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What is sales channel research?

Sales channel is a path where the product and service is transferred from the producer to the consumer. Sales channel research, also known as sales network research, is a research towards the sales channel of the product, distributors and product distribution. 
 

What kind of business problems can be solved through sales channel research?

Sales channel is a bond connecting the enterprise and the consumer. Traditional sales channel consists of four parts: Exclusive distributor, distributor, sub-distributor and retailer. They play a role of distributing products for the enterprise.

When the supply of the product can not meet the demand, distributors rely more on the enterprise. However, with the diversification of the commodities, same products of different brands increase, and distributors have more freedom to select. As a result, the relationship between the enterprise and the distributors shows a significant change. Especially the rise of retail chains began to overthrow the traditional marketing mode of the enterprise. If a company is weaker and weaker in controlling the channel, it will only act as manufacturing part in the whole industry chain.

Through sales channel research, the enterprise can get a general idea of the channel types, the channel members, the channel features and so on, which is helpful for them to choose and set up their own channel modes and channel management strategies. A smooth sales channel can effectively save the cost and resource of the enterprise and ensure the product reaching the terminal smoothly. On the contrary, if the channel is blocked, it will severely affect the market operation of the enterprise.

 

How to conduct sales channel research?

Sales channel research includes channel member research and channel structure research.

Channel members include suppliers, agents, dealers, users and so on. As they share the ownership of the product and the service of the enterprise while taking the corresponding risk, they play a key role in forming a benign development of the industry chain. Channel member research covers the reputation of the major agents and dealers among their users and the market, the product portfolio they manage, their finance situation, the sales network they cover, their ability of distribution, the training and management of sales person, and so on.

Channel structure includes the number of levels in the channel, the density of each level and the type of dealers in each level. The channel level means the number of levels an enterprise needs to finish its sales target. The channel density means the number of dealers in the same level of the channel. The type of dealers means how many kinds of dealers in each level of the channel.The content of channel structure research is as follows: