The future of the retail industry looks complex. What does it take to successfully retail products these days? Retail competition is getting tougher for small and larger companies. More manufacturers are selling directly to consumers, deploying ecommerce websites, opening up retail locations themselves, and finding other methods of product distribution. These companies are well known such as Apple and Nike.
Competition is now a retail factor from near and far as technology makes retailing much more global and competitive. Additionally, companies such as Craigslist and eBay influence the consumer market and product sales.
Types of Businesses in the Retail Industry
Any business that sells a product or merchandise of any kind to an end user is considered to be part of the retail industry. There are two types of retail operations in the US, the Store Retailers and the Non-Store Retailers. Store retailers are the operations who engage in the sale of products from a physical location(s). Non-Store Retailers as the name suggests do not sell through their own physical store locations, but through ecommerce websites, Infomercials, Catalog, Vending, or Multilevel.
Retail companies and chains are expanding globally as the world moves towards a more global economy. Retail chains large and smaller operations continue to expand their market reach by adding stores in foreign markets.
How to Successfully Retail Products
Competitive trends will place a strain on the traditional retailers and physical store locations. Vendors will allocate less trade dollars to secure shelf space and more to promote brands and product sales through ecommerce websites, where retailers have many more options to reach consumers. To increase profits, gain market share, and continue to drive profitability, brands must over the next 10+ years take aggressive action online.
Almost all retailers are investing these days into multilevel distribution and sales channels. As purchases migrate to more digital channels, most retailers will need less physical space in stores. Retailers are already effected by these shifts, retailers shut approximately 4,500 stores in the US alone, and new stores tend to be smaller by over 25%.
Forward thinking product retailers are leveraging big data and the digital world to their advantage. Retailers that utilize reports, statistics, and big data to their advantage can enable very specific targeted marketing, tailored sales approaches, and effective pricing and promotions.
Analytics help brands analyze make decisions. They allow retailers to anticipate changes, determine distribution methods, inventory levels, and allocations of marketing and advertising budgets. Retail decision makers should continue to pay attention to their data to increase revenues, reduce costs, and free up capital.
The successful retailers will proactively shape products and experiences for consumers by involving them into merchandising decisions. Retailers are already engaging consumers through social media, which influences product creation and features. This continues to drive innovation, experience, and product development.
Selling products through retail is a complex task these days. The retail environment is dynamic and at the same time competition is intensifying. Now, it is the best time for retailers to invest more into their digital infrastructure and online market reach. This can be accomplished through Social Media marketing campaigns, Search Engine Optimization, and other forms of online marketing. If a company is not sure how to go about it, marketing consulting services are available with firms to help brands understand the changing market and business landscape.