Explain the major types of wholesalers and their marketing decisions.
Retailing (pp 394-402)
What is retailing? We all know that Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Harrods, and Carrefour are retailers, but so are Avon representatives, Amazon.com, the local Hampton Inn, and a doctor seeing patients. Retailing includes all the activities involved in selling products or services directly to final consumers for their personal, nonbusiness use. Many institutions—manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers—do retailing. But most retailing is done by retailers: businesses whose sales come primarily from retailing.
Retailing plays a very important role in most marketing channels. Each year, retailers account for more than $4.5 trillion of sales to final consumers. They connect brands to consumers in what marketing agency OgilvyAction calls "the last mile"—the final stop in the consumer's path to purchase. It's the "distance a consumer travels between an attitude and an action," explains Ogilvy Action's CEO. "Nearly 70 percent of purchase decisions are made near or in the store." Thus, retailers "reach consumers at key moments of truth, ultimately [influencing] their actions at the point of purchase."2
In fact, many marketers are now embracing the concept of shopper marketing, the idea that the retail store itself is an important marketing medium. Shopper marketing involves focusing the entire marketing process—from product and brand development to logistics, promotion, and merchandising—toward turning shoppers into buyers at the point of sale. Of course, every well-designed marketing effort focuses on customer buying behavior. But the concept of shopper marketing suggests that these efforts should be coordinated around the shopping process itself. Shopper marketing emphasizes the importance of the retail environment on customer buying.3
Although most retailing is done in retail stores, in recent years nonstore retailing has been growing much faster than has store retailing. Nonstore retailing includes selling to final consumers through the Internet, direct mail, catalogs, the telephone, and other direct-selling approaches. We discuss such direct-marketing approaches in detail in Chapter 17. In this chapter, we focus on store retailing.
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