Why is retailing such an important marketing channel?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Although mail order sales are strong for certain products and internet sales are growing, retail outlets still are the single major channel for sales to individual consumers. One reason consumers often prefer retail is that for many types of product, they need to see it and/or try it before they buy. For very inexpensive staples, such as paper products, often the cost of shipping is greater than the price saving from not supporting a retail outlet when the item is being purchased in small quantities. Also retail allows for synergies between products and impulse buying more efficiently than other channels.