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Career as Visual Merchandiser

Last Updated By Harleen Kaur on 28 Sep, 2022

Career as a Visual Merchandiser

About Visual Merchandiser

Visual Merchandiser is a primary job role that is offered to students who pursue higher education in the field of design. Many design aspirants wish to make a career in visual merchandising. A visual merchandiser is responsible for putting together the visual presentation and arrangements for items that are on sale. Their main job is to creating something that is alluring while being a good representation of the product. They use their design skills to help in promoting the products, image, and services of retail business and other organisations.

Creating eye-catching product displays, store layouts, and design in order to attract customers and encourage them to buy the product is what visual merchandisers are in charge of. The job of a visual merchandiser requires them to be highly creative and innovative. They have to come up with new ideas to place their product in the market and grab the attention of customers. Visual merchandisers produce window displays, signs, floor plans, interior displays, and special promotions displays so that the customer is lead to be inclined towards walking through the entire store.

Visual merchandiser careers are predicted to expand at an 8% rate between 2019 and 2029, creating 39,827 jobs. Additionally, they claimed that visual merchandisers are paid an average of INR 10,00,000 per year all over the world. The annual salary of a visual merchandiser can reach INR 6,00,000. Additionally, they receive enticing bonuses every year in the range of INR 2,00,000 to INR 4,00,000.

To become a Visual Merchandiser, 49.7% of analyst students complete their bachelor's degrees, whereas 21.2% of students hold an associate degree. According to statistics, 62% of visual merchandisers hold full-time employment positions; the remaining 35% may work part-time. In terms of job opportunities, there is a significant gender gap; currently, 67.3% of women work as visual merchandisers in various industries, compared to 28.0% of men.

The most popular course to become a visual merchandiser is a certificate programme in design or a related specialisation. A certified Visual Merchandiser candidate is known to earn 30% more money than an uncertified candidate. The Diploma in Visual Merchandising programme is offered by prestigious colleges like NIFT in Delhi, Parul University, and Pearl Academy in Mumbai.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Visual Merchandiser 

Visual merchandisers make use of their design skills to promote the image, goods, and services of retail businesses and other associations. They create appealing product displays, store layouts, and designs to draw customers and persuade them to make purchases.

A visual merchandiser performs this job as a member of a display team, executing design strategies developed by a visual merchandiser manager or senior display designer at the corporate office. a portion of the integrated specific duties.

  • Creating display design concepts, designing a floor plan, or adhering to an organisation strategy
  • Creating unique displays to advertise a specific product or offer
  • Drawing plans and designs either manually or with the aid of a computer
  • Deciding how to creatively utilise space, lighting, and store layout
  • Making feedback to the head office and purchasing groups and sending out marked visual promotional packs to each section of a store
  • Putting together displays, dressing dummies, and setting up textures, screens, and posters
  • Locating, hiring, making, or purchasing props, displaying materials, and training sales staff on how to display products

Eligibility to become Visual Merchandiser

Meeting the eligibility criteria of a visual merchandiser is a primary objective that must be fulfilled by any candidate who wishes to pursue this professional venture. The educational qualification and prerequisites required for becoming a visual merchandiser have been listed below.

  • The candidate must have completed his/ her graduation with a degree in design.
  • It is essential that the aspirant obtains his/ her undergraduate degree from a recognised university.
  • Students may also complete their post graduation before stepping into the job market. They must, however, have specialised in Visual Merchandising in their masters.
  • Candidates who have done a diploma course in Visual Merchandising are also recruited at certain posts.
  • Having some experience during an internship etc. will make the candidature of the student more solid and he/ she will be given preference over others who have no experience.
  • Proficiency in design tools and software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. is mandatory.

 

How to Become a Visual Merchandiser?

The steps to become a visual merchandiser are listed below:

Step 1: Complete the 10+2

The minimum educational requirement to become a visual merchandiser is 10+2 in any stream. Many CBSE schools offer fashion design as a stream for students in 10+2. Those who are certain that a career in visual merchandise is what they want to pursue can choose this stream.

Step 2: Clearing Entrance Exam

Entrance exams are held at a number of universities and colleges to admit students. Below, we've listed some of the most important entrance tests.

Visual Merchandiser Entrance Examinations

NIFT EE

NID DAT

CEED

UCEED

AIEED

UID DAT

 Step 3: Pursuing Bachelor’s

People must enroll in a bachelor's degree programme after successfully completing the 10+2 programme.

