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Important concepts to learn during an MBA in Retail Management

Admin | August 11, 2022

MBA in Retail Management is for people interested in market dynamics and curious about the company’s retail strategies. It is one of the most popular specialisations in MBA programmes. In this, a candidate will learn about brand management, production strategies, advertising strategies, customer management, inventory management, and many more that will enhance your retail management skill.  

A company cannot strive alone while working in a dynamic global environment that constantly impacts its retail strategies. The MBA in retail management keeps students upbeat with international retail managerial skills and strategies, providing an edge in the employment market. As we are emerging from the pandemic, the retail industry has taken an enormous leap. As per the US National Retail Federation, the retail sector grew by 14% in 2021 and is projected to grow by 6 to 8 per cent annually. And India’s retail is projected to grow by 9 percent. As per Monster Employment Index, in India, the Retail Industry is expected to grow around 20 to 30 percent over the next five years and will create approximately 2.5 crores of jobs by 2030. An MBA in Retail Management will equip you with desired retail skills and training to open new career avenues. 

Subjects you get to study during an MBA in Retail Management

 

The curriculum of an MBA in Retail Management is a mix of general management subjects and specialisations in retail management. It is developed to impart knowledge and train aspirants in general as well as retail managerial skills. It is a two-year master’s programme which is divided into four semesters. 

MBA Retail Management subjects are:

  • Business environment: Students will learn about the internal and external factors that form the business environment. Some factors include customers, government policies, suppliers, demand, supply and new technology. These factors affect an organisation’s working and success and failure in the long run. 
  • Communication: It focuses on developing the communication skills of the candidate. Effective communication will help in executing responsibilities properly. The students will develop soft skills, learn how to negotiate, design advertisements, and so on, which will also enhance the confidence and personality of the candidate.
  • Marketing Management: It covers topics about basic marketing principles and how marketing strategies are formulated. A student will learn about product planning, development, marketing and sales strategies that provide customer satisfaction and attain organisational goals.  
  • Principle of Management: Students will learn the basic principle of management, which is planning, organising, staffing, leading, and controlling. It aims to develop leadership qualities and help frame the organisation’s goals, mission, and vision. The aspirant will learn different motivation theories that they will be able to apply to the effective management of staff. It will motivate and increase employees’ efficiency. They will be able to regulate and control employees effectively.
  • Retail Management: It will cover topics like types of retail environment, the strategies to be adopted for maximising profit, learning about sustainable competitive advantages and solving retailing issues by applying different principles.
  • Basics of Project Management: Here, students will learn to plan, organise, execute, direct, control, and complete projects that are time-bound and have budget constraints. It teaches forming strategies that are best suitable for the project and ensures achieving project goals within set parameters. 
  • Pricing Strategies: It covers pricing strategies like skimming, premium, penetration, economy etc. A company will apply a different approach for different categories of products; for this, managers are required to consider various factors like the price positioning of the company, pricing capacity, pricing segment and customer reaction. This will enable students to do effective price planning.
  • Stock Management: Inventory management plays a crucial role in the retail industry. It ensures timely availability of suitable goods to the right customers, customer satisfaction and the future viability of the business. 
  • Basics of information technology: Information technology has become an integral part of our lives. It is equally essential for success in the retail industry, as it is challenging to separate IT from the business. The subject teaches students the basics of software and hardware and makes them equipped with IT in retail management. The topics cover the use of IT in day-to-day retail operations, how to keep track of inventory, preparing reports, and data analysis. 
  • Business law for retail: A company must comply with some legal laws and regulations. A manager is responsible for working within the limits of the law. The subject is designed to impart basic knowledge about the consumer protection act, competition act, sale of goods act, food standard act, and so on. Managers are required to ensure that the company fulfils the requirements of legal laws and regulations and doesn’t override them.  
  • Environment education and disaster management: Students will learn about the ecosystem and sustainable ways of retail management. The topics will cover environmental issues and retail industry damage to the ecosystem, for example, the waste caused by packaging and non-recyclable waste. The subject will educate students about ways to create a proper balance between environment and business. It will also train students to face any adverse situation and the steps to be taken for recovering from a disaster.

Project work or Thesis

It is the practical implementation of the knowledge gained by the students in the course. Students will work on different real-life-based projects and case studies that will make them confident in their chosen specialisations. 

