Distribution is another term for “place,” which is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. The other components of the marketing mix are product, pricing, and promotion.
Distribution refers to the dissemination and circulation of a product or service in the market. This is made up of channels, which may also be referred to as the “distribution chain.”
The distributor of the products is considered one of the channels. From the distributor, products are transferred to the retailer, who transfers the product to the end customer.
Retailers may also be called dealers or resellers. This chain performs many functions, such as gathering information about the market, promotion, and price negotiation, among others.
It is important for many businesses to identify the best intermediaries to take charge of the distribution of their products. Doing so may help keep distribution costs low, because these channels already have the necessary contacts and knowledge of the distribution process.
Services may also be distributed, either directly or indirectly. Airlines sell their flights directly, but are also able to market them through travel agents and partner companies. They may also aid in the distribution of hotel services, resulting in the integration of various services. This linkage is continuously developing in the travel industry.
Distribution may be intensive, selective, or exclusive. Under intensive distribution, a big percentage of retailers carry the product, whereas under selective distribution, only specific dealers provide the product. This depends on the suitability of the dealers. Lastly, under exclusive distribution, only authorized resellers are given rights to sell the product.