Undergraduate Visual Merchandiser Course List

BDes (Bachelor of Design) Specialisations

Other Courses

Fashion Design

BVA 

Graphic Design

BFA 

Interior Design

BVC (Bachelor of Visual Communication) 

Step 4: Pursuing Post Bachelor

Students who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree programme have a variety of options for how to pursue a career as a visual merchandiser. We have given you two alternatives.

Option 1: Pursue a master's degree immediately after completing a bachelor's degree in visual communication or a closely related field of study.

Option 2: After earning a bachelor's degree, people can begin working in the field. After a few years of work experience, they can choose to pursue a master's degree in the relevant specialty.

Postgraduate Visual Merchandiser Course List

MDes (Master of Design) Specialisations 

Other Courses 

Fashion Design 

MFA 

Graphic Design 

MVA

Interior Design 

MVC (Master of Visual Communication) 

 

Types of Visual Merchandiser

In the field of visual merchandising, there are different kinds of visual merchandisers. According to their areas of specialisation, we have listed some of the most typical types of visual merchandising manager jobs below.

Retail Merchandiser: Retail merchandisers are in charge of making sure that the inventory is available at the appropriate time and location. He or she chooses which products to stock in the supermarket or department store.

Digital Merchandiser: A digital merchandiser is in charge of expanding the brand's online portfolio and making sure the assigned customers are being taken care of. He or she implements the product description, image, video, comparison charts, and keyword optimization, as well as ratings and reviews, both above and below the fold.

Product Merchandiser: A professional in charge of creating sales strategies for retail establishments to enhance overall sales performance is known as a product merchandiser. To increase sales, he or she gathers and analyses visual data, surveys customers, and chooses where to put the retail space.

 

Types of Job Roles Visual Merchandiser

The employment areas of visual merchandisers are diverse. Visual Merchandisers are hired for promoting specific products, new technologies, fashion lines, or special promotions by a brand. Their job should not be confused with that of retail merchandisers whose work lays emphasis on sales and stock rather on the visual aspect of the merchandise. In any large retail company, visual merchandisers have to work as part of a display team and have to follow design plans that are created at the head office by a visual merchandising manager or a senior display designer. They might also have to work closely with a display designer, who is responsible for designing things like display stands, stock containers, sales posters, etc.

 

Employment Opportunities for a Visual Merchandiser

The sectors and industries in which visual merchandisers are recruited consist of a vast range. Some of the leading industries that hire visual merchandisers have been listed below. Candidates can look for a job as a visual merchandiser in any of these areas.

Retail Establishments

Galleries

Fashion Stores

Accessory Lines

Museums

Various Outlets

Marketing Agencies

Print Media

Department Stores

Theatre Companies

Jewellery Stores

Books and Publishing Houses

 

Top Recruiting Companies for a Visual Merchandiser

Here is a list of some leading companies that hire visual merchandisers.

H&M

Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing

Puma

Big Bazaar

Shoppers Stop

Reliance Industries

Marks and Spencer

Forrest Essentials

Mahindra

Aditya Birla Group

Kohler

The Beer Cafe

 

Skills Required to Become Visual  Merchandiser

To choose a career in visual merchandising, you must meet a number of requirements. The key visual merchandising abilities needed to carry out daily tasks are listed below.

  • CAD Skills: Skills in AutoCAD are necessary for a career as a visual merchandiser. He or she must be able to work with any CAD software, including Photoshop, InDesign, and other design tools from the Adobe Creative Suite
  • Organising Skills: Organizational abilities are essential for a job as a visual merchandiser. He or she must be able to arrange products and items on the shelves and in the window so that customers are enticed to browse the entire store
  • Communication Skills: People who choose a career as a visual merchandiser must direct the assistant staff in setting up items on display in a way that appeals to customers. He or she provides guidelines to be followed when setting up displays for window shoppers
  • Design abilities: Before creating a display, visual merchandisers must be able to create a virtual design by visualising a fully realised future outlook. For the display to be more appealing, he or she must have an eye for detail and an understanding of colours, hues, and contrast

 

Planning to choose Visual Merchandiser as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Visual Merchandiser

The salary of a visual merchandiser depends on several factors. The qualification of a candidate, previous work experience, the company he/ she is working for, etc. are some of the major details that are responsible for determining the salary of a visual merchandiser. On an average, the beginning salary of a visual merchandiser is around Rs. 4 lakh per annum at the organisations of the basic level. The package can go up to Rs. 9-10 lakh per annum if the company is well known and internationally acknowledged. As the experience of the candidate as a visual merchandiser increases, his salary also witnesses a significant rise.

