Buying and Merchandising jobs are traditional
retail job categories, however with the continuing growth of organisations selling products online;
these traditional skillsets are required very much in a digital context.
If you’re a major online retailer, then you are still required to try and buy the best
products that match your customers’ requirements at the best price, sourcing the right materials,
sourcing the right components, building the right relationships with product manufacturers.
As margins are increasingly squeezed, obviously selling online means you don’t have to have
as many retail outlets traditionally, so product margins and price margins become increasingly
more important and that’s why the need to have good buying and merchandising managers
within an organisation is become increasingly more critical these days.
Buying and Merchandising jobs are literally one of the most important job areas within
retail businesses these days. The managers and executives in this space
have such a huge influence on the future direction of the company and can directly impact the
current and future sales and revenue margins for an organisation, principally because if
they can source better products at a better price then there’s a better margin for retailers
in the marketplace. Particularly with the continuous growth in
eCommerce, the need to sell more product to more customers, it is one of the largest growing
areas and there’s a huge range of diversity in the job and a really good opportunity for
people who are looking to take up a position in this area of digital.
If you’re looking to get into the space, if you’ve just graduated or left school, then
commercial subjects: business studies degrees, eCommerce degrees, or marketing degrees will
be very relevant to buying and merchandising jobs.
If you’re already in the space, you’re most likely going to have previous buying or procurement
experience. Because of the importance of the role, you’re
really most likely to need to know about a particular industry area or product group
or product sector so that you’ll have a very good idea of the sort of suppliers that you
want to talk with and negotiate with. Previous relationships and being known in
the market can provide you with a lot of advantage in this kind of position.
Just the diversity of products being sold now over the web, across all industry areas,
means that it is possible to find and build yourself a niche within this area and, given
the importance of the roles, the career progression in this area is fantastic and you can really
develop a sound long-track record within buying and merchandising.