Category Manager Job Description

Category Manager Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a category manager job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a category manager. Feel free to use our category manager job description template to produce your own category manager job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a category manager.


Who is a Category Manager?

A category manager is a person who is responsible for managing, pricing, selling, and occasionally even distributing a specific type of product that a company offers.

Category managers play a crucial role in the growth and success of a good or service. They are in charge of overseeing the price and general promotion of that good or service in addition to managing the product category or range.

A category manager ultimately needs to have a deep awareness of both consumer wants and the retail environment. They must be business-minded and fully understand the fundamentals of sales and marketing. For category managers, excellent communication skills are also essential.

In the retail sector, category managers are often in charge of increasing sales of a specific product category. Category managers frequently work in the disciplines of inventory, pricing, marketing, and vendor management. Managers of specific product categories handle marketing and retail displays. Along with marketing/informational materials, retail displays, and anything else customers see on the retail shelf for their product category, they create it all. In addition, they visit suppliers and retailers, study sales statistics, and examine planograms.

In their careers, category managers handle a wide range of responsibilities. To assure the creation of high-quality products that satisfy market demands, they frequently collaborate with marketing and sales departments. Category management can be a great career choice if you’re thinking about pursuing a job that blends analytical, sales, and marketing strategies to promote goods and services.

To boost sales and meet goals, category managers create plans for product categories and investigate novel product concepts across several categories. They frequently collaborate with teams that offer knowledge about products and connected product categories, and they are the experts who support strategic choices about the creation of products that satisfy consumer wants. These people have a strong background in analysis, marketing, consumer engagement, and sales.


Category managers carry out a variety of tasks that support business revenue and profits. They are often in charge of creating and putting into practice techniques that enhance product development and design. To provide the best possible product pricing, promotion, and consistent sales, category managers also supervise the product development teams. Being an expert in a specific product category, his or her understanding of that product will improve its marketing, promotion, and pricing and make it more noticeable, accessible, and alluring to customers in general.

By raising the number of products sold within the specific category he or she is in charge of and also by speeding up the rate at which inventory is turned over, he or she also contributes to the profitability of a firm (optimize sales within a category).

In other circumstances, the manager is in charge of several product categories or groups of categories.

Additionally, he or she must be well-versed with the company’s sales goals, the company’s target market, and the purchasing patterns specific to the product category. The management will also learn about the type of goods that best suits her target market from customers. He or she is also in charge of negotiating the terms of payment, delivery, and pricing with re-sellers and re-distributors, as these things tend to affect the product’s profit margin (usually because they buy in bulk).

When it comes to product marketing, the category manager is responsible for ensuring a successful marketing strategy, which typically comprises displaying the ideal product at the ideal time and at the ideal price. Making forecasts and strategies to maximize profit is also part of his or her responsibilities. He or she ensures that sales projections and actual sales are in harmony.


Category managers look for, promote, and assess products and commodities for businesses in the retail industry. With vendors and suppliers, create merchandising initiatives, examine items, and assess suppliers. They investigate the merchandising elements while working in various retail settings, such as apparel or food. This could involve monitoring inventory levels or evaluating supply.

To find the best products at the lowest prices, category managers investigate current trends and a company’s selling philosophies. They also help with the creation of selling strategies, product marketing, and sales support. When making judgments, category managers must be equally creative and analytical and have a strong understanding of marketing, sales, and supply chain management. Category managers must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or supply chain management; some organizations prefer MBAs.


Category Manager Job Description

What is a category manager job description? A category manager job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a category manager in an organization. Below are the category manager job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a category manager job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a category manager include the following:

