What is non-store retailing? Definition and examples

Non-Store Retailing refers to retailing that takes place outside traditional brick-and-mortar (physical) locations.

There are many different forms of retailing that do not occur in a physical retail space, such as electronic commerce, off-premise direct selling, and distance selling. 

One of the best examples of non-store retailing is the e-commerce giant Amazon. Amazon does not have a physical store where consumers go to buy products but sells products to consumers from its website. 

Three types

The three main types of non-store retailing are:

  • Direct Selling,
  • Distance Selling and
  • Online Selling. 

Direct selling

Direct selling is one of the oldest forms of non-store retailing. It involves retailing goods and services directly to the consumers (at their house or at their workplace).

According to the FTC: “Direct selling is a blanket term that encompasses a variety of business forms premised on person-to-person selling in locations other than a retail establishment, such as social media platforms or the home of the salesperson or prospective customer.”

There are two main business models for direct selling:

Single-level marketing – this is a single-tiered system in which a sellers are stand-alone business operators.

Multi-level marketing – this is a tiered system in which sellers profit from direct sales to customers and by sponsoring other sellers and receiving commission from their sales. 

Distance selling

This involves selling goods or services through digital TV, by mail order or by phone or text message.

Distance selling has evolved with the advent of technology, now including sophisticated telemarketing and interactive television shopping channels that offer real-time product demonstrations and immediate consumer feedback.

Additionally, the integration of e-commerce functionalities into social media platforms has opened new avenues for distance selling, allowing customers to purchase directly through social network ads and posts.

Online selling

Online selling refers to selling products or services over the Internet. Buyers land on a seller’s website, select something, and arrange for its delivery. Most retailers now provide online shopping facilities for customers. In fact, many companies only sell online and have no physical shop that people can visit. This form of non-store retailing has significantly grown in popularity over the past couple of decades.

Online selling has become a great tool for small businesses to have their own online store and website to sell their products and expand their reach.

The integration of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence in online platforms has enabled personalized shopping experiences, further revolutionizing non-store retailing strategies.

“Non-Store Retailing” – examples sentences

Below you can see how we use the term “non-store retailing” in different sentences, contexts, and situation:

  1. “With the rise of internet shopping, non-store retailing has become an increasingly popular option for consumers looking for convenience and variety.”
  2. “Non-store retailing allows businesses to reach a broader market without the overhead costs of maintaining a physical storefront.”
  3. “The pandemic accelerated the growth of non-store retailing as customers turned to online and catalog shopping to meet their needs safely.”
  4. “Non-store retailing is not just limited to online shops; it also includes direct sales through TV infomercials and telemarketing.”
  5. “Entrepreneurs find non-store retailing particularly attractive due to the lower barrier to entry compared to traditional retailing.”
  6. “Catalog sales, a classic form of non-store retailing, remain effective for targeting specific customer segments with curated product offerings.”
  7. “Sustainability in non-store retailing is becoming a focus, as companies seek to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and packaging.”

Video – What is Non-Store Retailing?

This interesting video, from our sister channel on YouTube – Marketing Business Network, explains what ‘Non-Store Retailing’ is using simple and easy-to-understand language and examples.