distribution - channel strategy
The following table describes the factors that influence the choice of distribution channel by a business: Influence
| An important market factor is "buyer behaviour"; how do buyer's want to purchase the product? Do they prefer to buy from retailers, locally, via mail order or perhaps over the Internet? Another important factor is buyer needs for product information, installation and servicing. Which channels are best served to provide the customer with the information they need before buying? Does the product need specific technical assistance either to install or service a product? Intermediaries are often best placed to provide servicing rather than the original producer - for example in the case of motor cars.The willingness of channel intermediaries to market product is also a factor. Retailers in particular invest heavily in properties, shop fitting etc. They may decide not to support a particular product if it requires too much investment (e.g. training, display equipment, warehousing).Another important factor is intermediary cost. Intermediaries typically charge a"mark-up" or "commission" for participating in the channel. This might be deemed unacceptably high for the ultimate producer business.
| A key question is whether the producer have the resources to perform the functions of the channel? For example a producer may not have the resources to recruit, train and equip a sales team. If so, the only option may be to use agents and/or other distributors.Producers may also feel that they do not possess the customer-based skills to distribute their products. Many channel intermediaries focus heavily on the customer interface as a way of creating competitive advantage and cementing the relationship with their supplying producers.Another factor is the extent to which producers want to maintain control over how, to whom and at what price a product is sold. If a...
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