Social Factors Affecting Retail Business

by Oteia Bruce ; Updated September 26, 2017
Making sure it's the right one for us

Social factors that affect the retail business come in a broad range of categories. Most importantly, there are key factors that retailers must make themselves aware of when trying to decide where to locate their businesses. These categories are typically part of an economic survey of the area that a retailer is considering.

Retailing Based on Age Range

Best friends shopping

The age range of buyers helps retailers determine what kinds of products and services they should offer. Based on the age of buyers, retailers can decide and control what kind and how much inventory they order for their outlets. This will also help them determine how to market, promote and display their products in ways that are most appealing to their target audience. Studying what each age range buys will keep retailers on the cutting edge.

Retailing Based on Family Size

Young family

This category is a key indicator of the kind of pricing retailers should carry on their products and services. Typically, the more in the family, the more prone the consumer is to seek out cost-effective pricing. Because there are more individuals to provide for in their households, it makes sense for them to be budget-conscious in all of their purchases. Smaller households may be more prone to splurge on higher-end products.

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Retailing Based on Income


Consumer income drives the retail business considerably, as well as the U.S. economy. The more income consumers have, the better they feel about the economy, the more money they spend. Consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in the retail sector in 2011, according to a statement from the U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Consumer income will impact how much ability the retailer has to thrive in today's competitive market.

Retailing Based on Buying Habits

Young woman with credit card and shopping bag

The buying habits of consumers are a quirky thing. One day they like the product, then something new comes along and the old product is abandoned. As a result, it is extremely important that retailers stay on top of their games when it comes to keeping the most trendy, reasonably priced products on their shelves. For example, after the advent of the iPad, multiple variations of the same type of product were released.

About the Author

Oteia Bruce started writing in 2001. She has authored several books, including "The Smart Guide to Grant Writing: For Individuals, Small Businesses and Nonprofits," "The Sheriff Ain't Comin' Right Away: A Practical Guide For Those Facing Foreclosure and Eviction" and "The Urban Guide to Biblical Money Management." Bruce graduated from DePaul University with a B.S. in finance.

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