         A few topic ideas for Project or Thesis:

  • Impact of retail store design & layout on customer mind
  • Study of retail store operations
  • Effectiveness of promotional schemes in retail stores
  • Customer loyalty programmes its advantages and a study on loyalty programmes in the organised retail sector.
  • Emerging retail formats and strategies
  • Foreign investment in the Indian retail Industry
  • Study of product life cycle
  • A study on effective supply chain practices in the organised retail sector
  • Use of IT in retail and its impact on store operations
  • The sustainable ways of retail management
  • The Human resource management practices for store management 
  • What are the different pricing strategies followed by top retailers?
  • Study of effective project management

Concepts that help you gain insights into Retail Management

Retail planning

It is a strategy formulation that will, at the same time, meet the customers’ needs and maximise the profit for the organisation. It is a study of certain factors that will assist in developing an effective strategy. The following steps form part of retail planning:

  • Study the market: For developing a realistic plan, analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the market. This analysis will give an insight into the internal and external factors affecting the organisations and help decide the possible action plan.
  • Customer behaviour: The customer is the focal point of retail. Studying potential customers and their behaviour will help in developing strategies that are customer-oriented. It is not easy to predict the customer response, but a demographic study will provide information about the customer’s background, buying habits, preferences and so on. It will help in assessing their response to the organisation’s brand campaign.  
  • Set your goals: One can measure success and failure by setting up goals. Set quantifiable goals and try to avoid vague targets like increasing sales. The objectives should be reasonable and within the capacity of the store to achieve. Giving a sales target of 10 lakhs to a small store is practically unachievable. Use SMART for goal formulation, which means objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Implementation of strategy: It is one of the most critical steps. After setting goals, it is time to plan and implement the strategy. The crucial factors to be considered are whether the product you offer targets mass customers or belongs to a narrow niche. For example, designer handbags belong to a very specialised sector. In contrast, supermarkets target the general masses. 
  • Continuously monitor the performance: The effectiveness of a plan is assessed by comparing the outcome with the desired results. It is unnecessary to wait until the end of the month to know one’s performance. One can start comparing reports and returns and find deviations from the plan. The continuous monitoring of performance facilitates taking timely corrective actions. Remember, there will always be some factors that will be out of the control of the organisations and might impact adversely.

Corporate communication

It involves internal and external communication of the organisations. Companies continuously communicate with different stakeholders. These stakeholders are investors, employees, customers, vendors, media houses, etc. The two forms of corporate communication are written and oral. Press releases, promotional copies, emails, advertisements, reports, and memos are a few examples of written communications. Whereas meetings, videos, and interviews are examples of oral communications. 

Corporate communication plays a very crucial part in retail management. Retail is not just finalising a deal or sale, it is about building relationships with customers and establishing a brand. Effective communication skills will ensure success in creating good customer relations and increased sales. A communication system will facilitate information flow within the organisation. Timely exchange of information is vital for the proper functioning of the stores. The manager uses communication tools to effectively manage staff and engage them in work. A robust communication system will help employees to understand the organisation’s goals and their contribution to achieving them. Other benefits will be improved customer relations, higher profits, brand building, and low employee turnover. 

Sales techniques and promotion

The retail manager’s main aim is to increase sales, and they run different sales and promotion campaigns. The best techniques of sales promotions are those which are easily understandable by the customers, and the offer should be loud and clear to the potential buyers. Let’s look into a few of the popular sales promotion techniques:

  • Price discounting: Under this technique, either goods are available at a discount or additional products are offered at the same price. The examples are buying one get one free, 20 percent off, etc.  
  • Coupons: This is another way of giving discounts, but it aims at encouraging repeat purchases. When a customer purchases goods, the future purchase of the same good will be at a discounted price. 
  • Free gifts: It is giving a free product along with a purchased one. It is a way of promoting newly launched goods by providing free samples. Examples are magazines giving free gifts to their regular subscribers.  
  • Competitions and prizes: Nowadays, companies run competitions for customer engagement. Generally, prizes are discount coupons, and this generates sales as winners want to redeem their prize coupons. It will also help in attracting and engaging with prospective customers.
  • Loyalty programmes: It is one of the most effective ways of retaining customers. When a customer makes a purchase, they are allotted points as per the amount paid to them. These points can be redeemed in future; this encourages customers to repurchase from the same company.

