5 Must-Have Skills for a Retail Product Manager

Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Reliance, Tata, Flipkart, Apple, Lenovo, Samsung…. And the list of retail brands around us can go on! All business practices from product development to marketing revolve around retailing the product right. And at the center of retailing lies Product Management. 

From decade-old retailers to new-age startups, all are leveraging Product Management to create user-focused products and experiences. To achieve this, the demand for retail Product Managers is at an all-time high. 

In this blog, we walk you through the 5 must-have skills for a Retail Product Manager. If you’re an existing Product Manager or someone new to Product Management, this blog would help you identify the skills you need and give you a peek into what its like to be a Product Manager.  

Let’s get started


5 Key Skills of a Retail Product Manager

1. Analysing Product Data

The retail industry relies heavily on real-time data and analytics. As a Retail Product Manager, you‘ll be responsible for every day analyzing product data to make informed decisions. Data will help you answer questions such as which product’s production should be increased, how much should a product be priced, which consumers from which area are liking a certain product, and why? 

Based on analyzing the answers to such questions, you will be responsible for understanding user behavior, communicating the same to concerned teams, and bringing in the required changes in the product. 

2. Strategic Product Management

A large section of the retail industry is unorganized and needs strategic product management to meet the demands of consumers the right way!

Strategic product management includes identifying market and product opportunities and objectives, understanding sales objectives, deployment of resources, auditing the business environment to bring in efficiency, integrating the planning of information systems, and in-depth planning and management of categories. 

3. Getting the Timing Correct

Retail is all about selling the right product at the right time. As it is popularly said for retail brands, you have to be present where the customer is. 

To sell your products to the target audience it is important that your audience comes across your product. With the rise of e-commerce, timing has become all the more important. 

As a Retail Product Manager, it is crucial for you to have an excellent sense of timing. Whether you sell in-store or online, you must have the right products on the right date and event in front of the right customer. 

A Retail Product Manager using the right mix of product, customer data, and management skills should put together a show for the consumer. You have to plan, execute, and deliver your product and features to the user AT THE RIGHT TIME. 

4. Focus on Scalability

Product Management in retail encompasses a varying range of activities and functions. However, for a brand to grow a Retail Product Manager should focus on its scalability. To work towards scalability, simplifying retail operations is necessary. Thus, a retail Product Manager should have excellent knowledge and hands-on experience in Operational Product Management.

Operational Product Management includes product development and selection, sourcing the products, pricing products, forecasting sales, management of the supply chain, store profiling or setting up an online store, visual merchandising, and at last promotions. 

5. Communication Skills

This one goes without saying. For every Product Manager out there irrespective of the industry they are working in, having excellent written and verbal communication skills are mandatory. 

A Product Manager on a daily basis has to interact with users, engineering, design, development, marketing, and management. Having excellent speaking and writing skills is necessary to clearly communicate product vision, growth, and ideas to the respective teams. 

Further, a Product Manager is responsible for creating a product roadmap, which is the bible of a product. Having strong communication skills becomes more important while creating a product roadmap. As a confusing roadmap can mess up the entire timeline of a product and adversely affect the final product. 

So, there you have it. These were the top 5 skills every Retail Product Manager must-have. If you are planning to build a career as a Product Manager, signing up for a Product Management certification will help you kickstart your journey.

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