Sales, Marketing and Communications
Merchant managers create and maintain relationships with suppliers to sell products and services through one central selling point.
What does a Merchant Manager do?
Merchant managers, also known as vendor managers, form relationships with suppliers of products and services. They agree pricing and product strategy with the supplier and bring all their suppliers together in one marketplace or distribution platform.
As a merchant manager, you would:
- meet new and current suppliers or vendors. and gauge what their needs are
- source new products and product categories
- negotiate prices, deals and payments
- manage client sales, relationships and reporting
- monitor competitors' products and services
- train and mentor sales team members
- assign areas or particular products to sales team members
- develop a sales plan and appropriate sales targets
- gather and analyse sales data
- follow market trends and research
Key skills and interests
To become a merchant manager, you would need:
- Strong analytical abilities and problem solving skills
- good commercial skills
- the ability to motivate and inspire team members
- excellent verbal communication skills
- persuasiveness and negotiation skills
- excellent numeracy skills
- good IT and specialist software skills
- and understanding of statistical data
- accuracy and attention to detail
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time role, you would normally work standard business hours, Monday to Friday. Hours could be more irregular at busy times such as the run-up to a product launch.
You would normally work in an office or from home. You may also travel to meet suppliers and attend networking events, conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions, and product launches.
How to become an Merchant Manager?
To become a merchant manager, you will usually need to have completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject such as business administration, supply chain management, marketing or commerce, and have strong experience in a successful sales or marketing role.
You may also become a merchant manager without a degree by obtaining significant experience in a sales or marketing role, although some businesses may require you to have formal qualifications to undertake a manager role.
For global roles, employers may require a Masters or MBA.
Employment of merchant managers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Merchant managers will be needed to maintain relationships with individual sellers as many sellers move online and look to increase their presence locally and internationally online. Large online marketplace platforms will increasingly bring smaller retailers together, with merchant managers being key to maintain relationships and vendor loyalty.