Retail operations management

It aims at streamlining the flow of goods from manufacturing units to the final customer. It is managing retail and logistics and finding the best ways to reduce costs for the transfer of products from producer to customers. Following are the functions of retail operations management:

  • Inventory Management: You don’t want empty shelves at your store. Proper inventory management ensures a smooth flow of goods from factories to individual retail stores. It also involves the study of sales trends, which product is selling fast and which has low sales and the reasons for the sales, which products generate maximum profit, and so on. 
  • Customer Service: Customer satisfaction is essential for higher returns. A satisfied customer will return to the store. For this, it is important to study the needs and behaviour of the customers. It is crucial to address customer queries and at the right time, present them with goods that meet their requirements. 
  • Store Management: The display and designs of stores play a crucial role in attracting customers. If a store is not properly maintained, it will give a negative impression on the customers. The store manager should provide special attention to the display of goods, their pricing, cleanliness of the store, and shelves should be filled back as soon as a product is sold. 

Luxury and lifestyle retailing

Luxury retailing focuses on selling high-end products that are of high quality, high price, and generally limited editions. The luxury industry is a larger sector in the global retail market, but it is a pretty young sector in India. It is in its developing phase. As India is emerging as one of the largest consumer markets in the world, luxury product manufacturing companies are focusing on India and aiming at establishing stores and distribution channels in India.  

Customer relationship management

It is a system that a company follows to interact with their customers. The main motive of customer relationship management is to provide better services to the customers in a minimum time. Companies use different types of software to effectively manage their customer database, and it offers various advantages:

  • The data collected by the customer relationship management system helps in the research of consumer behaviour and sales pattern. 
  • The analysis of data collected helps in making predictions regarding consumer behaviour and market trends that helps in taking important decisions.
  • Providing information for implementing a customer-oriented approach that focuses on meeting their needs. It will result in the creation of loyal customers.
  • It helps in designing advertisement campaigns and deciding about the promotional techniques to be used to attract customers. 

International retailing

In simple terms, it is selling products or services to the consumer who lives in another country. We are working in a dynamic global environment, and it has made it possible for the sellers to capture retail markets of different countries. An organisation can enter the international market by either merger and acquisition, entering into a joint venture, franchising, or exporting. The significant challenges faced in international retailing are 

  • The different taxation systems and double taxation on income
  • The differences in retail practices and the strategy that is successful in the home country might not work in another country
  • Laws and regulations of the target market country sometimes are not favourable to foreign companies or brands
  • The cost incurred in establishing an international presence is enormous, and one should keep checking that cost should not surpass the profit earned by the global market

Direct and network marketing

There are two modes of marketing, and under direct marketing, the salesperson sells products to the consumer on a one-on-one basis. They don’t have to work in the store, and these salespersons can directly visit the customer’s place and deliver the product. There is no change or network created here, and the salesperson is responsible for achieving his target. Generally, the commission paid to the seller in direct marketing is much higher. In comparison, network marketing or multilevel marketing creates a kind of network of sales representatives. Here the salesperson sells to customers and parallelly recruits sales agents or representatives and earns a bonus on the sales made by new salespersons recruited by him. Both the marketing methods have their pros and cons.

Career opportunities for MBA in Retail Management aspirants

 There are vast job opportunities for a person with an MBA in retail management. There are job profiles like marketing manager, store manager, brand manager, and so on. The salary for each job profile varies accordingly, and a person with the right amount of work experience and skills gets a high salary. The average salary of a retail store manager in India is around ₹ 4.0 LPA and increases with experience. Following are the job profiles for an MBA in retail management graduate and the average salary they can earn.

