Retail is the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the end-user. Retailers are part of an integrated system called the supply-chain. A retailer purchases goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or directly through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the consumer for a profit. Retailing can be done in either fixed locations or online. Retailing includes subordinated services, such as delivery. The term "retailer" is also applied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such as a public utility, like electric power.
Presenting a wide number of technologies linked to consumer behavior in retail environments (i.e. RFID, Shopping Assistant Systems, smart mirror, and so on), this section undoubtedly has an appeal for professionals looking to enhance their expertise on retail domain. We discuss case studies investigating the phenomenon of consumer-computer interaction, which suggest applying new technologies to influence buying behavior and present best practices to keep in mind while working for clients from retail industries.
The retail sector has played a phenomenal role throughout the world in increasing productivity of consumer goods and services. It is also the second largest industry in the US in terms of numbers of employees and establishments. There is no denying the fact that most of the developed economies are very much relying on their retail sector as a locomotive of growth. The Retail Industry is the largest among all the industries, accounting for over 10 per cent of the country’s GDP and around 8 per cent of the employment. The Retail Industry has come forth as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries with several players entering the market.
The Retail Industry is gradually inching its way towards becoming the next boom industry. Retailing has seen such a transformation over the past decade that its very definition has undergone a sea change. No longer can a manufacturer rely on sales to take place by ensuring mere availability of his product.
For manufacturers and service providers the emerging opportunities in urban markets seem to lie in capturing and delivering better value to the customers through retail. The last mile connect seems to be increasingly lively and experiential. Also, manufacturers and service providers face an exploding rural market yet only marginally tapped due to difficulties in rural retailing. Only innovative concepts and models may survive the test of time and investments.
Retailing in is currently estimated to be a US$ 200 billion industry, of which organized retailing makes up a paltry 3 percent or US$ 6.4 billion. By 2010, organized retail is projected to reach US$ 23 billion.