How to Use Market Research to Determine Distribution Channels

How Market Research Can Help You Determine the Best Distribution Channels, featured on blog.marketresearch.comDistribution channels are one of the key aspects of driving your business. Listed as one of marketing’s 4 P’s, placement, or distribution, is part of the overall marketing strategy of a business. Whether you are a small or large business owner, it’s important to ensure your business is using the correct distribution channels to get your product to your customer.

There are many aspects of distribution you need to consider when determining what outlet your company should use. Even in the beginning of your business’ life, investors are going to need to know how you plan on getting your product into the customer’s hands. Either through retail shelves or direct selling, a plan is necessary to move forward to gain sales.

The following are the main contributing factors in determining what distribution channels will best work for you:


What is the nature of your product? Or, what type of product is it? Manufacturers need to select a channel of distribution that takes care of the immediate factors associated with the product, such as quality and type of product. Depending on what you are offering, you might need a long, small, or direct distribution channel.  


Your distribution channel may provide you access to your direct target customer, but it may also open up the opportunity to reach a new customer base. Look for distributors with current products similar to your own, so you may reach other customer bases and grow your business.


Consider how far your new distribution channel can reach. If your company pride's itself on a homegrown marketing campaign, local distributors can keep things in line with your overall strategy. But, if you are looking to expand nationally, you want to choose a distribution network that will allow you to move to your chosen markets. Consider the potential to move to a global market, too. The internet has allowed small businesses greater reach; so, make sure you have a distributor that can get your products into the international market.


Depending on what type of product you are offering, you might need a distributor that has a little background knowledge on what you are selling. Choosing a distributor that already has products in your industry can help with product knowledge for the customers. So, consider whether your new retailer has employees that will be knowledgeable. If you don’t think they will be able to sell your products correctly, you might need to go the direct selling route.


You need to ensure that your product is getting the attention it deserves. If you feel that your distributor has too many competitors, figure out how you can get more attention driven to your product. You also need to determine whether a network is providing customers with the service and knowledge that you feel is needed for your product. When it comes to sales, it is the people who work in a channel that control the relationship with a customer, so making the right choice is critical for your business.


Simply put, how is your distribution channel going to give you a leg up on the competition? With faster delivery methods popping up, customers are searching for ways to get what they want, faster, cheaper, and easier. You need to determine if your distribution method is going to fit well into what the customer wants. If you can provide them with quicker or even better access to products, you will make the sale over the competition.

With all of these factors to consider, it is going to be important that you research exactly which distributors are going to meet all your requirements. Researching this much information can seem costly, but with the right solution, you will be able to get all the information you need.’s Profound solution offers users easy access to information that can answer your biggest questions about distribution. Profound is useful for entrepreneurs and start ups that need to determine what distribution channels are going to push their business forward without blowinng their entire research budget.

To learn more about how Profound can help your business, sign up for a free trial.

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Thanks for reading!

Caitlin Stewart
Marketing Associate

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