Specialized Merchandising and Sales
Specialized merchandising and sale professionals advertise, promote and sell niche products, such as textiles, appraised items or couture fashion designs. Find information about career and degree options here, including details about areas of specialization, job growth and useful courses.
Is Specialized Merchandising and Sales Right for Me?
The specialized merchandising and sales field is a niche industry that supports the marketing and movement of specific products or services. Areas of specialization might include apparel marketing, auctioneering, fashion merchandising and tourism.
As a specialized merchandising and sales professional, you may be employed as a consumer and market research analyst, fashion consultant or sales representative. You might also work as an advertising associate or a marketing manager.
If you work in sales, marketing or promotion, you'll be responsible for creating a buzz about new or existing products or services. As a sales representative, you'll use sales reports and other data to project consumer buying habits, working with businesses and other organizations to initiate and finalize the sales process. You'll also schedule appointments, create presentations or resolve customer problems. If you're a marketing and promotions professional, you'll develop advertising campaigns and incentive programs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment for marketing managers and sales representatives would grow at an average rate from 2012-2022. Opportunities for advertising and promotions managers were expected to increase by a slower-than-average rate of 7% during the same period (www.bls.gov).
How Can I Work in Specialized Merchandising and Sales?
Educational requirements for specialized merchandising and sales professionals can vary according to the position and employer. Aspiring consumer and market research analysts usually pursue a bachelor's degree in marketing or a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. Undergraduate marketing programs can include courses in production management, consumer behavior, market research and promotions. Graduate programs may require the completion of a thesis or seminar. Some examples of graduate coursework include studies in interactive media, marketing management, product development and retailing.
A bachelor's degree program in fashion merchandising can help you prepare for a position as a fashion consultant or buyer. As reported by the BLS, a select number of educational institutions may offer programs in auctioneering. Coursework in auctioneering can include topics in auction law, appraisals and communication. Some programs may require a field experience.
Solid communication and customer service skills are essential to success in this industry. Business acumen and leadership skills are indispensable for working in management. If you work in sales, you should be persuasive and have good negotiation and problem-solving skills.