  • Identify internal and external stakeholders and develop strategic alliances with them.
  • Ensure accurate order information, and collaborate with the support teams.
  • Create a market/retailer network to keep consumers informed about trends and products.
  • Participate actively as a team member and represent purchasing in new product development initiatives.
  • Interact often both internally and externally with managers, VPs, and SVPs.
  • Control content production processes and collaborate with COE or agency content needs.
  • Create and approve suggestions for system, policy, and procedure changes. ensure prompt and precise execution.
  • Manage category resources while ensuring organizational effectiveness through effective direct report motivation, development, and training (s).
  • Incorporate market knowledge into the sourcing procedure for tasks within your areas of expertise.
  • Engage with potential clients when pursuing business development goals by supporting contract assessments, making calls to clients to ask questions, and outlining the practice delivery strategy and case studies.
  • Comprehend, abide by, and attest to the security obligations and security measures particular to them.
  • Own product launches from sourcing to execution and commercialization in a completely new way.
  • Assist in cost reductions, cost negotiations, parts strategy, and supplier strategy understanding costs, cost planning, and analysis.
  • Drive cost-cutting measures into the accounts in collaboration with the account leadership and regional delivery leads.
  • Determine essential insights, then translate them into useful recommendations.
  • Ensure that actions are concentrated on accomplishing department goals, and developing strategies and priorities for the team.
  • Collaborate with the cross-functional SEE team and chosen suppliers on project implementation.
  • Create and preserve a friendly relationship with customers, re-sellers, and re-distributors at all times.
  • Make purchases of new products for the category, including placing orders, paying for them, and documenting your purchases. You should also keep track of your inventory at all times to determine when it is appropriate to place orders for new purchases.
  • Develop long-term plans and strategies for the designated product category’s success.
  • Examine data about the specific products to comprehend trends and client demands
  • Ensure that the product category is placed in a location where customers can view it quickly.
  • Identify together with the marketing team, price strategies and any type of advertising that may increase sales.
  • Inform key teams within the organization about new goods and modifications (where appropriate) Contribute to the creation of budgets and the management of expenses
  • Attend to consumer demands effectively.
  • Ensure that the product categories and displays of the company are geared toward marketing and sales.
  • Examine and research summer and sales trends.
  • Create reports for the business to increase sales.
  • Create, modify, and offer advice on display and current marketing materials whenever necessary.
  • Develop and put into practice planograms for shelf displays.
  • Discuss products with merchants and suppliers.
  • Use category markers prompted signage, and usage guidance for categories to improve in-store displays
  • Improve sales with new target audiences by modifying strategies and materials.
  • Coordinate and brief projects for market research.



  • Degree in business, business administration, computer science, engineering, or a related field, or comparable experience.
  • Experience with CPIM software and procedures, RFP/RFI, and the R Language
  • Commitment to ongoing progress and meticulousness.
  • Prior consulting experience.
  • Eloquence and critical thinking abilities were on display.
  • Able to make decisions and manage projects with confidence.
  • Demonstrated ability in negotiations.
  • Proficiency in corporate resource planning and statistics.


Essential Skills

  • Inventory control: The inventory of products is directly under the control of a category manager. To ensure that there are no gaps in the supply of the products, this position demands you to predict demand and place prompt orders with vendors. To reconcile the physical inventory with the records, you might need to maintain weekly and monthly inventories as well as do cycle counts. Thus, knowing enterprise resource planning, data analysis, reporting, and bookkeeping is crucial for inventory management (ERP).
  • Strategy creation: Category managers create product strategies, sales targets, and tactics to get rid of underperforming products while also analyzing the possibility of new products to grow the category. These plans frequently need in-depth research into market trends and the company’s competitive advantages. Long-term strategies can also need to be broken down into monthly and quarterly goals, and you’ll need to examine, review, and adjust them regularly. In addition to having solid market knowledge, you also need to have good arithmetic, analytical, creative, and research skills for this.
  • Marketing and advertising: As a category manager, you frequently collaborate with the marketing team to develop competitive pricing strategies and schedule marketing campaigns. A significant portion of your employment entails investigating consumer trends and increasing the company’s market share. It can be necessary to assess the potency of prospecting instruments and develop more capable and effective ones.


