Do you know what is retail distribution ?

what is retail distribution

Retail distribution refers to the entire process of goods from manufacturers and producers to consumers. During this process, the goods may pass through many intermediaries, such as wholesalers, suppliers and retailers.

In the case of direct-to-consumer(D2C or DTC) brands, the retail distribution path is shorter because the brand sells products directly to customers through its e-commerce website or retail store.

Retailer vs Retail Distributor meaning

Retail Distributor


Retailers are a group of small and large for-profit businesses that sell products directly to consumers. The most common is the supermarket.

In order to create more profit margins, the retailer will look for the product categories he needs to sell, and at the same time reach long-term partnerships with the most competitive price suppliers for these products.

  Typically, retailers can buy small quantities of goods from distributors or wholesalers. For example, a retailer who wants to buy three dozen boxes of Red Fuji apples can contact a Red Fuji apple dealer to inquire about the price.

Retail Distributor

Distributors oversee the entire process of product sales and marketing and build strong long-term relationships with manufacturers.

They fulfill and deliver orders, and also conduct sales on behalf of manufacturers, study changes in consumer demand and the development trend of the entire market, and on this basis, better scientifically plan future orders, shipments and sales plans.

Distributors can sell products to wholesalers, retailers and agents. The dealer will have the ownership of the goods in a certain area and field (buy out the manufacturer’s products/services), so as to obtain operating profits.

For example, Nike’s distributor in Hong Kong, Nike will no longer supply other customers in Hong Kong. If other customers want to sell this brand of products, they have to get the goods through the dealer.

Distributors work with one or more companies at a time in a multi-variety operation to market, ship, and sell goods in a variety of ways. Distributors can promote a company’s market and expose it to a larger group of consumers, and sometimes provide service, technical support, or warranties on behalf of a product or company.

What is a retail distribution strategy?

A distribution strategy is a method of spreading a good or service from the manufacturer to the end user.

Depending on the product type and other business elements (such as business size and requirements) for retail distribution, it involves many different parties, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, agents, etc. However, choosing the right retail distribution strategy is the key to an efficient distribution process, increasing revenue and maintaining customer stickiness and user loyalty.

Optimize distribution strategy from 3 aspects

Scientific Distribution Inventory

No matter what retail distribution strategy you employ, the most effective strategy to simplify distribution and fulfillment is to keep your warehouse as close as possible to your customers.

According to the needs of the customer, the geographical location of the customer, no matter where the customer places the order, you can immediately match the nearest warehouse to fulfill the next series of delivery behaviors, or you can combine the location and product sales to carry out Analyze and strategically allocate your inventory across different distribution centers.

For example, let’s say that sales of one of your products in region A are very good, but sales of your product in region B are very poor.When you run out of stock for this product in a high-volume area, you have to place a new order from a distribution center that has excess inventory but isn’t selling very well.

In the process of distribution, the products need to be sent from a longer distance, which shows that our customers need to wait longer to get the products they want, and this extended time not only increases our Transportation costs, time costs, and the slowdown of the entire supply chain.

On the contrary, by dynamically analyzing product sales in different regions, strategically transferring your inventory to distribution centers with high demand according to the actual situation, and constantly monitoring the inventory situation, it can not only help you save the delivery of goods to customers time and money, and avoid running out of stock.

Likewise, you may want to allocate more of your inventory to retailers who are good at selling your products. That way, they don’t have to deal with out-of-stocks and missed sales.

If your warehouses are not all over the world and you want to achieve close delivery, then I suggest that you consider flexible, safe and cost-effective international warehousing services, which can help you solve this problem and want to know more about You can click to view the warehousing service.

retail distribution strategy

Check your distribution strategy

With so many subjects and processes involved in B2B distribution, some inefficiencies will naturally arise in your process. That’s why it’s important to regularly review your distribution strategy to continually optimize or replace inefficient processes.

Maybe you have multiple partners working together, with different people handling different parts of the process distribution process.

For example, you might have one partner that manages retail warehousing, another for fulfillment, and another for last-mile delivery. Whenever the operation of any one of these partners is interrupted or delayed, the rest of the supply chain will also be delayed accordingly, because the supply chain is a whole, and different subjects are responsible for it, and communication will also be needs time. This can seriously affect your bottom line.

On the contrary, if this whole set of processes is handled by a team, not only will the process be simplified, the communication and operational efficiency will be greatly improved, and the tacit understanding of a team’s emergency plan and cooperation will be minimized in the event of a crisis. Solve troubles in time, avoid wasting more time and costs, and manage easier because of a team.

Shipping products from a single center to different regions can be expensive because products travel through multiple shipping zones before reaching the end consumer. Conversely, leveraging regional distribution and fulfillment solutions can significantly reduce shipping costs while increasing delivery speeds.

distribution strategy

So regularly evaluate your distribution strategy and focus on addressing bottlenecks. For example, inefficient warehouse service teams and warehouse management systems can lead to slower delivery and fulfillment times because pickers cannot easily find what they need. By identifying and addressing these issues in a targeted manner, you can also find a professional team to take care of your warehousing and distribution services. Honest’s service team is very good, and warehousing and distribution services are only part of their complete set of e-commerce fulfillment services. If you are interested, you can come in and have a look, you will get a lot of unexpected surprises.

Consider 3PL to see

No matter which delivery strategy you use, partnering with a 3PL is an excellent way to simplify and optimize your delivery logistics. This includes the entire warehousing, pick and pack, and shipping process, which can help you save time and speed up fulfillment operations. For example, Honest is such a platform, but it covers a wider range of businesses and the entire service is provided for free. If you want to know the specific content of 3PL, you can move here to get a detailed understanding.

Find a 3PL with a distributed network of fulfillment centers so you can conveniently store your products in multiple locations. The ability to ship directly from the warehouse closest to the consumer makes retail orders easier to fulfill, allowing you to provide a faster and more efficient delivery process at affordable shipping costs.

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