The wheel of Retailing – A dialectic process!

The wheel of retailing-The dialectic process-A Natural Selection:

Retail Management from traditional to modern retailing has travelled a long and interesting journey. It has reached the top of consumer pyramid by gradually making shopping a pleasant and favorite time pass for most of the present generation consumers.

FDI In Retail: Are We Prepared? Is India Ready?

Retailing is one area of the broader term of e-commerce. Retailing is buying and selling both consumer durable and perishable goods. It is also providing various consumer services. With more number of educated and literate consumers entering the economy and market, the need for reading the pulse of the consumers has become very essential. With e-commerce, retailing has taken a significant turn, making the business move with breathless speed and attractions. On-line retailing has removed the hurdles of every kind which we commonly face in in-store retailing. The advanced technology and changing times have embraced the convenience in online shopping.

 No doubt, Retail marketing is undergoing radical restructuring. This is because of increase in gross domestic product, increase in per capita income, and increase in purchasing power and also the ever changing tastes and preferences of the people. The entry of plastic money, ATM’s, credit cards and debit cards and all other consumer finances, the taste for the branded goods also added for the evolution of retail marketing.

Retail and real estate are the two booming sectors of India in the present times. And if industry experts are to be believed, the prospects of both the sectors are mutually dependent on each other. Retail, one of India’s largest industries, has presently emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries of our times with several players entering the market. Accounting for over 10 per cent of the country’s (Gross domestic product) GDP and around eight per cent of the employment retailing in India is gradually inching its way towards becoming the next booming industry

Retail marketing (RM) is not just buying and selling but also rendering all other personalized and customized consumer services. With the RM picking up it has given a new look for various fast moving capital goods (FMCG) goods. This not only increased the demand for various goods in the market but also made retail marketing the second largest employment area, the first being agriculture.

Theories of structural changes in retailing:

The evolution of RM has taken a fantastic transition from traditional methods to modern thinking. Starting as primary or traditional retailing with melas, fairs, jataras, weekly bazaars, rural fairs to mom and pop shop kirana stores the journey further reached to public distribution systems (PDS) Khadi outlets, co- operative stores and finally reached the level of shopping malls, bazaars, super bazaars and special bazaars.

Traditional-   Melas, Fairs, Weekly Bazaars, Rural fairs:

Traditional shopping involved melas, jataras, fairs, weekly bazaars and rural fairs. These are shopping fairs where people involve buying their required necessaries. Generally they are held for a temporary period and the same fairs are repeated before festival and often they are seasonal in nature.

Indigenous- Mom and Pop, Kirana stores, neighbor stores and weekly bazaars:

These are located in residential localities and proximity is the main thing for all these kind of indigenous shopping. In the indigenous retailing, the products are generally locally made and they are in tune with the local pulse that is habits and tastes of the consumers.

Contemporary-   PDS, Khadi outlets, co-operative stores, parasite stores:

Contemporary shopping involves public distribution systems, Khadi outlets, co-operative stores and parasite stores. Public distribution system is generally based on equality and the principle of rationing. The goods are distributed in tune with the economic and financial standards of the individuals. Khadi outlets are government bodies which cater to the general public. It stresses on the traditional and indigenous rural products. Co- operatives are generally started by the like minded citizens of an area where the interest of the middle class people is protected. They are also called thrift societies where the goods are ordered according to the requirements of the members of the co-operatives. They are generally run in the first week of the month on the basis of mutual benefit. The profits or the benefits are shared between the members. Parasite stores are those which thrive on the other big outlets. Parasites generally do not have any name or recognition. They are located generally besides any big retail units. For their business, they depend as parasites on other stores.

Modern Retailing- shopping malls, Big Bazaars, Super malls, Special bazaars:

Modern retailing involves shopping malls, big bazaars, super malls, special bazaars, speciality stores and various other shopping centers. They are giant super markets which have all kinds of shopping, entertainment, health care, pleasure and comfort. They are generally located in the distance areas or shopping hubs. People generally visit these malls and expect various kinds of pleasure and satisfaction levels in these retail outlets. At most places they are developed thematically to reach, enrich, enthral and satisfy the aesthetic levels of the consumers.

Modern Retailing- E-retailing, online retailing- Online retailing has conveniently done away with space, distance, location, time, recurring expenses along with the product constraints. It is perfectly enough if the retailer, online after entering into an MOU(memorandum of understanding) with the manufacturer, can develop a web page/ site and feature every model of the latest brand, catalogue, product, features and other significant aspects of the product. The customer can conveniently go through the details and place an order, taking care of his needs and requirements. If the customer is not convinced with the available information, he can ask his questions or run through the FAQs available on the web site. Once he establishes his faith and is totally convinced with the product, he can place an order. All this the customer does from the comfortable location of his home. As he can do the online shopping at any time, there are also no time constraints.

After the order is placed and the amount is transferred to the retailer, he ships the product through the manufacturer or the distributor with whom he already entered into contract. This is helping all the players in the market, like the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, customer and also the transporter. There is no multiple costs incurred as the product will only move from the first point to the point of final purchaser. The customer is playing safe as the cyber law will take care of the genuine grievances which are obviously noted through the popular websites.

There is no secrecy of information, as the customers can voice their opinion without any fear or favour. All this will save a lot of expenditure and recurring costs along with minimum or zero wastage on wear and tear of the products. In online retailing it is also possible to change the designing overnight as it is only a matter of re adjustments on the web page. Along with all the other advantages, a popular website is graded with the star status and rankings. This also enables the website to become more popular and enable in parallel attract advertisements on their websites.

The online retailing has also reduced the establishment costs to bare minimum when compared to the costs incurred in lakh’s and crores on in store retailing. This has enabled even a small entrepreneur with little investment to start his online retailing web site.

No doubt, today online retailing has miraculously shrunk the world into a global village making us think globally and act locally.