  • Placement of products and space planning: It can be crucial to use the physical space in a retail company efficiently. Category managers organize and control product placement to increase visibility. For instance, you might choose to keep the large, low-margin products in less obvious locations while putting the high-margin items in more visible locations. Similar to this, you might have to choose how many items to place in your store while keeping the remainder in the warehouse. If you’re in charge of numerous buildings, floors, or locations, space management, and product positioning can get complicated.
  • Financial planning and management: The main objective of category managers is to make their company more profitable and lucrative. For both individual goods and the entire category, they are frequently in charge of creating financial records like budgets, estimates, profit-and-loss accounts, and cash flow statements. You could also need to implement cost-saving measures in your role as a category manager. You must be a shrewd financial planner to accomplish this.
  • Management of vendors and negotiation: Category managers uphold positive relationships with suppliers. They evaluate current suppliers and search for new ones that offer better value and quality. They could create and oversee procedures for product acquisition that include quality inspections and due diligence. For instance, a category manager may need to make sure that a supplier of food products possesses the necessary licenses and that the goods adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. You must possess great vendor management abilities for this.

Similar to this, effective negotiation techniques can assist you in reaching agreements with vendors for maximum profitability, such as through cheaper prices, volume discounts, and seasonal specials.


  • Leadership: Leadership traits are a combination of numerous skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, coordination, and motivation. These are advantageous because your job demands you to coordinate with members of several teams. For instance, floor executives and retail employees may directly report to you. The logistics, sales, marketing, and customer support teams may also need to work with you. When you have strong leadership qualities, you may inspire and direct employees from other departments to collaborate for the benefit of the organization.
  • Consumer assistance: Customer service abilities are advantageous for category managers because they typically work in the retail industry. These abilities are necessary for comprehending consumer needs and providing them with high-quality services and help. By providing chances for cross-selling and repeat business, content and happy customers can contribute to the success of the company. Examples of effective customer service include promptly resolving customer issues, guaranteeing prompt delivery of orders, proposing appropriate products to match the client’s needs, cutting down on wait times at billing counters, and generally fostering a welcoming, upbeat environment in the business.
  • Management of time: You must carry out a wide range of tasks if you want to be a category manager, including data analysis, report writing, quality control, inventory management, and training retail workers. Similar to this, you could need to work with a variety of people both inside and outside the company, including suppliers, sales and marketing representatives, customer support representatives, and floor personnel. Such activities require efficiency and organization to manage in a short amount of time. Planning, prioritizing, multitasking, delegating, and creating a system are just a few time management skills that can be very helpful in this profession.


How to Become a Category Manager

  • Acquire a Degree: A Bachelor’s Degree in Business or a closely related subject is typically required to start your Category Manager career path to stay a competitive option for employers. Focus on developing industry-specific skills during your studies to be prepared for applying for entry-level jobs and starting your career. Before entering the profession, you might need to complete a Category Manager internship to get your bachelor’s degree and gain the necessary on-the-job skills.
  • Decide on a specialty in your industry: You could be required to select a specialty in your profession as a category manager. Decide the area of the category manager industry you are most comfortable in, and keep taking proactive actions to advance in that area.
  • Get a job as a category manager at the entry level: You’ll normally start your career as an entry-level Category Manager once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in business or a closely related discipline. Generally, after earning your four-year Bachelor’s degree in a related field, you can apply to become a category manager. You might want to look into becoming a certified purchasing manager depending on the kind of Category Manager position you’re pursuing.
  • Improve Your Career as a Category Manager: There are various stages in the Category Manager career path after entry level. The transition from an entry-level Category Manager to a senior Category Manager role might take up to two years. To advance in your Category Manager career path, you need about two years of experience at each level for each advanced Category Manager job. For your Category Manager profession to progress, you might need to complete further coursework, an advanced degree, like a Master’s Degree in a related field, or specialized certifications.
  • Continue Education for Your Career as a Category Manager: Not all businesses and industries need ongoing education to develop your career as a Category Manager. However, obtaining this degree can make it easier for you to move up to employment with greater pay more rapidly. It can take four years to finish a graduate business degree.


Where to work as a Category Manager

  1. Retail industry


Category Manager Salary Scale

In the USA, the average category manager earns $103,777 a year or $53.22 per hour. Most experienced workers can earn up to $136,153 per year, while entry-level roles start at $81,676.

In the United Kingdom, the average category manager salary is £63,125 per year or £32.37 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to £80,000 per year, while entry-level roles start at £50,375.


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