Online selling has been a worldwide trend. Since the pandemic began, shopping for necessities has become quite complicated. Precautionary measures were implied by every country, making people rely on their business in the online world. Among the most famous is starting a retail business.

For those who are wondering about what retail means, I'm happy to tell you that you just happened to stumble on the right place. Here in this blog, we are going to introduce to you what retail is, the different types of retailing, tips and tricks on how to do it right, and how to start creating your first retail store.

What is a Retail Sale?

A retail sale or simply retailing is a form of business where a business owner/company sells a specific retail store product to a single consumer. It is a business transaction usually occurring through different selling channels. These retail business channels commonly include online websites, direct emailing, brick and mortar storefronts, physical selling, digital selling, and even direct sales. A transaction that falls under “retail” is transactions that control a small number or quantity of goods, products, or services instead of the wholesale deal/model where the purchasing of goods is done on a large scale. Overall, it's a transaction wherein the end-user is the buyer itself.

A retailer is a person, organization, company, or business that is responsible for the act of retailing. They are the business you purchase goods or services from. While retailers usually don’t manufacture or create any of their own items, they still make profits from purchasing goods from big companies, manufacturers, or a wholesaler.

For your retail business to keep improving, having a retail store is a big help.


Image taken from Dr. Chai

What is a Retail Store?

The word retail store is most likely one of those words you have heard a thousand times already when you look for the answer on what does retail mean. A retail store is a retailer’s place and operation of a business. These are the places you go to when you need to buy school supplies or clothes. Although retail stores may be owned by someone else other than a retailer, their ultimate goal and priority are to make a profit off the consumer sales.

Knowing what does retail mean comes with understanding what a retail store is. You must know how everything goes inside it, including understanding the different types of retail business.

Types of Retail Business

As with any business, retail businesses come in various forms and sizes, with each one having its own advantages and disadvantages. If you wish to master what does retail means and how to start your own retail store, then this list we created will help you decide which one may work out the best for your needs and money:

1. Independent Retailer

Independent retailers are your lone wolves who run a retail business from scratch. Typically, they do all the heavy retail business lifting themselves. They may also hire or have assistants to assist them with managing the business. Being an independent retailer may be a good start if you are someone who has a lot of knowledge about entrepreneurship and what does retail mean. But, if you do not have the budget to go all-in with a franchise or a dealership retail business, there are still other types of retail business you can try.

2. Franchise/franchising

Franchises are existing businesses or business plans with a trademarked name and established brand image. A franchise also already has a plethora of products and goods ready to be sold and business concepts that are built upon a solid foundation. Franchising on the other hand is the acquisition of rights to a franchise, usually done by purchasing it. Once you have acquired rights to a franchise, you are an official owner of it and must follow preset ground rules and processes in order to maximize profits and help the business grow.

3. Dealership

A dealership retail store or retailer is commonly confused with the franchise type of retail store. This is another idea you should understand in knowing what does retail mean. Dealerships are a cross between the before-mentioned independent retailer and franchise. With dealerships, a retailer communicates with a dealership that has access to a license to sell a batch of branded products. Unlike franchises and franchising, no fees are required to pay to the licensor. A common type of dealership is a car dealership.

4. Existing Retail Store and Businesses

As the name indicates, an existing retail store or business is an established business that is currently ongoing but can be bought by someone else to inherit and take total ownership of it. The new owner will now be responsible for managing, organizing, and optimizing the business for maximum profit.

5. Network Marketing

Another type to get to know about what does retail mean is network marketing. This type of retail business can be associated with online retail. Network marketing, networking, or multi-level marketing, is a retail type of business model that revolves around a person selling goods or services to the people of their network. Recruitment may also take place where the “network marketer” will try to talk their way and make the person they are negotiating with sell the same set of products too. Network marketing is both present in online variants and real-life scenarios. Popular platforms for network marketing are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

What does Supply Chain Mean for Retail Stores?

Supply chains are one important element you should understand in getting to know what does retail mean. A supply chain is the process of companies and suppliers working hand-in-hand in order to distribute products to their consumers. In simpler words, it is how goods or services are delivered to the hands of customers. It is also a network of activities, people. Entities, companies, information, and resources. This network is utilized to represent the steps it takes to get products out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What is Online Retail Business?

Knowing the meaning of retail also includes understanding how it is done online. An online retail business functions in a similar function as your typical in-store retail business. Their goal is to get consumers the product they want and need quickly. Online Retail is also known as its modern term “e-commerce”.

