How Can Marketers Design Their Distribution Channels?

Before the pandemic in 2019, the leadership of the distribution channels was over the retail stores. These represented the most significant sales in revenue and volume for the consumer goods. Online channels had little impact and were getting more important with time, but the boom of these digital channels came when the pandemic started, and all the physical sales points were closed.

Now that we are entering a post-pandemic era, the business world is trying to figure out the new normal, and no one really knows what will happen. It is clear that we are not going back to how it was before March 2019.

Brands with sales mainly in retail had a massive reduction in sales and were forced to migrate to website or social media sales fast to keep their brands and products alive. However, now that retails are reopening, what the best option is? Do we want to reinvest in a super expensive distribution channel but that helps us reach a broader audience? The answer to this is “maybe.”

As I always say here, every business is different, and each one needs to run its numbers to get to the right decision. What I can tell you is that in my opinion, the physical sales should migrate to something that I call “the moon and its satellites,” where the moon is a simile for a brand store, and the satellites are the booths or pop-up stores of the brand. These small representations of the brand store can be located inside department stores, keeping the business relationship between both sides, while having a safer distribution.

This concept is based on having just the minimum amount of brand stores possible (of course, it will depend on the dimension of your business) located in the primary city or cities, in a very strategic place within them. It will be expensive to have it, and it has to be perfect because it will be the only representation of your brand. The idea of this store/s is to have an immerse experience of the brand, where the brand’s identity is apparent. This implies having the right visuals, displays, music, smell, service, and messages across the store. A place that allows the customer to get inside the brand for a few minutes.

Now, having this kind of experiential marketing is expensive. I don’t recommend having multiple locations of these stores because it is hard to keep control and have the budget to maintain it. But having pop-up stores that work as small representations of the “moon,” where the customers can buy the best seller items or order other items directly from the brand store and pick them up there, is a great option to expand the physical presence of the brand.

This system needs to work together with a solid online platform in order to have the orders delivered to the pop-up stores in time, securing an excellent service and experience for all customers.

I hope you liked this post. Let me know in the comments what you think about this idea or if you have one that works in this new post-pandemic world. If you want to know more about marketing, branding, and analytics, I invite you to visit my blog and subscribe to my newsletter.

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