Starting a Retail Business: the Different Types of Retailing
The retail industry is one of the largest industries in Australia, and it provides an exciting way of life for millions of Australians who earn their livelihood through it. Retailers provide services and goods that literally everyone needs – from auto parts, home improvement products, home furnishing, food, skilled labour, and all different kinds of stuff. It’s one of the fastest-growing segments of the Australian economy, so if you’re looking to start a business for yourself, why not start a retailing one?
There are several different types of retailing businesses you can start, and most of them will heavily rely on you finding suppliers that you can buy stuff in bulk from, and later re-sell them at a profit. Some of the most popular types of retailing include store retailing, non-store retailing, specialty retailing, internet retailing, and mail retailing.
Store retailers have fixed point-of-sale locations that are designed to attract a lot of walk-in customers. These stores usually have extensive merchandise displays and rely on mass-media advertising to attract customers. They usually buy stuff in bulk and sell it to the general public for household or personal consumption. However, some serve institutional and business clients as well. Building material dealers, electrical and plumbing supply stores, office supply stores, accessory stores – all of these are considered store retailers.
Specialty retailers focus on the “wants” instead of the “needs”. In other words, they focus on things like special inventory, neighborhood convenience, richness of the shopping experience, etc. These types of retailers are ideal to run as small businesses, as they show a lot of resilience and strength in the face of competition like e-commerce outlets and large-scale retailers.
Non-store retailing focuses on providing goods through paper and electronic catalogs, electronic shopping, television, door-to-door sales, vending machines, in-home demonstrations and portable stalls. These businesses typically don’t maintain stock for sale on their premises, with the exception of vending machines.
Internet retailing has forever changed the retail industry, connecting markets, companies and individual consumers. It’s said that a retailer who doesn’t understand the impact the internet has on their catalog and store channels is missing on a lot of opportunities to bring in more customers and increase sales.
Mail retailing is typically focused on sales through basic brochures, catalogs and glossy wish books, and their target audience are usually the elderly, people who live far from shopping areas, people who hate to shop, and people seeking the obscure and unusual. You can send products to thousands of potential consumers through direct mail at one time to either generate a sales lead or make a sale.