Retail Distribution is the process of getting goods to a retailer who then sells them to the final consumer. In this process, some services are rendered to different channels of distribution. They are listed below:
- Purchase and Assembly
Retail distribution involves the purchase of goods in large quantities from different sources and putting them together until a customer needs to buy them.
This is the first service that launches the other services rendered by retail distribution. Goods are sourced from producers, distributors, and wholesalers.
Retail Distribution offers warehousing services. Goods are stored in good condition between the period of purchase and sale. Distribution centers, warehouses, and stores are used as storage facilities at different points of distribution. Storage is important in the distribution of raw products that require further processing and seasonal products, as well as for preservation and safekeeping.
Grading means reducing large quantities of goods into much smaller ones, or in other words, bulk breaking. The sizes of goods need to be suitable for the customer’s scale of business or consumption. It must also be suitable for available transportation facilities.
- Sorting and Packaging
Through retail distribution channels, goods are separated based on quality and other necessary criteria. They are also packaged and labeled for sale. Packaging shows the type and quality of the product, thus aiding efficient marketing.
The process of getting goods to the consumer through different stages of distribution involves transportations. Many goods require special transportation facilities. For example, frozen foods are transported in cooling trucks to prevent spoilage. Generally, the type of product determines what transportation facility or method is best. Retail distribution considers necessary factors and transports goods to people and places where they are needed, without compromising the quality of such goods.
- Market Research
Channels of retail distribution collect information on market trends, customer behavior, and customer preferences. This feedback given to producers ensures better production of goods with features more suited to consumer’s needs and preferences. It also increases customer satisfaction and sales of the product.
- Credit Facilities
Another service that retail distribution offers is financing. They sell goods to buyers on credit, providing their funds to ensure continuity of the distribution process.
- Risk Bearing
Retail distribution bears the risk of destruction of distributed goods or a decrease in product quality. Other risks are changes in demand for goods in distribution, devaluation, inflation, and loss of goods and capital.
Retail distribution helps to fix and maintain the prices of goods, using the information on the level of demand and supply, market trends, and national economy.
- Sales and Promotion
Retail distribution ensures that the market is aware of goods in distribution. They render various marketing and advertising services to encourage customers to buy goods. The quantity of goods sold, and the extent of market coverage is largely dependent on the efficiency of promotional services.
- Customer Management
Another service rendered by retail distribution is customer support and satisfaction. It offers after-sale business solutions, customer education, technical advice, fixing of products, and so on. It ensures that customer needs are satisfied.