Merchandising in relation to strategy and communications - Sales Management

Figure highlights the importance of merchandising at the point of sale in the overall marketing strategy for products marketed through retail and trade distribution channels.In this diagram we see that the company’marketing communications focus on positioning a brand in its target market, with messages promoting trial or building loyalty. The sales force must enable the communications messages to convert to sales by enabling consumers to buy and try the products,developing distribution, building volume,and creating attention at the point of sale by focusing display activity on location, layout and impact use of point of sale material.

All too often salespersons book orders and return on the next sales call to And some of the products are not on display, still in the store room. Figure illustrates some of the reasons merchandising can be neglected by the different levels of supplier down the distribution chain – manufacturer, distributor and retailer. The trade channel outlets(retailer, dealer or wholesaler) might rationalize that the product has not been put on prominent display because:

  • it is so well known that customers ask for it
  • there was no available space on the shelves and display fixtures
  • they have been short of staff to price and merchandise the products
  • they have other stock they want to clear out before offering this supplier’s product
  • it has been merchandised and displayed in a secondary site so that they can use the best display locations for other products (perhaps own label brands, or slower products that they want to clear from stock).

Unless the supplying company has some other arrangement for product merchandisers to call on trade channel outlets,such as where a specialist team is hired to fulfil that function, then the salesperson calling on the customer to undertake all the other selling activities must also accept responsibility for product merchandising.

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