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MERCHANDISING
MARKETING

MERCHANDISING

Merchandise means goods bought and sold or trading of goods. Merchandising is an activity of selling and promoting particular goods.

Merchandising is a branch of marketing theory and practice concerned with maximizing product sales by designing, packaging, pricing, and displaying goods in a way that stimulates higher sales volume.

Merchandiser is a person who interacts with the buyer and seller, and also puts efforts into proper relation between buying offices/ buying agents/ agency and seller/ exporter in terms of executing an order.

The underlying assumption in merchandising is that consumers may have a general need for (or interest in) a certain class of product,and it is the merchandiser’s task to present the product in a way that best captures consumers’ attention and persuades them that the product will fulfill their needs and wants.

 

FEATURES OF MERCHANDISING

1) Packaging: Packaging is the science, art, and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging is the enclosing of a physical object, typically a product that will be offered for sale. It is the process of preparing items or equipment for transportation and storage and it also embraces preservation, identification and packaging of products. Packing is recognized as an integral part of modern marketing operation, which embraces all phases of activities involved in the transfer of goods and services from the manufacturer to the consumer. Packaging is an important part of the branding process as it plays a role in communicating the image and identity of a company.

 

IMPORTANCE OF PACKAGING

The purpose of product packaging is to protect the product from being damage. Product packaging not only protects the product during transit from the manufacturer to the retailer, but it also prevents damage while the product remained on retail shelves. Most products have some form of packaging. For example, soups must have a container and package while apples may have packaging for transport but not to sell the product from the product department of the local grocery store.

  • Attraction: How a product is packaged may be what attracts the consumer to take a look at the products in the store shelves. For this reason, many companies conduct extensive research on colour schemes, designs and types of product packaging that is the most appealing to its intended consumer.
  • Promotion: Packaging also plays an important role for portraying information about the product. Outside packaging may contain directions on how to use the product or make the product.
  • Facilitates Purchase Decision: Packaging may also contain ingredients and nutritional information about the product. This information can help to sell the product because it allows potential customers to obtain the necessary information they need to make a purchasing decision. Information contained on a package may propel the reader to buy the product without even having to speak to a store clerk.
  • Differentiation: Packaging can also differentiate one brand of product from another brand. Because the product packaging can contain company’s names, logos and the colour scheme of the company. It helps consumers to identify the product as it sits among the competing products on store shelves. For example, as a shopper walks through the coffee aisle of the local grocery store, the bright orange, pink and white packaging of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee brand may be easily recognised by the consumer and he is likely to grab one from the coffee shelf. The shopper may identify with the company brand, which propels him to buy the product. If the product packaging changes, it may alter the brand perception of the company, which does not mean that the consumer would not still purchase the product, but it may delay the purchase until the person is able to identify the product according to its new packaging.
  • Physical protection: The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, mechanical shock, vibration, electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature, etc.
  • Information transmission: Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments. Some packages and labels also are used for track and trace purposes.
  • Marketing: The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display.
  • Convenience: Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, re-closing, use, dispensing, reuse, recycling, and ease of disposal.
  • Barrier protection: A barrier from oxygen, water vapour, dust, etc ., is often required. Permeation isa critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or oxygen absorbency to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.
  • Security: Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages canbe made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage.

 

2) Branding: To understand branding, it is important to know what brands are. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, slogan, or design of the company who owns the idea or image. Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product. Advertising professionals work on branding not only to build brand recognition, but also to build good reputations and a set of standards to which the company should strive to maintain or surpass. Branding is an important part of internet commerce, as it allows companies to build their reputations as well as expand beyond the original product and service, and also add to the revenue generated by the original brand.

Branding is also a way of building an important company asset, which is a good reputation. Whether a company has no reputation, or a less than stellar reputation, branding can help change that. Branding can build an expectation about the company’s services or products, and can encourage the company to maintain that expectation, or exceed them by bringing better products and services to the market place.

