What Is Retailing?


Retailing is the business of selling goods in small quantities to consumers. These goods can be sold directly to the consumer, in a store or through a variety of other sales channels. In addition to sourcing goods, a retailer may provide services such as shipping or delivery.

Generally speaking, there are four main types of retailers. They include department stores, discounters, specialty stores and ecommerce sites. Each type caters to a different set of consumers and combines a variety of marketing and sales techniques.

Department stores are the oldest of all. While they sell all sorts of merchandise, they usually organize it by category, such as clothing, food and home goods. Some retailers also use third-party manufacturers to produce products.

The newest fad in the retail business is online shopping. eCommerce websites develop relationships with vendors and consumers and ship their purchases directly to their doors. This can also happen in a pop-up shop, which is a temporary store that is usually located in an existing location.

Another form of retailing is the sale of electronic devices, which can be purchased over the phone or via mail. Online retailers can also offer a wide range of services to their customers, from event sales to mobile commerce.

Convenience stores and gas stations sell a selection of groceries and basic items. There are a variety of other retail formats based on customer preferences, including art stores, jewelry stores and second hand shops.

Although the term “retail” has been around for centuries, it is only relatively recently that the industry has become more modern. Historically, the industry has been dominated by small, family-run stores. Today, however, many large retail chains compete with manufacturer brands. As a result, these large retail operations often pass their savings on to the consumer in the form of lower prices.

The retailing industry is a great source of employment for the U.S., supporting more than a half-million jobs. Its growth has been aided by the National Recovery Act, which reduced the price of merchandise sourced by suppliers. Other factors, such as the Shop Local movement, have helped small businesses expand.

Whether you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store, an ecommerce site or simply selling a few high-end collectibles, the goal is the same: to provide a reputable customer experience. A good POS system is one of the keys to a successful retailing operation. To ensure that your business is able to handle all of your customers’ needs, it’s important to choose the right location, as well as a suitable system for handling credit card and other payments.

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any retail enterprise. From paid advertisements to social media to email marketing, there are plenty of ways to reach your target market. However, it’s also important to be creative with your approach. Researching your competitors and brainstorming will help you come up with a unique marketing campaign.

Finally, you need to determine your niche. If you’re a department store, you might decide to specialize in jewelry or clothing. For a discounter, you might focus on clothing, toys or shoes.