Retail IndustryIndustry OverviewDefinitionThe retail industry is a sector of the economy that is comprised of individuals and companiesengaged in the selling of finished products to end user consumers. The retail industry divisionincludes units mainly engaged in the purchase and on selling, commission based buying, andcommission based selling of goods without significant transformation to the general public.Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as adepartment store, boutique or kiosk, or by mall, in small or individual lots for directconsumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery.Purchasers may be individuals or businesses. In commerce, a "retailer" buys goods orproducts in large quantities from manufacturers or directly or through a wholesaler, and thensells smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores.Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Manufacturing marketers see the process ofretailing as a necessary part of their overall distribution strategy. The term "retailer" is alsoapplied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such asa public utility, like electric power. All businesses that sell goods and services to consumersfall under the umbrella of retailing.Types of retail outletsA marketplace is a location where goods and services are exchanged. The traditional marketsquare is a city square where traders set up stalls and buyers browse the merchandise. Thiskind of market is very old, and countless such markets are still in operation around the wholeworld.In some parts of the world, the retail business is still dominated by small family-run stores,but this market is increasingly being taken over by large retail chains.Retail is usually classified by type of products as follows: 1. Food products 2. Hard goods or durable goods ("hardline retailers") - appliances, electronics, furniture, sporting goods, etc. Goods that do not quickly wear out and provide utility over time. 3. Soft goods or consumables - clothing, apparel, and other fabrics. Goods that are consumed after one use or have a limited period (typically under three years) in which you may use them.There are the following types of retailers by marketing strategy:
1. Department stores - very large stores offering a huge assortment of "soft" and "hard goods; often bear a resemblance to a collection of specialty stores. A retailer of such store carries variety of categories and has broad assortment at average price. They offer considerable customer service.2. Discount stores - tend to offer a wide array of products and services, but they compete mainly on price offers extensive assortment of merchandise at affordable and cut-rate prices. Normally retailers sell less fashion-oriented brands.3. Warehouse stores - warehouses that offer low-cost, often high-quantity goods piled on pallets or steel shelves; warehouse clubs charge a membership fee;4. Variety stores - these offer extremely low-cost goods, with limited selection;5. Demographic - retailers that aim at one particular segment (e.g., high-end retailers focusing on wealthy individuals).6. Mom-And-Pop : is a retail outlet that is owned and operated by individuals. The range of products are very selective and few in numbers. These stores are seen in local community often are family-run businesses. The square feet area of the store depends on the store holder.7. Specialty stores: A typical speciality store gives attention to a particular category and provides high level of service to the customers. A pet store that specializes in selling dog food would be regarded as a specialty store. However, branded stores also come under this format. For example if a customer visits a Reebok or Gap store then they find just Reebok and Gap products in the respective stores.8. General store - a rural store that supplies the main needs for the local community;9. Convenience stores: is essentially found in residential areas. They provide limited amount of merchandise at more than average prices with a speedy checkout. This store is ideal for emergency and immediate purchases.10. Hypermarkets: provides variety and huge volumes of exclusive merchandise at low margins. The operating cost is comparatively less than other retail formats.11. Supermarkets: is a self service store consisting mainly of grocery and limited products on non food items. They may adopt a Hi-Lo or an EDLP strategy for pricing. The supermarkets can be anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2). Example: SPAR supermarket.12. Malls: has a range of retail shops at a single outlet. They endow with products, food and entertainment under a roof.13. Category killers or Category Specialist: By supplying wide assortment in a single category for lower prices a retailer can "kill" that category for other retailers. For few categories, such as electronics, the products are displayed at the centre of the store and sales person will be available to address customer queries and give suggestions when required. Other retail format stores are forced to reduce the prices if a category specialist retail store is present in the vicinity.14. E-tailers: The customer can shop and order through internet and the merchandise are dropped at the customers doorstep. Here the retailers use drop shipping technique. They accept the payment for the product but the customer receives the product directly from the manufacturer or a wholesaler. This format is ideal for customers who do not want to travel to retail stores and are interested in home shopping.
