People employed in merchandising jobs promote particular products to try and generate sales. Many merchandising jobs are based in retail stores and involve store displays. Outside sales people involved in merchandising make presentations for prospective clients. Wholesalers from manufacturing firms meet with managers and owners of retail stores to try and develop new sales avenues. Merchandising jobs are sales oriented, and people in merchandising receive some or all of their pay in the form of sales commissions.
Manufacturing firms employ designers to package new products in a way that is visually stimulating so that packaging will draw shoppers' attention to the products. Graphic designers review marketing data to find out the kind of color schemes and designs that consumers are most receptive to. Visual marketing jobs also include advertising jobs. These employees must create advertisements that are designed in a similar manner to the product or the product packaging so that consumers can easily identify the product that is being promoted. People involved in design related merchandising jobs attempt to create brand recognition.
In-store merchandising begins when store managers decide which items to actively promote. Managers must take seasonal sales trends into account as well as cost factors, such as profit margins and competitor's price points. Employees in charge of merchandising identify the best place to arrange a display within the store and order banners, posters, and other apparatus that are used to draw customers' attention to the items being promoted. In many stores, merchandising displays are changed on a regular basis, so sales teams have to analyze sales results and develop new strategies to keep increasing sales. Many retail store clerks who are involved in merchandising are hired into entry-level positions, but managers are usually salaried employees with college degrees.
Accountants analyze past sales and economic trends to determine pricing for new products. Pricing plays a key role in merchandising because consumers are less likely to take an interest in products that seem overly expensive. Accountants and sales managers also have to control the merchandising budget and balance the upfront costs with the anticipated earnings. People involved in the financial or strategic managerial decisions generally have to have college degrees in business, finance, marketing, or related fields.
Wholesalers are outside sales people who work for manufacturing firms and are responsible for negotiating contracts to supply goods to retail stores. These sales people typically receive commission based pay rather than a salary. Unlike the people involved in pricing, the outside sales representatives do not typically need college degrees, and many merchandising sales people are hired as entry-level employees.