An associate merchant aids a company in the sale of goods or services. Many businesses employ associate merchants, including apparel retailers, banks, and even bakeries, so those seeking employment as an associate merchant have a wide variety of positions to choose from.
Associate merchant positions may be salaried or hourly, and full-time or part-time. Some positions require an Associate's or Bachelor's degree, but others will accept applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. As with most jobs, relevant work experience is required or highly recommended for the more desirable associate merchant positions.
Associate merchants work primarily with customers, though they will also report to a supervisor. A typical workday centers on facilitating sales and communicating with customers; to a customer, the associate merchant is often the "face" of the company and the primary person with whom they interact. For this reason, employers of associate merchants place a large emphasis on customer service. It is imperative that an associate merchant can effectively communicate the benefits of purchasing a product or service and address the customer's questions and concerns in the process. A good associate merchant will make customers feel so satisfied with their experience that they will want to continue doing business with the company.
In many cases, an associate merchant acts as a liaison between the customer and the business's managers, officers, or owners, so it is important for those in this position to have sufficient knowledge of the company and proficiency in dealing with people to effectively serve as facilitators of information themselves.
Associate Merchant Tasks
Analyze market trends and customer behavior to make decisions on product promotion, pricing, and life-cycle.
Assist the merchant in reaching financial objectives and executing merchandising strategies.
Research pricing and merchandising strategies of competitors.
Build relationships with vendors, negotiating sales and resolving problems.