Retail is a term associated with sales and business. This is a very common but inaccurate perception. The term “retail” is defined as the sale of small quantities of goods and services to consumers for personal use. In addition to this broad definition, retail shops take a wide variety of forms.
For example, some retailers feature a physical location. Shops of this nature include gas stations, coffee shops and department stores. Thanks to the invention of the Internet, a physical location is no longer a necessity. Many franchises that were once confined to strictly brick-and-mortar sales have created their own websites and are able to target various kinds of consumers.
Another example of commonly overlooked retail is the vending machine. These machines allow the consumer to purchase drinks or snacks at their convenience.
Alternative retail outlets include specific forms of advertising. Infomercials will be very familiar to the average consumer. The prospective buyer calls a phone number or visits a website that appears on their screen. The order is then placed with a live agent. Less common retail outlets include home-based businesses. Representatives often sell specific services or perform in-home consultations. Consumers order their products from catalogues which change on a regular basis.
Most retail shops are business organizations with two common features: a customer loyalty program and a mission statement or philosophy. Most consumers will be familiar with customer reward or customer loyalty programs. Generally, these programs reward loyal customers for frequent purchases. Programs encourage consumers to shun competitors. The bid for customer loyalty takes on several forms such as points, prizes, gift cards, rebates, and coupons. Points are accumulated and redeemed for savings or specific rewards. Discounts are another common feature of customer reward programs. Often, these will take the form of “reward cards” which take off a percentage of clients’ purchases.
Most retailers have a core philosophy or mission statement. This is the statement that communicates the purpose of the establishment. Mission statements create an implied relationship between franchise and consumer. The mission statement is used as a persuasive tool to establish an emotional connection with consumers.
Retail Store Marketing
While most retailers still use radio, television and newspapers to advertise, the addition of marketing retail on the Internet has become the cornerstone. Entire sales promotions are now handled online, and many companies regularly employ the use of social media to promote their businesses.