What is retail?

The development of technology used in communication tools such as the internet is turning traditional shopping habits on their head. Today, many customers use their smartphones to find information or even offers on a product in shop. It’s fair to say that consumer habits have changed quite rapidly. The question is, can in-store sales still be profitable in the face of the digitalisation of distribution channels?

Definition of Retail

Retail is a term used to describe all retail activities. The Retail sector includes all retailers who sell products to “individual” consumers. Generally speaking, Retail complies with the following conditions:

  • Sales to end consumers. Also known as BtoC.
  • Products sold in small quantities.
  • No transformation: the retailer normally resells the products without transforming them.

In contrast to the retailer business, we have the wholesaler business. The wholesaler sells products in large quantities to professionals (BtoB activity).

Digital and Retail, complementing each other for greater efficiency
If we take a close look at the new marketing methods used by retail chains, we might well ask whether retail will be able to survive the omnipresence of digital technologies?

The answer is yes, because the advantages of retail in this digital environment are manifold. So instead of talking about the death of retail, we should be focusing on the complementary nature of the two techniques. Retailers who are aware that the barriers between the virtual and physical shop are disappearing are equipping themselves to take advantage of this new trend.

With multi-channel customer journeys, retail has to adapt to the challenges of digitalisation.

Why work in Retail?

Retail can be a demanding sector. You often have to work on Saturdays and even Sundays during sales periods. Even though customers can be difficult, you also have to keep your cool and smile. But working in Retail will give you a lot both personally and professionally.

  • Career: Experience in retail can easily be added to your CV. If you’re a student, you can work in a shop part-time or during the school holidays. This type of work is appreciated by recruiters, who are looking for serious and motivated people.
  • Sales experience: The aim of a shop is to sell more. Even if you work at the checkout or on the shelves, you’ll be trained to inform customers. If you’re recruited as an advisor, you’ll also learn all about sales techniques (how to convince, how to deal with objections, etc.).
  • Personal development: To keep the shop running smoothly, you’ll have to interact with the rest of the staff, delivery staff and customers. If you’re a bit shy, this experience can help you open up to others.

How do distributors achieve their objectives?

There are many ways of reaping the benefits of digitalization. To be effective, distributors need to be able to rely on traditional web marketing tools such as blogs. In this case, the use of reliable search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques is essential to obtain traffic from search engines such as Google. The emphasis should be on quality seo content. Social networks are also channels that can be exploited to generate more sales.

Socialising relationships with consumers

To secure its future, the retail sector needs to make the most of social networks, which now have a real audience. We need to be present on these networks in order to establish close links with our customers. The use of these tools means that information can be shared more effectively, as well as opening up to the outside world. Retailers need to capitalise on the various advantages of these tools to offer customers a new shopping experience on the web.

Take advantage of the benefits of Retail

There are many advantages to this practice. One of the most important is that consumers have access to a vast amount of data. This enables them to make informed decisions. What’s more, e-consumers benefit from a personalised service. This increases the likelihood of customers purchasing products.

Find out more about the challenges of digital transformation in retail in the video below.

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