However it is important for the customer to be wary about defective products and non secure credit card transaction. Example: Amazon, Pennyful and Ebay. 15. Vending Machines: This is an automated piece of equipment wherein customers can drop in the money in machine and acquire the products.Some stores take a no frills approach, while others are "mid-range" or "high end", dependingon what income level they target.Other types of retail store include: 1. Automated Retail stores are self service, robotic kiosks located in airports, malls and grocery stores. The stores accept credit cards and are usually open 24/7. Examples include ZoomShops and Redbox. 2. Big-box stores encompass larger department, discount, general merchandise, and warehouse stores. 3. Convenience store - a small store often with extended hours, stocking everyday or roadside items; 4. General store - a store which sells most goods needed, typically in a rural area; 5. Retailers can opt for a format as each provides different retail mix to its customers based on their customer demographics, lifestyle and purchase behaviour. A good format will lend a hand to display products well and entice the target customers to spawn salesOverview on level of uptake of technology in Retail Industry Sixty per cent of Australian consumers want to use technology at some part of their retail process, according to a study conducted by IBM. IBM’s 2012 Smarter Consumer Study revealed that out of this 60 per cent of consumers, 17 per cent want to use three or more technologies – such as websites, social networking, televisions, etc. – in that process. In specific, he said that the survey showed that 90 per cent of Australian consumers wanted to use social networking as part of the shopping process. “It should come as no surprise to retailers that digital technologies and the Web are impacting the industry in a major way. However in Australia, the physical presence of a retailer is still very important, so it’s not about eradicating bricks and mortar in favour of online,” he said. http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/419887/technology_will_reshape_retail_industry_ibm/# closeme
In recent years retail industries have been constantly seeking to adopt new emerging technologies for their business process to be more effective, efficient and automated. For this the emerging technologies like wireless technologies, mobile technologies, web based technology, e-commerce technology etc are being used in very effectively and rapidly by the retail industry for better productivity, work automation, better business process etc. Retail Industry sector have been constantly seeking to adopt new emerging technologies and also upgrade their existing technologies as per the demand from the technology oriented society and as the development of new technologies. The extensive use of emerging technologies by the retail industries is significant for the following organizational perspectives of this industry. Competitive advantage Return on investment (ROI) Customer convenience Demand from suppliers and/or customers Streamlining of operations.Mobile Technology (Mobile Applications)Definition: Technology that is “untethered” from traditional devices such as computers. Typically used on mobile phones, PDAs and other similar devices. Mobile technology is a collective term used to describe the various types of cellular communication technology. Since the start of this millennium, a standard mobile device has gone from being no more than a simple two-way pager to being a mobile phone, GPS navigation device, an embedded web browser and instant messaging client, and a handheld game console. Mobile technologies are a subset of wireless technologies as they operate under 3G, 4G networking. The devices that fall under mobile technology can be used to store, modify, view, and transfer a wide range of file formats such as Word documents, PDFs, HTML, and any number of device-specific formats. These same devices can be used to store, access, modify, and remote-connect to databases ranging from SQL Server to Oracle. They can also fit in your pocket and typically run on rechargeable batteries. So they have a significant role in organizations. Mobile technology in itself is not sufficient enough technology for organizations; these technologies are extended with more functionality by installing mobile applications on them. Mobile applications are similar to computer applications for input, processing and output of data (information) but these are installed in mobile devices rather than computers meaning these applications use mobile technology and mobile network as their operating medium.
There are different forms of mobile applications such as: • Communications apps Email on mobiles Instant messengers Voice over IP on mobiles Video on demand Social networking sites • Productivity Web banking Retail sites Notifications (flight delays, etc.) • Mobile-based Information Systems Inventory control systems Supply chain Shipping & receiving systems Customer Relationship Management • Content Management Educational content TV on demand Web browsingRetail Industry has adopted this mobile technology for their everyday business purpose indifferent forms. These technologies have been highly and extensively adopted in the retailindustry for various purposes such as communication medium, from an organizationalproductivity point of view, as an Information system using mobile devices and the mobilenetworks in contrary to traditional computers and computer networks which are bounded byavailability and locations and lastly as a medium for content management purposes for theinformation related to retail industries. Such as people involved in the retail industry simplycan contact with each other or with the consumers with the mobile devices and the mobiletechnology this is just a general example. Retail Industry uses mobile communication appssuch as email on mobile phones to send email to each other and its consumers, people can useinstant messengers to communicate, and VOIP in mobiles such as Skype can be used tocommunicate this is an example of mobile application. These days peoples are so much intosocial networking sites so that retail industry are using this trend to reach extensively to itsconsumers by opening business profile in social networking sites like Face book andadvertising itself in the market. On the other hand mobile productivity applications such asmobile banking are used extensively by the retail industry to make banking transactions.Retail Industry is catering to advertise itself via retail mobile sites to reach their consumers.Retail Industry is using mobile based information systems for the processing of their businessinformation and storing them, supply chain management, customer relation management,
these can be done by the mobile marketing. The simple form of mobile marketing can betaken as using the short messaging system (SMS) a feature of mobile technology, simply tosend text messages in the consumers mobile phones which are product advertisementoriented. Mobile technology can also be used for web browsing which is an essential for thepeoples involved in retail industry.