Merchandising is the practice and process of presenting and selling products to customers. Whether digital or in-store, retailers custom merchandising to influence customer intent and achieve sales goals.
Various merchandising techniques are use in physical and digital stores to organize products, communicate their value, and create an optimal customer experience. Many disciplines fall under marketing, and there are various types of marketing. These include, but are not limit to:
First, merchandising is as old as commerce itself. Buyers and sellers have always had dynamic relationships in which the former focused on providing sufficient value to sell and the latter on understanding the value that was worth buying.
Step into the bazaars of Varanasi, India, one of India’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, and you’ll see that there are parallels between old ways of marketing and even the more digitally-focused reactive marketing efforts of today.
Like most open-air markets worldwide and like retail mall spaces, visual merchandising elements are on full display in Varanasi. And many of today’s marketing techniques are also use, including colour and traffic manipulation.
What we now think of as new marketing techniques are just new versions of what has been around for millennia.
The current use of holograms to attract visitors’ attention to shopping malls, for example, is not much different from the way snake charmers in Varanasi attract tourists’ attention to specific stalls.
And merchandising shows have always been important, whether iPhones or meat.
Traders today, as always, tend to embrace change rather than cling to comfort. At the same time, they rely on new technologies and listen to customers. And they shape (and will shape) the continued evolution of digital merchandising.
However, it is essential to understand how cycles and diversity play a pivotal role to understand merchandising.
For example, some retailers, like B. Chocolatiers, can make over 80% of their total sales during the Christmas period. For them, continually creating new chocolates, discounts, and attractive displays is not as important as ensuring they have a solid strategy for October, November and December.
What merchandising remains (and what form it takes) is also highly dependent on diversity (of geography and the products and services themselves).
In San Francisco, for example, hardware stores won’t display salt bags and snow shovels like they do in Chicago.
So while the basics of marketing will remain the same, the strategies and techniques of practice will change. It may include, but remains not limited to, the following changes:
merchandising supply chains
Finally, no discussion of marketing fundamentals can be complete without mentioning supply chain marketing.
While many students think of merchandising as the visual presentation and promotion of products, merchandising also involves the behind-the-scenes work of making products available.
It may include bulk ordering and inventory management, including accounting and corporate governance elements.
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