A merchant is a business that sells products either online or in a brick-and-mortar location (or both) directly to customers.
There are several parties involved in any given supply chain, including manufacturers, brands, retailers, and distributors. A merchant describes people or entities at the customer-facing end of the supply chain who sell products and services directly to consumers.
Importantly, a merchant can be a wholesaler or a retailer, and their customer base can shift dramatically based on what they sell and when. Wholesalers, for example, might sell products to other retailers. In this case, their customers would be another merchant. As a retailer, however, a merchant would sell products directly to the end user.
Many merchants today also have ecommerce presences, where they sell products online via websites, social channels, and other platforms. Creating a consistent omnichannel ecosystem that allows customers to seamlessly move between channels, however, is critical to the success of a merchant today. This type of omnichannel experience meets customers’ demands for convenient, quick ways to purchase products on their preferred channels.