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How Do I Become a Retail Product Manager?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

Retail product managers are experienced professionals who are responsible for overseeing the development and marketing of products that are sold to consumers. To become a retail product manager, it is essential to have an undergraduate degree and sometimes a graduate degree in a field such as management, marketing, or business administration. For people who are interested in careers in more specialized areas, however, such as in software, it might be a better idea to earn a degree specific to an industry. A person who would like to become a retail product manager also should get as much experience as possible in all facets of product development, beginning with product design and ending with how products are priced and marketed to consumers once they are in retail stores.

The level of technical expertise required of a person who wants to become a retail product manager depends largely on his or her industry. For example, an individual who would like to develop electronic products probably should have some background in electrical engineering since he or she must be able to communicate with engineers and even manage development and production processes. A person who works in a field such as clothing, on the other hand, might not need to know how to make his or her own clothes, but this person should be deeply familiar with relevant markets and also should understand current styles.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

An individual who would like to become a retail product manager should begin learning about all areas of product development. For many people interested in retail products, the best way to break into this field is to begin in sales positions. This is a great way to learn about which features of products are most popular among clients and also to gain a better understanding of the market in which you work and the competitors with whom your company shares a market. For other people, however, the best way to become a retail product manager is to begin on the engineering end.

When it comes to composing a resume and going through the interview process, it is important that a person who would like to become a retail product manager is ready to discuss his or her familiarity with a particular market. At this stage in your career, it is important that you already have had some impressive success. For example, a person in the software development industry might already have taken part in the development of a popular program, while a person in office supplies retail might have earned his or her organization a top priority client.

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