Distribution, Logistics, Distribution Channels
What was the sales shop before, is now the point of sale. POS is the magic word when it comes to trade, purchasing and sales. At the POS we find the shopping environment in which the consumer makes their purchase. A shopping environment which can either lead to the purchase experience being a positive or a negative one. While this is has traditionally taken place in the real world, the rise of the internet and internet shopping has meant that more and more purchases are made in a virtual context on the web.
With the growing influence of the internet the world market is changing from a seller dominated to a buyers' markets. Purchasing is now in focus and the conditions for a successful purchase must be carefully defined and optimised. Today more than ever the mantra of "The Customer is King" is followed by companies trying to eke out an advantage from the competition.
Where and how can the product be bought? Various channels ranging from direct sales, retail through to internet sales are to be distinguished, each requiring different strategies. Each of these distribution channels in turn requires a different logistical approach. For example an internet based business has a very different logistical structure to a high stock environment found on the high street.
A central question to consider: Do the distribution channels match the expected sales? POS and logistics are often forgotten in the design stage and can be a real hurdle to the ultimate success.
Defining, managing and optimising the POS will surely continue to occupy the attention of marketing departments in the future and will often mean the difference between success and failure.
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