Career Mapping

Exploration Platform

Career Mapping

Exploration Platform

Career Mapping

Exploration Platform

Welcome to our comprehensive industry career guide! This tool will open doors to help you move cross-functionally across roles adjacent to category management or shopper insights; allowing you to explore other departments or simply gain a better understanding of the skills you’ll need to move forward. Members can access our high-level self evaluation to objectively assess their strengths and gaps, and then leverage those results to seek a role in another function or to use in discussion with their manager to plan a course. Category management and shopper insights are considered critical in many organizations, with talent frequently moving in and out of different focused roles.

Category management is a hub

for career exploration.

Category management and shopper insights professionals have many transferrable skills and are highly sought after for roles outside of their core function. You will see definitions of each of these functions for clarity as we know many organizations use different titles.

Category Management

The Category Management function is focused on a process by which retailers and manufacturers develop a comprehensive omnichannel plan – based on facts, insights, sound strategies and proven tactical success models – to meet shopper needs, thereby producing superior business results through category growth. Projects include category analysis, assortment recommendations, post-promo analysis, innovation presentations, etc. This function typically resides in the Sales/Commercial organization for manufacturers and in the Merchandising organization for Retailers.

Category Management
Space Planning
Shopper Insights
Consumer Insights
Brand Marketing / Management
eCommerce Content Management
Shopper Marketing
Digital Marketing
Revenut Growth Management
Sales / Commercial Manufacturing
Business Development / Sales Planning
Retail Execution Manufacturing
Supply Chain
Retail Store Operations

Successful career paths are rarely linear.

Many times, the skills you hone in one role are not only valuable as you move to another, but they often can help set you apart in terms of experience and confidence. To help you find your level, we’ve developed a list of fifteen fundamental industry skills and ask you to rate your own expertise from inexperienced to mastery for each one. This will help you think about your development in both depth and breadth and how the two work together.


Once you complete the survey, you will receive a summary of how you evaluated yourself in comparison to the benchmark definition for each competency in the industry. For example, if you rate yourself as “intermediate” on Data Visualization, but the role you are interested in requires a “mastery” level, that would be considered a gap. You would then put a development plan such as additional training in place to close this gap.

You can also take this assessment multiple times if you want to see how your skills stack up in other functions, as well!

Data Analytics
Data Analysis is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data set
Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is aimed at gaining a deep understanding of a specific organization or event, rather a than surface description of a large sample of a population.
Quantitative Research
Quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. It can be used to find patterns and averages, make predictions, test causal relationships, and generalize results to wider populations
Data Visualization
Data visualization is the representation of data through use of common graphics, such as charts, plots, infographics, and even animations. It representes complex data relationships and data-driven insights in a way that is easy to understand.
Assortment Planning
Assortment planning is about deciding what products to sell and where to sell them based on seasonality and demand at particular location
A skill that builds a diagram that shows how and where specific retail products should be placed on retail shelves or displays to increase customer purchases.
Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to effectively analyze information and form a judgment.
Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking is simply an intentional and rational thought process that focuses on the analysis of critical factors and variables that will influence the long-term success of a business, a team, or an individua
Negotiating is a strategic discussion between two parties to resolve an issue in a way that both find acceptable
A speech or talk in which a new product, idea, or piece of work is shown and explained to an audience.
Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener's imagination
Cross Deparment Collaboration is the process of individuals or teams from different departments or areas within an organization
External Relationships
External Relationship Building is working to build or maintain ethical relationships or networks or contacts with people who are, or may be, potentially helpful in achieving work-related goals and establishing advantages
Retail Business
Retail Business Acument is having knowledge about key retail business issues, the skill to apply that knowledge, and the confidence to take action informed by past experiences. 
Trend tracking
Tracking trends is the process of looking at current trends in order to predict future ones and is considered a form of comparative analysis

Built for you, by you, and

validated by data science.

This member-driven initiative has come to life through the workgroup of some of our members; but was also validated by the Xerxes Global Solutions team and their insights. We surveyed over 6,000 LinkedIn profiles including 43.000 industry roles across 127,000 career years — all to determine the most likely functions, roles and skills you’ll need to have a long, successful career in this industry.

Ready to set your own course?