Retail Mechanism - How does retail work ?

Retailing is defined as the process of selling merchandise to the consumers for their end use in small quantities. The retailer sells products to the end-users either in single units or in small quantities as per their need and capability.

Retailer .................................. Consumer (End - User)

How does retail work ?

Let us now understand the various ways a consumer can purchase goods from the retailer.

  • Counter service

    As the name suggests, counter service refers to the process of procuring the merchandise from the counter. The buyer does not have an easy access to the merchandise of the store and he can’t pick up things on his own. In such a mechanism the buyer has to walk up to the counter and ask for his requirements.


    Jewellery Store

    Can you go to a jewellery store and pick up things on your own ? No

    You need to ask the sales person to show you the sample designs for you to finalize something as per your taste and pocket.

    Chemist Shop

    Chemist shop does not allow the buyers to simply walk into the store and pick up medicines. One needs to walk up to the counter, show his prescription from the doctor to get the medicines from the retailer.

  • Delivery Service

    The mechanism of shipping goods to the customer’s doorsteps is called as delivery service. The end-user does not have to walk up to the store to procure his merchandise; instead the goods are directly delivered to his house through various means of transportation. Delivery service is a boon for the individuals who have an extremely busy life style and do not have enough time to walk up to the store.

    Online Shopping

    Internet has helped end-users to shop from their homes only. Online shopping sites like Amazon, eBay etc provide a wide range of options to the consumers who can order the desired merchandise through internet. Once the payment is done through debit or credit cards, the goods are delivered at the address the customer requests for. The transportation charges however are borne by the consumer himself.

    Order through telephone

    Now a days several restaurants and eating joints provide an option of ordering food while sitting at home. The food outlets upload their complete menu in the website providing a wide range of options to the end-users. One can easily place his order over the phone and the food is delivered at his doorstep within no time.

    Pizza Hut, Dominos (Promise to deliver hot and crisp pizza within 30 minutes of placing the order)

    • Door To Door Sales: Door to door sales is a process where the sales person travels from one house to the other and prompts the customers to buy the product. He gives the demo of his product and strives hard to convince the individual to buy the merchandise.


      Eureka Forbes operates on this mechanism where experienced sales professional visits the doorsteps of the potential customers, gives them presentations and influences them to purchase the product.

      Telephone companies also sometimes rely on this mechanism to sell their connections.

    • Self Service: In self service the individuals have the liberty to pick up merchandise on their own and help themselves.
    • Second Hand Retail: In second hand retail shops the retailer sells second hand goods to the end-users. Such shops generally run for charity where people donate their used merchandise to be resold to the poor and needy free of cost.

❮❮   Previous Next   ❯❯

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to and the content page url.