Multi-Channel Distribution in the Apparel Industry

Once a product has been made, distribution is an important decision to make. It doesn’t matter what kind of product you are trying to sell, without the right distribution method you can be left with a great deal of unsold merchandise and no profit. So if you are not sure where to start, here are 3 major distribution channels you can choose from.

Direct selling: This occurs when products are sold directly to consumers. They can be sold by creating your own website, door-to-door selling, telephone sales, and fashion shows. In this case, 100% of the profits go to you, which in turn mean costs are kept low. There is no bartering with distributors or retailers. You are in full control of pricing, quantity, brand marketing and messaging. Customers can directly contact you when they have questions or concerns. On the other hand, you might acquire more costs for marketing, sales and allocating products directly to customers.

Indirect selling to Retailer: Indirect selling occurs when you sell to a go-between instead of the end consumer. In this case, you will sell your products to a retail store. You will share responsibility of costs and labor with the retailer. Decisions about marketing, messaging, sales and delivery of products to consumers will be made together. However, retailers expect to purchase products from you at a discounted rate. They can then sell the products to the consumer at whatever price they see fit. Your product may not be the only product this retailer is selling; therefore your customer base will be targeted less.

Indirect selling to Wholesaler/Distributor: In this case, you will sell your products to a wholesaler, who usually takes title of the goods. You will also share responsibility of costs and labor with the wholesaler. Most large companies choose this option because they have in-depth information about retailers or previous sales experience. However, it is up to you to convince each individual store to stock your product and you are solely in charge of brand marketing and messaging.

While you are deciding on the right distribution channel, stop by to search for international makers.

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