Job profileDetailsAverage salary
Marketing ManagerA marketing manager organises marketing campaigns and events. Their main responsibility is to create awareness of the products among customers. They work to  generate demand, attract potential customers, and hold existing customers with good customer relationship skills.  The average salary of a Marketing Manager is around ₹ 7.3 LPA in India. Salary varies as per the work experience. The salary ranges from ₹ 2.4 Lakhs to ₹ 22.9 Lakhs.
Senior Operations ManagerA Senior Operations Manager oversees the efficiency of the operations of the organisation. They are responsible for the implementation of the right processes and practices. Their duties involve planning and executing strategies and processes for cost-effective operations.  The average salary drawn by a Senior Operations Manager is ₹ 13.5 LPA in India. The salary ranges from ₹ 6.0 Lakhs to ₹ 27.0 Lakhs depending upon experience and skills. 
Store ManagerThey are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the retail store assigned. They lead the team and make necessary decisions regarding the procurement of goods, hiring new staff, customer relation policies, and so on. The average salary of a store manager in India is ₹ 4.0 LPA. It ranges from 2.1 Lakhs to 8.6 Lakhs.
Brand ManagerA Brand Manager works toward establishing a brand for the company. They formulate and implement brand strategies. They are concerned with the customer’s perspective about the company. They aim to get a positive response from potential customers.The average salary of a brand manager is around ₹ 12.0 LPA. Depending upon one’s experience and skills, the salary ranges from ₹ 3.5 Lakhs to ₹ 32.0 Lakhs.
Area Manager – RetailTheir core responsibility is to maximise business in their assigned regions. They set sales targets and stimulate the team to achieve desired results, and provide the necessary support for achieving targets.The average salary is ₹ 7.0 LPA. It ranges between ₹ 3.3 Lakhs to ₹ 15.8 Lakhs.
Business Development ManagerAs a Business Development Manager, you will have to study trends, markets, and customers to identify new opportunities for the organisation. They create new clients and customers for the business.   The average salary drawn is ₹ 5.2 LPA. The salary of a Business Development Manager in India ranges from ₹ 2.5 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs.
Customer Relationship officerThey work with customers and are responsible for after-sale services. Resolve post-sales issues and maintain long-term relationships by ensuring maximum customer satisfaction. The average salary drawn by a Customer Relationship officer is around ₹ 2.4 LPA. The salary ranges from ₹ 1.4 Lakhs to ₹ 4.5 Lakhs.

Apart from the domestic market, there is demand for retail managers and retail management graduates in international markets. A lot of multinational companies hire MBA in retail management graduates, a few of the top recruiters are:

  • Amazon
  • Croma
  • Reliance Group
  • Tata Group
  • Philips India
  • ITC Retails
  • Wills Lifestyle
  • Shoppers Stop
  • Flipkart
  • eBay
  • Blue Star
  • Taj Group of Hotels
  • ITC Hotels
  • Future Group
  • HCL
  • Canon
  • Panasonic

Why is Online Manipal your go-to university for quality MBA programmes?

Pursue UGC accredited online MBA programme from NAAC A+ rated Manipal University Jaipur from the comfort of your home. The programme is designed to equip the candidate with the necessary skills and training that will open new career avenues. Online Manipal provides various specialisations in MBA such as finance, retail, HRM, Marketing etc. 

The online MBA in Retail Management course will benefit professionals who are looking forward to a career change, graduates who want to get a career boost, and an entrepreneur who wants to start a retail store. Gain knowledge and valuable skills and get trained by experienced faculty members at Online Manipal. The real-life based case studies will prepare students for the future. There are options for live and recorded classes, and one can easily revise the MBA Retail Management syllabus at their own pace. 

The university’s placement assistance cell will assist students in landing their dream jobs, and the vast networks of professionals will help them in preparing for job interviews. The complete course fee is INR 1,50,000, which is INR 37,500 per semester. There are flexible payment options for the students, and they can also opt for easy financing options like zero-cost EMI. Manipal University Jaipur also runs various scholarship programmes, thus making MBA accessible for everyone. The added advantage is the free access to paid courses on Coursera; students can explore around 4500 plus courses from world-class universities. The university additionally provides classes and lectures from industry leaders to prepare students for the industry demands. Start your journey of an MBA in Retail Management from Manipal University Jaipur and prepare for better career opportunities.

Conclusion

The Indian economy is growing, and it is projected that the retail industry will continue to grow in the upcoming years. A person with specialisation in retail management will be able to take advantage of this growing industry. The retail industry is continuously evolving and developing. An MBA in Retail Management will boost your resume. The course will impart knowledge that will prepare aspirants for working in the dynamic retail market. The programme is designed to provide real-life experiences and case studies that will help in the effective implementation of knowledge gained in the course. Retail management is for students as well as for professionals who want to either change their job roles or wish to climb corporate leadership. One can choose an online MBA in retail management and get a master’s degree without leaving the job.

 If you have a flare for brand management, customer relationship management, and designing sales strategies, MBA in Retail Management is for you.

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