What is merchandise?
Merchandise is any product that can be bought and sold. Usually, merchandise is bought from a manufacturer to a retailer to be sold at a retail shop. All products in a shop for a display can be called as merchandise. For example, clothes in a clothes store, raw materials for clothes is merchandise and so are electronic parts and computer devices.
Difference between merchandise and merchandising
Merchandise is any product that can be bought and sold. It has a journey from a manufacturer to a retailer. Product merchandising, on the other hand, are various strategies employed by the retailer or the brand to sell the merchandise to customers. Here is an example –
A supermarket has ordered in new dishwashing soaps (merchandise) as they are running out of the inventory. On the other hand, there are promotional discounts being run by them for the old, leftover stock, where they give Rs. 10 off on purchase of every one dishwashing soap (merchandising)
Why is product merchandising important?
Stock is a retailer’s biggest cost as well as asset. In case anything happens to the stock, the retailer will be at loss. The profit, as well as the livelihood of the retail store, will also be affected.
Product merchandising is increasingly considered as necessary in contemporary times to attract customers. If you are unsure about the process, you can always employ an expert merchandising company for your products.
1. Merchandising works for your brand in the long run
When running promotional offers or giving samples out to customers, your brand gets popularised. Customers sit up and notice because who doesn’t like free goods or discounts?
Similarly, if your products have a business card, brand-specific packaging and logo on the packaging, customers will have a better recall value of your brand. Receiving free samples or discounts also helps customers remember a brand longer.
2. It can also lead to improved exposure
Usually, the brand spends a lot of money on advertisements or posters, that customers barely notice. It is merchandising activities of giving discounted goods, promotional samples, and combo offers that stick with them.
For example, if you gave a cup as a promotional offer, the customer will remember you whenever they drink from it. Similarly, merchandise with your logo will create better recall in their minds, and you might end up with loyal customers.
3. Increase brand recognition
Frequent merchandising activities will not only make your customers look forward to such activities, but also come back to you looking for more. For them, the brand value and product value is enhanced if they are given offers and incentive to buy your products.
More importantly, you might also get a lot of word-of-mouth advertisement from your customers if they are happy with you.
4. Low-cost and effective marketing
Creating a TV commercial may come as an expensive undertaking. Roping in a celebrity, strategizing for a commercial-worthy idea and shooting-editing it takes a lot of time and resources. As compared to that, merchandising involves promoting the products you have already produced at a slightly less profitable margin.
When your customers know your brand from the performance of the product, they are more likely to come back. For them, if the product works, the brand becomes a favourite. This is why merchandising is extremely effective and low-cost.
Merchandising a product is becoming increasingly necessary where there are more products than ever. The advertising also creates a lot of noise that a brand has to sieve through to reach customers. Therefore, working at the first step, where they buy the merchandise from is the right way.