The Retailers Dictionary: Terms every retailer should know

Big Box Stores

A big box store is a huge establishment, usually a part of a major retail chain. Examples: Walmart, Target, Best Buy.

Big Data

This refers to sets of data that are so large, only sophisticated programs or really, really smart data scientists can make sense of it all. Big data goes beyond tracking conversions or online traffic; it is a detailed analysis of online behavior, demographics, social information and more. You can use this data to further connect with your customers.

Brick and Click

These retailers reap the benefits of the two retail worlds, brick and mortar and eCommerce. Most brick and click companies offer seamless web-to-store services like in-store pick up or returns.

Click and Collect

This is an added service brick and click stores can provide. Click and Collect stores allow consumers to make a purchase from the comfort of their home or work and pick up the item whenever it is convenient for them. This is a great tool for campus stores, parents can purchase items their students need and they can pick up the purchases on campus.

Flash Sales

This term refers to sale events that take place for a very limited time. Flash sales can last as long or as short as you want, but we don’t recommend they last longer than 72 hours. This style of shopping encourages shoppers to shop early and fast.

Green Retailing

Something as small as encouraging shoppers to use a reusable bag instead of a disposable one is considered green retailing. Some campuses big environmental advocates, if this is your campus running an environmentally friendly store will help draw the attention of the student body.

Loss Leader

Commonly used as a marketing tool in retail, a loss leader is an item that is sold at a loss in order to attract more customers into your store. Once they are inside, the retailer counts on customers making additional purchases.

Mobile Payments

Consumers are looking for more places to use mobile payments, instead of traditional forms of payment like cash or credit cards. Popular payment s are NFC-based solutions such as Google Wallet or the PayPal app.


A visual representation of how to merchandise products is also known as a planogram. It helps indicate the best placement and positioning of your merchandise. Keep in mind positioning products can influence consumers’ purchases, so creating a planogram can help maximize sales.

Pop-Up Store

Pop-Up Stores are short-term shops that come and go within a given period of time, they are not permanent. Campus stores can create Pop-Up stores during the back-to-school season to maximize their sales by adding a convenience for the students and faculty.


The difference between the amount of stock you have on paper and the actual stock that is available is commonly referred to shrinkage. It’s a reduction of inventory that is not caused by sales. Common causes of shrinkage include: Employee theft, shoplifting, or administrative errors. If your store is experiencing shrinkage beef up the security, monitor customers and employees for suspicious behavior.


This refers to tailoring everything you do—from the design of the store, to your employees, to your ads—for a specific group of people. You’re zeroing in on a particular niche like college art kids, or college aged sport fans.


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