Retail Terms and Definitions

Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

The retail industry is one of the largest sectors of business in the United States. As such, the retail world is full of jargon and words that can be hard to understand. Below is a list of terms that are often used in retail, accompanied by simple definitions. Use these flashcards to see what you know!

  • Anchor store – one of the largest stores in a shopping mall or shopping center – usually a large department store. If you’re a neighboring retailer, anchor stores will generally increase business.
  • B2B – acronym for “business to business,” usually referencing business conducted between two businesses as opposed to businesses and consumers.
  • Big data – mass amounts of data concerning traffic, conversions etc. but also behavior, demographics, social media, timing and more factors which allow for consumer insights to predict customer behavior and experience.
  • Brick and click – retailers that integrate stores with their website, usually allowing services like in-store pick-ups and returns.
  • COGs – the “Cost of Goods Sold” which refers to all the costs to sell a product, including licenses and royalties.
  • Dead stock – pertains to dead inventory; merchandise never been sold or stuck in inventory.
  • Dynamic clustering – this segmentation is good for a fragmented customer base; used to identify sales, purchasing, and marketing trends for a certain area or “cluster” so that better decisions can be made.
  • Flash sales – sales that take place for a limited time, usually ranging from several hours to a few days.
  • Green retailing – environmentally friendly practices – regarding packaging, lighting, solar panels etc. – within the retail industry.
  • Keystone – when the price on an item is double the wholesale price.
  • Kiosk – a freestanding structure usually in a public place that functions as a small store. Kiosks are often used on a short-term basis, such as during an event or festival.
  • Layaway – an agreement between a retailer and customer that the retailer puts an item on hold for the shopper until it’s paid in full. Consumer can pay for the item in installments (interest-free).
  • Look Book – essentially an album showcasing a product line through photographs. Look Books are similar to portfolios.
  • Markdown – the devaluation of a product because it can’t be sold at current price; usually done so retailers can move inventory and make room for new products.
  • Mark up – a raise in wholesale price of a product to obtain retail price.
  • Mobile shopping – when customers use their mobile phones to shop, instead of shopping in person or on a desktop computer.
  • Mystery shopping – an activity often organized by a market research company, watchdog group or retailer who wants to evaluate a product or service anonymously.
  • Omni-channel retailing – when retailers establish a presence on multiple channels (like online, catalog, brick-and-mortar) for customer interaction.
  • Pop-up store – short-term stores or sales spaces; could be anywhere from the mall to a boardwalk.
  • Product life cycle – stages of getting a product into the market: including introduction, growth in sales revenue, maturity and decline.
  • Self-serve – in retail, where customers check out themselves; essentially pay for goods without assistance.
  • Stock-keeping unit (SKU) – the unique identification of a product that’s used for inventory and to track products.