Mystery Shopping is a fantastic career for those who are looking for a more flexible work schedule . However, sometimes – for whatever reason – you may find yourself needing to supplement your mystery shopping income, but you still want to maintain a degree of work flexibility. Allow us to introduce you to the wonderflu world of merchandising!
What is Merchandising?
Perhaps you have walked into the supermarket before and asked someone stocking the shelves where to find something, only to be met with the reply “Oh, sorry, I don’t actually work here.” you may find yourself thinking “You stock shelves for fun?” when in actuality, you just met a merchandiser!
Though there are several jobs that fall under the umbrella of merchandising, the overarching goal of a merchandiser is to make sure that the product of the company the merchandiser is hired by, is well-stocked and attractively represented in the store.
Here are a couple of other jobs merchandisers perform:
– Product Demo’s: Food tastings fall under this
– Product Training: Any time a new product comes out that requires education of how to operate to further show the consumer how to operate the product, a merchandiser is dispatched to train store employees.
– Resets: Out with the old product, and in with the new.
Typically, you will service the stores on your “route” at least once a week to make sure everything is as it should be. Though depending on the season, you may want to increase this frequency (e.g. if you represent a snow shovel company – you will want to frequent stores more during the winter).
How does it work?
Merchandising jobs are plentiful and getting more plentiful all the time. More and more stores are outsourcing merchandising functions. Merchandising companies are hired by manufacturers or stores. They in turn hire merchandisers who are independent contractors.
To date – the National Association for Retail Marketing Services (NARMS) lists 174 member merchandising companies that post on their job boards.
Merchandisers can start out doing simple jobs like filling coupon holders and putting up graphics –to see if this is work you like to do.
The pay for merchandising is good as well. One can earn between $8 and $12 per hour or more depending on the work and your experience level.
Having a background in Mystery Shopping will actually work to your advantage in Merchandising as they both use independent contractors and look for people who are self-motivated. So pull together some of those reference letters/testimonials you have received!
If you find yourself ready to dive head first into merchandising, we strongly suggest you check out “Jump Start Your Merchandising Career” by Judith Adkins-Spears. It is a great book full of information about the world of merchandising for you to implement immediately!