The distribution policy, also called sales policy, describes the process within the marketing mix of a company in which it is decided how the product reaches the end customer. The decisive factor here are the measures that relate to sales and the distribution channel from the manufacturer to the customer.
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Distribution policy tasks
Distribution policy has two main areas of responsibility. For one, she is responsible for setting the Sales channels essential. This affects the transport routes of the individual products from the supplier to the customer or consumer. On the other hand, the responsible management is responsible for determining the physical distribution. This applies to the design of the delivery service, warehousing and transport.
Distribution policy objectives
One of the goals of the distribution policy is above all the optimal availability of the products for all potential customers and consumers. Furthermore, costs for personnel, transport and storage are to be minimized by optimizing the distribution channels. This also gives the manufacturer the opportunity to directly influence the marketing and external impact of his products. However, these goals can also be in competition with one another.
Distribution policy decision criteria
Which strategy is followed exactly always has to be decided differently. A good distribution policy is always faced with decisive factors that must be taken into account. On the one hand, these are product-related factors such as the value, the storability and transportability of the product or any additional services.
Customer-related factors must also be taken into account. These concern the requirements of current and potential customers for the product. Their frequency of need and the customers' shopping habits must also be taken into account.
Auch konkurrenzbezogene und unternehmensbezogene Faktoren sind zu berücksichtigen. Diese betreffen zum einen die Anzahl der Produkte und Vertriebskanäle der jeweiligen Konkurrenz sowie auch die finanzielle Situation und das eigene Marketing concept. Diese Faktoren sind für eine optimale Distributionspolitik zu berücksichtigen.
There are different sales channels / distribution channels which are essential for the distribution policy. A specific distinction is made (depending on the possible intermediaries) between direct and indirect sales:
Indirect distribution - The sales channel takes place via intermediaries. The chain runs, for example, from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, then via the retailer to the end customer.
(here more information about indirect sales)
The sales organs act between the company and the customer in sales. These are either employees of the company, sales representatives, franchise companies or independent wholesalers and retailers.
There is also distribution logistics, which in turn deals with the transport of goods to consumers. This includes, for example, the dispatch and packaging of the products (order processing), the storage policy and the choice of means and means of transport (transport policy).