Marketing is not only sales and promotional activities, but any activity undertaken by a supplier to satisfy the needs and desires of customers.
To achieve this, the supplier must create a satisfactory and affordable set of goods and services available to the buyer at the right time and in the right place. Marketing simply manages the exchange with customers in the best possible way. It also requires attention to the competitive environment, since it is not worth putting forward a satisfactory offer if another company makes a better offer and thereby steals all the sales. However, the basic principles of retail marketing are no different from those applicable to any other supplying organization. The difference lies in the immediacy of most retail market transactions and in the specific actions that a retail marketer can take to achieve a profitable exchange with a customer.
Since retailing is about bringing customers to the last link in the distribution chain, it usually involves some form of direct contact with the real consumer, which is an important hallmark of retailing. In a traditional store, which can be found on any high street or mall, the customer and employees of the retailer come into direct contact, just as they did in open markets, which have been the scene of retail for centuries, and this bears on the retailer when trading. goods both benefits and inconveniences. Such contacts, called “moments of truth”, can be decisive for the successful or, conversely, unsuccessful completion of the act of sale (exchange transaction). In these “in-store” locations, the reliance on interactive marketing is very high because there is direct, personal contact. However, there are many stores where customers freely choose goods, for example, in large food supermarkets. While these outlets are also referred to as “in-store”, they rely less on direct personal contact and more on creating an environment conducive to shopping.
In any marketplace where direct human contact occurs, there is a premium on the interactive skills of the people involved and a close relationship between marketing and sales. However, retail is not just sales, because even when there is personal contact, a number of marketing actions will need to be taken before, during and after the transaction in order to ensure the complete satisfaction of the buyer. This is a characteristic of many retail situations.
There are many ways a retailer can make a product available to a customer.
For example, machines can be used to distribute chocolate and or some other goods. But the use of automatic machines is still an extension of the store type of trade and is associated with the latter. Catalog stores such as Index and Argos use a different method of shopper selection, and this certainly requires a slightly different approach to marketing. Other styles of retail, such as mail-order catalogs, have taken hold, and the recent breakthrough in the use of the Internet has revolutionized many consumer markets. With these indirect contacts, where the emphasis is on “basing on the delivery system”, the deal is often a time-consuming process and what matters to its successful completion is how much confidence it inspires. Although long-distance communication takes place in the absence of direct contact between people, nevertheless, in addition to providing the main product in order to attract the buyer and convince him to make a purchase, some more marketing activities are required.