-demand products, the inventory turnover can be much faster. This leads to converting shelved items into sales and avoiding instances of expired stock.

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Promote special offers

Customers may not be aware of special offers on bulk products or a group of items. You can use effective retail merchandising to inform them of these unique offerings and achieve your store's promotion-centric goals. Expert store managers typically deploy visual merchandising methods such as upcycled product displays, products on mannequins and stores that leverage technology for shoppers. If the retail store depends on creativity while informing customers of special offers, you can use interactive product demonstrations to provide a look and feel through visual merchandising.

Leveraging merchandising calendars

Merchandising calendars may involve several types of marketing plans for displaying new products, launching promotional events and offering additional benefits for specific customer categories. Creating a profitable calendar includes keeping track of upcoming seasons, trending items and holidays. For example, festive seasons typically include significant changes to your store's inventory options and special offers. If you decide on the stocking and staffing requirements in advance, your store can earn more than its average monthly income. Ensuring you study the results of your store's previous merchandising plan puts you in a better position for high-performing in-store marketing.

Types of retail merchandising systems for retail stores

Here are two common types of merchandising strategies retail stores use when creating merchandising plans:

Staple merchandising

Staple merchandising accounts for products that are essential and frequently purchased by customers. These products have no dependency on seasons and are almost always present in a store's inventory. Most stores have sufficient backup stock in their inventory and inform suppliers of their demand beforehand. You can create long-term forecasts and ask vendors to prepare their production plans based on past sales from your staple inventory. It is generally easier to account for these products as they have a predictable demand and the restocking depends on continuous, periodic stock replenishment.

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Fashion merchandising

This merchandising system is more challenging to predict as it functions on unpredictable fashion trends and open-to-buy customer mindsets. As the product preference of buyers can change with seasons or festive occasions, there is limited knowledge on the frequency and quantity of restocking. While this type of merchandising is essential for large-scale retail stores, you might need to predict sales to avoid storing excessive inventory. Another factor to consider when investing in fashion merchandising systems is your ability to procure items with a timely approach.

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