What is merchandising?

Merchandising is the promotion of the sale of goods that can employ pricing, special offers, display and other techniques designed to influence consumers’ buying decisions. The concept of merchandising is based on presenting products at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantity and at the right price to maximize sales.

Merchandising strategies

When it comes to merchandising strategies, a “one size fits all” approach won’t suffice. Depending on the overarching objective for the retailer, brand, and category, the merchandising strategies should vary by category or even by segment to target a specific goal, such as developing customer loyalty, increasing sales, driving footfall/traffic, raising awareness of your brand, and so on.

In a retail setting, some of the most popular methods to compel shoppers to buy include:

In an eCommerce setting, the most effective ways to entice people to make a purchase include:

Benefits of merchandising

Since merchandising is all about selling, the ultimate benefit of effective merchandising is higher sales and better profit. Stores that manage to create a seamless shopping experience and effectively guide consumers to purchase completion, enjoy an array of benefits including:

What is the difference between sales and merchandising?

Although sales and merchandising are two closely related functions, they are not the same thing. Merchandising is the process of leading a customer to a sale, while the term “sales” refers to a consumer actually selecting a product and completing a purchase transaction. For example, a prominently displayed banner leading to a special gift guide can inspire and entice a consumer to add a product to their shopping basket (that’s merchandising) and when the customer completes checkout, it’s classified as sales.

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Justas Markus: CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL and a blogger at Entrepreneur.com, Observer.com, Influencive.com and others. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.