Retail Buyer Classes and Courses Overview

Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in business, marketing and retail management typically include instruction in retail buying. Students will learn about how product development, placement and marketing affect a product's success in the retail market.

Essential Information

Retail buyer classes are available through programs in areas such as retail management, retail merchandising and marketing. These programs include courses in consumer behavior, product development, strategic buying and merchandising. Coursework covers the ways of analyzing and predicting consumer behavior and trends.

Here are some common concepts found in retail buyer courses:

  • Retail organizations
  • Marketing strategies
  • Color theory
  • Brand management
  • Marketing
  • Retailers, brokers and wholesalers
  • Design
  • Sourcing

List of Retail Buyer Courses

Retail Buying

Through a course in retail buying, students learn how retail buyers make purchases and decide how many products to purchase. They study the principles of math and learn practical applications of retail math. This course demonstrates how to set a products' price to make a profit, while taking operating and marketing expenses into consideration. Techniques for marking down prices and still making profits are also covered.

Consumer Behavior

In order to know what to buy and how to present it, students study what makes customers choose one product over another. The way people respond to marketing techniques, colors and product placement are covered through lectures, videos and other forms of presentation. Students learn the most and least effective means for presenting products.

Visual Merchandising

This retail buyer class covers ways to present retail items so consumers want to buy them, such as placing it near a checkout, where it's in easy reach. Students analyze store floor plans and create their own plan, complete with product layout, for marketing and merchandising purposes. The class studies field research conducted in visual merchandising, including how visuals of the product affect consumer behavior and the amount of product retail buyers purchase for sales. Some classes provide practical applications with using lighting and décor to influence purchasing behavior.

Strategic Planning and Buying

In this advanced retail buyer class, students develop buying plans for different retail organizations and merchants. They create promotional plans and learn how to change them if part of it doesn't work as expected. Seasonal marketing plans are developed, with an emphasis on holidays and other major promotional periods, where consumers are more open to making purchases. Part of the course familiarizes buyers with high and low periods in sales so they can make reasonable product purchases.

Distribution Systems and Marketing Channels

Students learn how to buy and sell products to retailers. They study sales and marketing philosophies and learn how to distribute the most goods possible in an efficient manner. This class is usually taken in the junior or senior year of a bachelor's degree program, and the class is research and writing based, as students study retail and buying methods and determine which are best for different businesses.

Product Development and Analysis

This retail buyer course examines the necessity of purchasing and selling products that are in good condition and are put together effectively. Students learn how product conception, design, and presentation effects how well they sell. The course also identifies the importance of product or designer name and how they influence customer purchase.

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