Thanks to the help of the internet and technology, online retail business or eCommerce has its fair share of advantages over other business models and types. Of course, it also has its disadvantages. The advantage of online retail or eCommerce business over their brick-and-mortar counterparts are as follows:

  • Online Retail Businesses are able to operate business 24/7, 365 days a year. No store closing times to follow or downtimes.
  • They are able to cater to consumers around the globe without or with little to no additional expense. This means that eCommerce and e-retailers (retailer definition for those who utilize online methods of retailing) have unlimited potential for expansion and growth. They may also wish to target a very specific niche of customers anytime they want.
  • The level of competition is leveled out since customers won’t be seeing any physical lines of people waiting which may influence their purchase decision. There is also no need for manpower that traditional brick-and-mortar stores still have to manage and pay salaries to (cashiers, janitors, etc.).
  • Buyers and customers will be able to interact and spread your brand as its ease of access and online presence are some of its strong selling points. This is another idea you should know about what does retail mean. It will give room for what can be a new customer base or niche. Online traffic can also be tracked a lot easier as data is displayed through numerous analytics sites like Google Analytics. Social media or blogging is also going to be your best friend, like a trendy page and robust photos attract the common age demographic for social media users (13-30 years old).

As previously discussed, getting to know what retail means includes learning about its disadvantages.

  • Security concerns are among the disadvantages you’ll encounter in analyzing what does retail mean. They are considered as one of eCommerce and online retail stores’ most critical disadvantages. While security breaches don’t happen very often, if it happens even once, it heavily damages the reputation, brand, and public trust of the e-retailer. Thousands of personal and sensitive data may be leaked and be at the hands of unknown authorities. With that said, the online community is working hard every day to keep security tight and safe.
  • It is harder to build a brand image with only an online store. Compared to brick-and-mortar stores that have actual, physical stores that they can boast to customers, all you have with your online stores are photos and other customers’ reviews. With physical stores, customers may immediately gauge a shop’s quality and trustworthiness in minutes because their products are usually displayed where customers can fiddle and touch. On the flip coin, online stores have it hard since first, there aren’t many loyalty programs or returning customer promos, and second, there is no way that customers can try a product and see if it’s in line with their taste and expectations.
  • Lastly, understanding retail comes with learning how to be adaptive. As e-retailers expand their reach to global distances, they may find it harder to cater to a variety of customers due to increasing difficulty in delivering goods and services, especially in this time of a pandemic. As a retailer, it is their responsibility to deliver products safely and quickly depending on what mode of delivery is applicable. If there are any problems that arise during the delivery period, it is the retailer’s full responsibility to fix or compensate for the problem.


Image taken from Mantra

Can I Start My Own Online Retail Business?

If you are wondering if you are capable of having your retail business, the answer is Yes!

Now may be the perfect time to understand how the world of retailing works, build and grow an e-commerce retail business. Since many physical retail stores closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, why not create your own in the online world. Most customers are now staying at home, and thus uses online shopping methods to get the retail business products they want. Typical retail business websites that help with this line of business are Shopify, WooCommerce, Facebook and Facebook Marketplace, and many more.


Image taken from Beauty In U

How to Boost Sales on Your Online Retail Business?

Now that you know what retail means, let's start stepping up the game with knowing how to maintain a stable flow of retail business sales. Take note of these tips we've collected and who knows, you might be the next top retailer in the eCommerce world!

• Do Advertisements

If there is one sure way on how to promote your retail business, it’s advertising. One hack you should understand on what retail means is to learn ways on how to market yourself. Be loud and use pop-ups. Let people know your existence and get that recognition you've been wanting.

• Show-off Testimonials

Customers are more enticed if they see past successful transactions you have made. It makes you gain instant trust coming from them once they see how you do your transactions well and how your past clients loved it.

• Provide Payment Options

Another idea you need to learn on what retail is is that there are different customers and different modes of payments available. Master what does retail mean and make transactions easier for your customer by giving them more offline payment options for sending in their payments.

• Mobile Optimization

One best hack you can take away from this what does retail mean blog, is to know the importance of making your online retail store mobile-friendly. Most customers use their phones nowadays in shopping. So, as someone who seeks to reach a wider audience, mobile optimization is one genius move.

Create Your Retail Store with Strikingly

Want to hear something amazing? You can also build your own website to get started with your retail business journey! With Strikingly’s advanced website builder, you will be able to build a website that is perfect for your business needs. We offer hundreds of templates that will suit the theme of your business. You can add more payment options for your retail store, create a gallery of your latest retail products, and even communicate with your audience through building live chats.

To start creating your online simple store with us, simply follow these five easy steps.

  1. Create a free account.
  2. Choose your desired online store template.
  3. Set up your retail store.
  4. Start customizing
  5. Start Selling!


Image taken from Nomad

Starting a business is always going to be a leap of faith and risk. Retail Businesses are very plausible methods to live a comfortable life while also enjoying the satisfaction of giving people the products and services they need. But with the right set of tools such as Strikingly website builder, you are bound to have no other way but up. Take your time to research what retail means, the latest trends on retailing, and start making your online retail website.

Good luck with your business ventures!

To know more, start chatting with us, and let's get you started.