- AS, A Level
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB
Last updated 22 Mar 2021
Multi-channel distribution involves a business using more than one type of distribution channel.
Multi-channel distribution is increasingly common. For example, a high street retailer might now also distribute directly to customer using e-commerce and perhaps also using catalogues sent via direct mail. A manufacturer might use indirect channels such as retailers and distributors as well as selling directly to customers using e-commerce.
Apple is a great example of multi-channel distribution in action:
The main benefits and potential drawbacks of using multi-channel distribution include:
Benefits of Multi-channel Distribution
- Allows more target market segments to be reached
- Customers increasingly expect products to be available via more than one channel
- Enables higher revenues – e.g. if retail outlets have no stock, but customer can buy online
Drawbacks of Multi-channel Distribution
- Potential for channel “conflict” –e.g. competing with retailers by also selling direct
- Can be complex to manage
- Danger that pricing strategy becomes confused (in the eyes of customers)