Choice of Distribution System: Intensive, Selective, Exclusive

01/09/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

It represents the level of international availability selected for a particular product by the marketer; the level of intensity chosen will depend upon factor such as the production capacity, the size of the target market, pricing and promotion policies and the amount of product service required by the end-user.

There are three broad options:

  1. Intensive Distribution

Intensive distribution aims to provide saturation coverage of the market by using all available outlets. For many products, total sales are directly linked to the number of outlets used (e.g., cigarettes, beer). Intensive distribution is usually required where customers have a range of acceptable brands to choose from. In other words, if one brand is not available, a customer will simply choose another.

This alternative involves all the possible outlets that can be used to distribute the product. This is particularly useful in products like soft drinks where distribution is a key success factor. Here, soft drink firms distribute their brands through multiple outlets to ensure their easy availability to the customer.

Hence, on the one hand these brands are available in restaurants and five star hotels and on the other hand they are also available through countless soft drink stalls, kiosks, sweetmarts, tea shops, and so on. Any possible outlet where the customer is expected to visit is also an outlet for the soft drink.

  1. Selective Distribution

Selective distribution involves a producer using a limited number of outlets in a geographical area to sell products. An advantage of this approach is that the producer can choose the most appropriate or best-performing outlets and focus effort (e.g., training) on them. Selective distribution works best when consumers are prepared to “shop around” in other words they have a preference for a particular brand or price and will search out the outlets that supply.

This alternative is the middle path approach to distribution. Here, the firm selects some outlets to distribute its products. This alternative helps focus the selling effort of manufacturing firms on a few outlets rather than dissipating it over countless marginal ones.

It also enables the firm to establish a good working relationship with channel members. Selective distribution can help the manufacturer gain optimum market coverage and more control but at a lesser cost than intensive distribution. Both existing and new firms are known to use this alternative.

Selective distribution involves selling products at select outlets in specific locations. For instance, Sony TVs can be purchased at a number of outlets such as Circuit City, Best Buy, or Walmart, but the same models are generally not sold at all the outlets. The lowest-priced Sony TVs are at Walmart, the better Sony models are more expensive and found in stores like Circuit City or specialty electronics stores. By selling different models with different features and price points at different outlets, a manufacturer can appeal to different target markets. You don’t expect, for example, to find the highest-priced products in Walmart; when you shop there, you are looking for the lower-priced goods.

  1. Exclusive Distribution

Exclusive distribution is an extreme form of selective distribution in which only one wholesaler, retailer or distributor is used in a specific geographical area.

When the firm distributes its brand through just one or two major outlets in the market, who exclusively deal in it and not all competing brands, it is said that the firm is using an exclusive distribution strategy. This is a common form of distribution in products and brands that seek a high prestigious image.

Typical examples are of designer ware, major domestic appliances and even automobiles. By granting exclusive distribution rights, the manufacturer hopes to have control over the intermediaries’ price, promotion, credit inventory and service policies. The firm also hopes to get the benefit of aggressive selling by such outlets.

Exclusive distribution involves selling products through one or very few outlets. Most students often think exclusive means high priced, but that’s not always the case. Exclusive simply means limiting distribution to only one outlet in any area, and can be a strategic decision based on applying the scarcity principle to creating demand. For instance, supermodel Cindy Crawford’s line of furniture is sold exclusively at the furniture company Rooms to Go. Designer Michael Graves has a line of products sold exclusively at Target. To purchase those items you need to go to one of those retailers. In these instances, retailers are teaming up with these brands in order to create a sense of quality based on scarcity, a sense of quality that will not only apply to the brand but to the store.