Here are a few tips to help you select the most suitable distribution chain for your business:
- Consider your product: Is your product something consumers would be happy to buy directly from you? If so, you can sell directly to consumers on your website. If you select this route, you'll need an e-commerce website that allows you to accept payments and a way to ship products to consumers. Of course, some products work great for direct and indirect channels, so you may have to consider your sales objectives and other business goals, such as pricing and simplicity of the distribution chain.
- Know your sales objectives: If you want to reduce the cost of products to help you earn more money, the direct distribution channel can offer the most significant profits. However, it ultimately depends on the types of products you sell. If you want your products in front of thousands of people in stores, you'll need to work with an intermediary, but this method can get you more sales.
- Understand your target customers: Where do your customers typically shop for products like yours? Do they prefer to buy them in stores or online? Some industries have crossover, with customers purchasing products in-store and online. If this is the case for you, you might benefit from a hybrid distribution channel that helps you to get your products in stores while still being available online. This enables you to reach more shoppers.
- Consider distribution speed: The distribution channel you select can impact how fast your customers get your products. Direct distribution is faster because there are no intermediaries. Still, you may earn a larger profit from hybrid distribution chains because you'll be able to reach more customers.
Of course, not all distribution channels are suitable for every business. For example, if your customers prefer to touch your products before purchasing, you may benefit from working with a retailer. However, if your customers want the speed of online ordering and shipping, you can use a direct distribution chain to satisfy their needs.
You'll have many choices when planning your distribution strategy, but your intermediaries may also determine which is best for you. Your distribution channel partners should be included in your overall marketing strategy to support your marketing efforts.
For example, if you sell your products in a big box retailer, it's a good idea to create a successful promotional strategy to inform your customers where to purchase your products. However, if you choose a direct distribution channel, you only have to worry about marketing your own business.
Market and sell your products online
If you're starting a business and want to sell products, one of the easiest ways to get your business up and running is by selling your products online to consumers using direct distribution channels. Of course, you'll need a website that can highlight your products and convert website visitors into paying customers.
Mailchimp makes it easy to market and sell your products online with a suite of products designed for e-commerce companies. Mailchimp can even help you craft engaging sales and marketing emails to convince intermediaries to work with you if you want to use direct or indirect distribution channels.
Create a website, add product photos, write descriptions, and use templates to help you design the best product pages. Then, when you're ready, you can begin marketing your products using email marketing, digital ads, and other strategies to increase brand awareness and sell directly to your target audience.