Retail involves the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Demand is identified and then satisfied through a supply chain. Attempts are made to increase demand through advertising. In the 2000s, an increasing amount of retailing began occurring online using electronic payment and delivery via a courier or via postal mail. Retailing as a sector includes subordinated services, such as delivery. The term "retailer" is also applied where a service provider services the small orders of a large number of individuals, rather than large orders of a small number of wholesale,corporate or government clientele. Shops may be on residential streets, streets with few or no houses, or in a shopping mall.Shopping streets may restrict traffic to pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to create a more comfortable shopping environment - protecting customers from various types of weather conditions such as extreme temperatures, winds or precipitation. Forms of non-shop retailing include online retailing (a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions) and mail order.
Shopping generally refers to the act of buying products. Sometimes this is done to obtain final goods, including necessities such as food and clothing; sometimes it takes place as a recreational activity. Recreational shopping often involves window shopping (just looking, not buying) and browsing: it does not always result in a purchase.