 

BENEFITS OF BRANDING

  • Recognition and Loyalty: The main benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/ image helps to keep your company image in the mind of your potential customers. If your business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising your brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer was not aware that you sell a particular product, if they trust your brand, they are likely to trust you with unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with your products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across your business.
  • Image of Size: A strong brand will project an image of a large and established business to your potential customers. People usually associate branding with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. If you can create effective branding, then it can make your business appear to be much bigger than it really appears. An image of size of an establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that it will still be available in a few years time.
  • Image of Quality: A strong brand projects an image of quality in your business, many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. It is commonly said that if you show a person two identical products, only the one which is branded will be patronised; they will almost always believe the branded item is of higher quality. If you can create effective branding, then over time the image of quality in your business will usually go up. Of course, branding cannot replace good quality, and bad publicity will damage a brand (and your businesses image), especially if it continues over a long period of time.
  • Image of Experience and Reliability: A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been around long enough to become well known. A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced in their products or services, and will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business. Most people will believe that a business would be hesitant to put their brand name on something that was of poor quality.
  • Multiple Products: If your business has a strong brand, it allows you to link together several different products or ranges. You can put your brand name on every product or service you sell, meaning that customers of one product will be more likely to buy another product from you. For example, Sony sells televisions, music equipment, consoles, camcorders, DVD players, video players, etc all under the Sony brand name. You can also create separate brand names for your product ranges, allowing people to see your brand name, and then use the range brand name to work out what they wish to buy. For example, Cadbury makes a range of confectionary under many different sub-brand names such as Dairy Milk, Boost, Flake, and Time Out. All of these are sold under the product brand, but all feature the Cadbury’s brand name on the packaging.
  • Labelling: A Label is a carrier of information about the product. Labels are attached on the product package to provide information about the product such as manufacturer of the product, date of manufacture, expiry date, its ingredients, how to use product and its handling. High quality labelling, like packaging, requires research, planning and consultation from a variety of sources. As well, package and label design must be integrated. It is important that they both send the same message to the consumer. Your ultimate goal is to produce a label that is educational and user-friendly. It should also adequately market your product within legal specifications. And, of course, your label needs to be an integrated part of your strategic marketing approach. Before you create a label, you should know:

(i) all the regions where your product will eventually be sold, and through which distribution channels;

(ii) information your customers would find helpful;

(iii) the colours and promotional appeals that are suitable for your audience (your designer can give you input on this);

(IV) how the label will be applied;

 

QUALITIES OF MERCHANDISER

  1. Planning Capability: Merchandiser should be capable of planning, based on the planning the order has to followed. If the planning is not done properly it will directly affect the delivery time of the order.
  2. Decision making: For a Merchandiser, decision making power is most important. He should think about the decision to be taken and to act in a right way.
  3. Communication Skill: The communication skill adopted is very much important to promote the business activity. The merchandiser should remember that communication must be cleared and should have face to face conversation with the buyer.
  4. Loyalty: Loyalty is an essential character of human beings. Especially for the business people like merchandiser it is a must.
  5. Knowledge about the field: Merchandiser should have adequate knowledge about the garments, Computer knowledge, and technical knowledge to communicate with different people in the business.

 

FUNCTIONS OF MERCHANDISING

  1. Standardizing and grading: Standardizing means the setting up of basic categories or grades of the products. If the particular goods are of certain standard, it means that they are of a certain quality. Grading means the division of products into classes made up of units possessing similar characteristics of size and quality. Thus, it may be said that goods are graded in accordance with specifications set up in the standards.
  2. Storing: Storing is another important function of marketing process. It involves the holding of goods in proper condition from the time they are produced until the consumers need them. Storing protects the goods from deterioration and helps in carrying over surplus for future consumption, storing regulates the flow to different places; it enables goods to be made available to consumers.
  3. Transportation: Transportation helps in the physical movement of goods from places where they are produced to the places where they are demanded. Using any form of transport, goods can be distributed. It creates place and time utility for the goods. Transportation has helped in mass production.
  4. Market research: Efficient sales depend on maintaining a stable relationship between supply and demand. It can be achieved by conducting a market research. Through market research, a manufacturer or dealer can find out the quality and quantity of goods wanted by the customers at the time when the consumers want then. Market research includes such activities, as marker analysis, sales research, dealer research, consumer research and advertising research. Market research helps in the prosperity of the individual business and the community.

 

SCRAMBLED MERCHANDISING

Scrambled merchandising is a situation when a retail business offers a mix of unrelated products that do not reflect the company’s original focus. It occurs when a retailer adds goods and services that are unrelated to each other and to the firm’s original business.

The order used to be; you went to a drug store for drugs, hardware store for hardware, a pet store for pet, food and a grocery store for groceries. Now you can buy groceries at the drug store, find pet food at the hardware store.

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