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Sales Mix Variance

What is the 'Sales Mix Variance'

Sales mix variance is the difference between a company’s budgeted sales mix and the actual sales mix that the firm sells to customers. Sales mix is defined as the proportion of each product a business sells, relative to total sales, and sales mix impacts total company profit, because some products generate higher profit margins than other products. Sales mix variance includes each product line sold by the firm.

Explaining 'Sales Mix Variance'

A variance is the difference between budgeted and actual amounts, and companies review variances to make changes in the business. Companies use profit margin to compare the profitability of different products, and profit margin is defined as (net income / sales).

The Differences Between Profit Levels

Assume, for example, that a hardware store sells a $100 trimmer and earns $20 per unit, and the store also sells a $200 lawnmower and earns $30 per mower. The profit margin on the trimmer is ($20 / $100), or 20%, while the lawnmower’s profit margin is ($30 / $200), or 15%. Although the lawnmower has a higher sales price and generates more revenue, the trimmer earns a higher profit per dollar sold. The hardware store budgets for the units sold and the profit generated for each product the business sells.

Examples of Sales Mix Variances

Sales mix variance is based on this formula: (actual units sold * (actual sales mix % - budgeted sales mix %) * budgeted contribution margin per unit). Analyzing the sales mix variance helps a company detect trends in the popularity of its different offerings and consider the impact on company profits.


Further Reading


The relation between cost-system design, managers' evaluations of the relevance and usefulness of cost data, and financial performance: an empirical study of US …
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

The marketing mix decision under uncertaintyThe marketing mix decision under uncertainty
pubsonline.informs.org [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing-mix activities?What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing-mix activities?
journals.sagepub.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

Gordon Shillinglaw: Economist, consultant, and management accounting scholarGordon Shillinglaw: Economist, consultant, and management accounting scholar
meridian.allenpress.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

Mixing and matching: Prospective financial sector mergers and market valuationMixing and matching: Prospective financial sector mergers and market valuation
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

Using financial and macroeconomic indicators to forecast sales of large development and construction firmsUsing financial and macroeconomic indicators to forecast sales of large development and construction firms
link.springer.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

Fuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: A Mean–Variance Portfolio theory approachFuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: A Mean–Variance Portfolio theory approach
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

CEO stock‐based compensation: An empirical analysis of incentive‐intensity, relative mix, and economic determinantsCEO stock‐based compensation: An empirical analysis of incentive‐intensity, relative mix, and economic determinants
www.jstor.org [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …

An empirical analysis of sales-force compensation plansAn empirical analysis of sales-force compensation plans
www.jstor.org [PDF]
… in table 2, by using the "Current-Period" statistics from table 1. "Average price” is used here to mean the same as "average realization,” which is the dollar amount per standard physical unit realized from sales of a … Measuring Mix Variance When the price variances are known …



Q&A About Sales Mix Variance


What is sales mix variance?

Sales mix variance is the difference between a company's budgeted sales mix and the actual sales mix that it sells to customers.

What do you need in order to calculate sales mix variance?

You need units sold, actual unit contribution margin, and budgeted unit contribution margin for each product line sold by the firm.

What does the term "sales mix" refer to?

The term "sales mix" refers to the proportion of each product a business sells, relative to total sales.

How can sales mix impact total company profit?

Sales mix impacts total company profit because some products generate higher profit margins than other products.

How do you calculate sales volume variance?

(Actual units sold * (actual units sold - Budgeted Units Sold) * Budgeted Contribution Margin per Unit).