 

Benefits of Career as a Visual Merchandiser 

The most lucrative profession in the world is arguably that of a visual merchandiser. Jobs for visual merchandisers are growing much faster than other average jobs, in contrast. The huge interest it has garnered from every sector of business, including visual, management, manufacturing, skilled, and retail benefits, among others, is what accounts for its rapid development. 

As a result, more people want to work as visual merchandisers. It offers advantages of its own. Why don't we take a quick look at them?

Salary: Visual merchandisers in India make an average of INR 5,00,000. Freshmen visual merchandisers start out with an annual salary of INR 3,50,00. Over INR 8,00,000 can be earned annually by visual merchandisers with more than 10 years of experience.

Job Safety: Sales are the lifeblood of every business in the modern world. Everyone wants to increase their sales, no matter how big or small their business is. As a result, organisations would need knowledgeable experts or solely visual merchandisers to deal with this effectively. 

Positive Outcomes: Being a visual merchandiser is a difficult job in and of itself. It necessitates a great deal of clever work and original thought. A student is then able to contribute positively to their career. Regular client or consumer interactions are required by the job description, which enhances the visual merchandiser aspirant student's overall friendliness and working environment.

Higher Education: After completing their Bachelor's degree in either merchandising, designing, apparel design, or statistics as their area of specialisation, students can start working as visual merchandisers right away. They will be eligible for an entry-level visual merchandiser position thanks to this qualification. They can even upgrade their educational credentials after some time in the workforce if they so choose by registering for a master's or doctoral programme in the pertinent field.

Special Experience: A career as a visual merchandiser is very difficult. You can advance in your career and be prepared for the next step in the merchandising field by gaining unique experience through identifying, assessing, managing, and acquiring a vivid set of knowledge. The visual merchandiser's trend and prediction predictions aid in increasing the effectiveness of the organization's operations.

 

Career Path for Visual Merchandiser

Candidates have two main options after finishing a course in merchandising or designing: further education or employment. Below, both routes have been covered. 

Higher Education

After finishing a course in designing or merchandising, higher education options are available. There are bachelor's degree programmes for diploma graduates as well as master's degree programmes for bachelor's degree holders. Additionally, research- or doctoral-level degrees in merchandising or visual merchandising are offered by some universities. The more education you have, the more career opportunities will become available to you in various fields. Following a course in designing or merchandising, the following are the most popular options for further education:

  • MSc: MSc in Visual Designing is a two-year degree programme that satisfies the needs of students who are interested in the merchandising industry. Regarding opportunities for career advancement and self-improvement, this two-year programme is regarded as possibly the most sought-after programme in India
  • MBA: Many recent bachelor's graduates opt to pursue a PGDM or MBA programme in order to pursue a career in management. Entrance exams at the national level are used to offer admission. A BSc degree combined with an MBA in design or another relevant field is extremely advantageous, and many organisations actively seek out candidates who meet this criterion
     

Begin with Practice 

Starting a job after graduation is the most preferred option. Graduates of all educational levels frequently look for employment in the retail sector. The fundamentals of practical aspects of merchandising are taught in entry-level positions like Visual Analyst or Marketing Analyst. People who have gained experience eventually become visual merchandisers.

The jobs that one can obtain as a visual merchandiser while advancing in their career are listed below.

  • Junior Merchandiser: A junior merchandiser typically has one to four years of work experience. His or her duties include looking into marketing trends and original concepts. The senior merchandiser is helped by a junior merchandiser
  • Senior Merchandiser: The task of a senior merchandiser is to facilitate and influence consumer purchasing decisions. He or she gives them easily accessible information about the products

 

Books & Study Material to Become Visual Merchandiser

Some of the best books for visual merchandising preparation have been mentioned below. Candidates can use these as reference books to enhance their knowledge about visual merchandising before they step into the professional venture of becoming a visual merchandiser.

