What is a Product Mix?

Malcolm Tatum

A product mix consists of the various product lines that are offered for sale by a particular seller. Sometimes referred to as product assortment, it has to do with the number of product lines offered, the number and type of products offered in each line, and the relevance of those products to the consumers who are presented with the opportunity to buy the products. Retailers are often very concerned with the range of products they offer, since stock the right product mix helps to ensure that the target market of consumers will be reached and sales will be generated.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

The goods offered in a supermarket are good examples of what goes into a viable product mix. Many of the product lines have to do with food. Fresh produce is one type of product line, while canned goods is another. Frozen foods represent a third line of products, while meats represent still another grouping of products. While food products make up the core product lines in the mix, other items help to make the store more appealing to customers. By including product lines like over the counter medications, cutlery, and food storage items, the supermarket is able to provide an added incentive for customers to buy more of what they need at the one location.

Businesses other the retailers also employ the concept of a product mix. Colleges and universities are a prime example. These types of institutions offer a variety of degree programs, which are essentially product lines in the overall mixture of products offered. Within those product lines, individual courses serve as the products themselves that are necessary in order to obtain the degree. By offering a wider range of degree programs, a university achieves a broader product mix and thus is likely to attract a larger number of students.

Developing a product mix is not simply a matter of selecting a random range of products and offering them for sale. Often, retailers and other businesses will look closely at how the various product lines are associated with one another. When products are sold alongside other products that can be used at the same time, the overall mix is seen as being unified and thus more appealing to consumers. For example, if a retailer sells two or three brands of mops, it is usually a good idea to also carry two or lines of products that can be used to mop floors, thus increasing the potential for sales revenue by meeting more than one customer need.

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Discussion Comments


@Perdido – Now that you mention it, I don't believe I have ever seen a clothing store that didn't offer accessories, too! I guess this product mix idea must be very successful.

I spend more time in hobby stores than in clothing stores, and they have a huge range of products available. What's great is that I can take my husband, and he can entertain himself in the woodworking section while I shop for art supplies.

This place has a little bit of everything. They have artificial flowers, photo frames, fabric, all kinds of jewelry making supplies, and a wide selection of paints and canvases. There is really something for everyone with a hobby here.


Every clothing store I have ever visited has had a good product mix. The mix applies to the different types of clothing, but it also applies to accessories.

It's always good when a clothing store has a nice selection of jewelry and purses. It's even better when they also have shoes and underwear.

Someone who is looking to buy a new wardrobe is likely looking for a little bit of everything. Stores know that when someone is looking to reinvent their look, they are willing to shell out the bucks for the whole ensemble.


I think it is important for a person who makes their living as a DJ to have a good product mix. He should have a large selection on deck.

I hired a DJ for my birthday party whose mix included dance, rock, pop, and country. I believe he probably even had jazz and blues in his collection, but no one requested any.

It would be a really bad career move for a DJ to limit his selection to just one genre. If he wants to be able to find more work through the events he works at, then he has to be able to make everyone happy.


My friend owns a party supply store, and she has a nice product mix. She caters to everyone from mothers throwing their children birthday parties to elderly people having retirement receptions.

It's good that she has such a range of products, because her store is the only one in the city. She needs to be the go-to place for anyone who needs party supplies.

She sells napkins with everything from cartoon characters to crosses on them. She sells party favors for kids, beer bongs for college students, and she even has a bachelorette party room with novelty items in it.

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