What Is Retail?


Retail is an industry involving the sale of goods to consumers. Retailers provide consumers with ready-to-use products, as well as help them select and choose the best options for their needs.

Today, retailing includes a variety of businesses, from supermarkets to boutiques to ecommerce stores. While some retailers sell their own products, others work with third-party manufacturers and wholesalers to stock their shelves.

In general, the retail industry supports 52 million jobs in the U.S., including more than one in four jobs in the private sector. It is a large and complex industry, and one that is often highly competitive. To ensure success, however, a retailer must focus on customer satisfaction and quality products.

Several types of retailing have different pros and cons. Large retailers have tremendous buying power, and pass on their savings in the form of lower prices. Similarly, smaller, independent retailers have seen their profits increase in recent years as the shop local movement has become more commonplace.

In general, retailers stock small quantities of goods, compared to manufacturers, who produce larger amounts of similar items. The term “retail” is derived from the Old French word “retaillier,” which means to cut back.

Retailing has a history that dates back to the ancient world. Traders periodically sold their wares in market towns and countryside fairs. Before money was invented, traders relied on barter and other methods of direct exchange.

Today, retailers are the final link in the supply chain. Manufacturers produce and sell goods through wholesalers, who sell their products at a low price. Wholesalers typically sell to retailers in a business-to-business transaction.

When a consumer purchases an item from a retailer, he or she pays the business in cash, a credit card, or another payment method. In addition, the business adds costs related to distribution and labour. If the retailer is a mail order company, the consumer may place the order over the phone. However, some consumers prefer to purchase from a store, rather than over the Internet.

Many large retailers have private label brands. These brands are designed to meet the specific needs of their customers. Consumers want variety and value. Whether they are shopping for groceries, clothing, or electronics, they want a variety of options.

A retail company can use a wide range of marketing techniques to promote its products and services. Some examples include social media, SEO, email ads, and paid advertisements. Marketing also involves brainstorming and a creative approach.

Retailers work with manufacturers to determine which goods will be most popular with their customers. They balance the demands of the manufacturer and the customer. Their decisions depend on the analysis of the market, competition, and product assortment. Customers can purchase from a store, over the phone, online, or at a delivery location.

Today, retailers are using new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to improve their customer experiences. Virtual reality shopping allows customers to interact with the staff, see products from home, and streamlines packaging.

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