The Advantages of Selling Goods Through a Retail Distribution Channel
Selling your goods through a retail distribution channel is one option for reaching customers and prospects efficiently. If you have a small number of customers, you can deal with them directly, but if you are expanding your operations, you may find it difficult to reach a larger, more widespread customer base by just increasing the size of your sales force. A retail distribution strategy enables you to grow your business in an efficient way, while conserving your own resources.
Selling goods through a retail channel extends the geographical reach of your business. Setting up your own outlets or hiring a sales team to cover the territories where an existing retail chain operates would involve significant investment and effort. By utilizing an existing retail network, you can expand your geographical operations quickly and easily. Retailers hold stock of your products at their sites, reducing your own stock-holding and distribution costs. Customers take delivery of the products at the local outlet so that you do not incur delivery costs.
Dealing with retailers gives you access to an additional customer base without investing in a sales and marketing program to capture new business. You have immediate access to a group of customers and prospects who visit retail outlets to buy the type of product you offer. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate an arrangement with a retailer to stock only your type of product and not those of your competitors.
Selling your products though a retail channel puts responsibility for selling the product on the retailer. To encourage retailers to sell your product, you must provide product training for the retail sales team, together with a program of sales incentives and promotional support material. While selling through a retail channel provides you with the equivalent of an additional sales team, you do not have direct control over the relationship with the final customer. You are dependent on the retailer to provide the right level of service to the customers so that they continue to buy your products.
You can boost your marketing budget by running joint campaigns with members of your retail channel. Marketing campaigns that tell customers and prospects that your products are available in retail outlets helps to drive business to the channel and sell more of your products.