  • ‘Visual Merchandising for Fashion (Basics Fashion Management)’ by Sarah Bailey and Jonathan Baker
  • ‘Visual Merchandising, Third edition: Windows and in-store displays for retail’ by Tony Morgan
  • ‘Visual Merchandising and Display’ by Martin M Pegler
  • ‘Online Visual Merchandising’ by Katrandjiev Hristo and Velinov Ivo
  • ‘Window and Interior Display: The Principles of Visual Merchandising’ by Robert Kretschmer and Robert Kretschmer
  • ‘Store Design and Visual Merchandising: Creating Store Space That Encourages Buying’ by Ebster
  • ‘Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual Merchandising’ by Judy Bell and Kate Ternus

 

Pros of becoming a Visual Merchandiser

  • The job of a visual merchandiser is very creative and innovative. Hence, these individuals never find their work to be redundant or uninteresting.
  • Interacting with the customers directly through their designs given them an opportunity to get honest feedback.
  • As innumerable companies in almost all sectors require visual merchandisers, finding a job is not that difficult. Moreover, candidates can even switch between sectors and industries if they want to try something new.

 

Cons of becoming a Visual Merchandiser

  • At times, visual merchandisers have to work extra so as to meet the deadlines and have all the work completed by then. Some urgent requirement may lead them to pull off extra hectic hours in order to deliver within tight deadlines.
  • The pay scale of visual merchandisers increases gradually. Freshers are not given huge salary packages unless they are working for leading international brands.
  • The competition in terms of visual merchandising is quite tough. Therefore, visual merchandisers have to constantly provide better and more creative work.

 

FAQs about Visual Merchandiser

What are the alternative career options for a Visual Merchandiser?

Alternative career options for a Visual Merchandiser are Store Manager, Fashion Merchandiser, Retail Buyer, Retail Store Manager, Retail Merchandiser etc.

What are the top colleges that offer courses to aspiring Visual Merchandiser?

Top colleges that offer courses to aspiring Visual Merchandisers are Army Institute of Fashion & Design (AIFD), Bangalore, Istituto Marangoni (Marangoni Mumbai), Mumbai, JD Institute of Fashion Technology (JDIFT), Delhi, Academy of Applied Arts (AAA), New Delhi, JD Institute Of Fashion Technology (JDIFT), Bangalore etc.

What is the advantage of becoming a Visual Merchandiser?

The main advantage to a visual merchandiser is that the job requires immense creativity and experimentation which do not let the work become monotonous. Also, a visual merchandiser interacts directly with the customer, which helps them in increasing the network. The biggest benefit is that an individual has multiple options to pick from as almost every industry requires a visual merchandiser.

What is the average salary extracted by a Visual Merchandiser?

The average salary extracted by a visual merchandiser is about Rs. 432,768/-

Is a bachelor's degree important to become a Visual Merchandiser?

Possessing a bachelor's degree is not a compulsion to become a visual merchandiser. Certain companies offer jobs to an individual simply based on skills and talent. Having a diploma in Visual Merchandising can also lend an individual some good job offers. However, completing a bachelor's degree provides a candidate with more exposure and knowledge which in turn offers better employment opportunities.

Name some recruiting companies that hire a Visual Merchandiser?

Top recruiting companies that constantly look out for professional visual merchandisers are H&M, Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing, Mahindra, Shoppers Stop, Marks and Spencer, Kohler, Forrest Essentials, Big Bazaar, Penguin Random House, Aditya Birla Group, The Beer Cafe etc.

What is the difference between a Visual Merchandiser and Fashion Merchandiser?

A visual merchandiser is the one who helps the stores to sell the products as soon as they arrive while a fashion merchandiser is the one who restocks the store with new merchandise. Visual merchandisers use their skills to create attractive store layouts and displays while fashion merchandisers analyze changing market trends, oversees production costs and determines how the product must be displayed within the store.

What skills are required to be a Visual Merchandiser?

The basic skills required to be a visual merchandiser are Ability to understand technical plans, Smooth communication, Interpersonal skills, Attention to detail, IT, Creativity and Teamwork.

How to be a Visual Merchandiser?

To become a visual merchandiser, it is essential to fulfil the basic eligibility criteria. Students with a Bachelor's degree or a Diploma in Visual Merchandising from a recognised university are offered vivid employment opportunities by top recruiting companies. If aspirants have completed master's in the relevant discipline, more career options open up for them. They also get paid better than the rest of the applicants.

Who is a Visual Merchandiser?

A visual merchandiser is an individual who uses his/her design skills to promote products by creating eye-catching store layouts and product displays. The responsibility of a visual merchandiser is to grab the attention of the consumer and encourage them to buy the product.

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