Distribution Channel Strategies: International Distribution Channels, Their roles and functions

Distribution plays an important role in the implementation of the international marketing programme as it enable the products and services to reach the ultimate customer. An international marketing firm has the option of managing its distribution function either directly or indirectly through middleman or a suitable combination of the two.

Following are the distributions channels in International market

Indirect Distribution: Indirect channels are further classified based on whether the international marketer makes use of domestic intermediaries. An international marketer therefore can make use of the following types of intermediaries for distribution in foreign markets.

Domestic Overseas Intermediaries

(I) Commission buying agents

(II) Country controlled buying agents

(III) Export management companies (EMCs)

(IV) Export Merchants

(V) Export agents

(VI) Piggy backing

(VII) Foreign Intermediaries

(IX) Foreign Sales Representatives

(X) Foreign Sales Agent

(XI) Foreign Stocking and Non-Stocking Agents

(XII) State Controlled Trading Companies

Direct Distributions: The options available to international marketer in organizing direct distributions include sending representatives abroad from the headquarters, setting up of local sales/branch office in the foreign country of for a region establishing a subsidiary abroad, entering into a joint venture or franchising agreement.

Companies having long-term interest in international marketing find it expedient to deploy their own sales forces in foreign markets. This helps them in increasing their sale volume through committed market development activities, better control and motivation of foreign intermediaries being used and paving the way for smoother transition to direct distribution and marketing.

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