written by | April 15, 2022

What Does Distribution Mean in Business?

The term "distribution" refers to widely disseminating a product in the market so that others may see it and purchase it.

It may also be defined as the successful placement of items that generate profits for the merchant due to the customer's purchase. It is not an overstatement to say that distribution may make or break a company's success.

When a business has a well-functioning distribution system, it has a better chance of selling more items than its adversaries. When a business has a large distribution network, its items may be supplied on more outlets and lower prices.

Profit margins will be better due to such a strong distribution approach, which will also recover the cost of raw materials. It also ensures that the items can thrive in the market for a long time, even under difficult conditions. In this booming economy, distribution plays a vital role in providing a channel between manufacturers and consumers.

Did you know? 

The retail industry in India was worth ₹67.36 lakh crores in 2020, and it is predicted to expand to ₹99.17 lakh crores by 2024.

Types of Distribution

Also Read: 10 Best Wholesale Business in India 2022-23

Direct Distribution

This initial approach entails completing goods distribution tasks directly. Alternatively, you may propose that manufacturers act as distributors, marketing and distributing their products to purchasers. This method usually necessitates a reevaluation of the company's investment amount. As a result, each company will invest significantly to implement this system.

Indirect Distribution

The second form is an indirect distribution method that involves a third party. Typically, manufacturers of products and services will contract their sales to people or affiliates. In the field of exporting products, there are distinct attributes among intermediates. Every company needs a reliable delivery service. It is also reliant on the manufacturing company's skills and finances.

Importance of Distribution

Utility of the Product

The usefulness of goods/products is created via distribution in marketing. If the items are not transported to the point of consumption, they are of no use or benefit. Distribution is primarily concerned with transportation, storage, and exchange. Transportation contributes to the product's place utility by transporting desired commodities to the appropriate locations. By keeping and delivering things when needed, storage generates product usefulness of time. Likewise, by transferring ownership, commerce promotes ownership utility of products. Distribution encourages customers by producing location utility, time versatility, and ownership utility, as evidenced by various actions.

Need Satisfaction

Customers' requirements should be examined and grasped first in this competitive market age. After that, things should be made under the requirements. By delivering the right items to the right place at the right time, distribution satisfies customers' demands. Customers' wishes cannot be met at the appropriate time if the distribution is not properly organised. The function of distribution in enhancing client lifestyles is critical. This duty must be performed by transporting commodities from the manufacturing facility to the selling places.

Employment and Occupation

Distribution is one of the most crucial marketing duties. Many people will be able to find work as a result of this. People need jobs, and distribution plays a vital role in supplying them. Many people find work as wholesalers, retailers, agents, and intermediaries, among other things. A great number of people have taken it up as a profession.

Similarly, transportation, finance, and insurance have created employment opportunities for many individuals. In the industrial and affluent economies, distribution has shown to be effective in providing jobs for a significant number of people. In a developing country like India, distribution has given many individuals career possibilities.


The distribution function involves several intermediaries. They distribute financial resources that they handle independently. They also oversee financial resources for more warehousing and stock. As a result, the manufacturers will not have to make any financial arrangements or establish a distribution channel. As a result, the manufacturers do not need to invest any financial resources in the short term. Produced items are promptly exchanged for cash. As a result, there are no issues in managing financial resources for market analysis, new product development, and other activities.


The distribution function connects the producer and the client. As a result, distribution serves as a connection between the two. Through the people or groups of people involved in distribution, the manufacturer sends out messages to customers regarding items, prices, promotions, etc. They also get comments on rivals, environmental change, and other issues from those involved in distribution. As a result, it's evident that distribution management also serves as a communication tool.

Also Read: 10 Best Distributorship Opportunities in FMCG You Should Know

What Is Distribution Management?

Supervising the transportation of goods from suppliers or producers to POS is known as distribution management. Packaging, storage, warehousing, supply chain, and logistics are all examples of activities and operations that fall under this umbrella phrase.

Distribution management is a crucial element of the business chain for distributors and wholesalers. Businesses' profitability is determined by how rapidly they can shift over their items. The more they sell, the more money they make, implying a brighter future for the company. Businesses must have a good distribution management system to stay competitive and satisfy their clients.

Distribution Management as a Marketing Function

As a marketing process, distribution management occurs within an ecosystem that includes the following considerations:


It might relate to a concept, music, or knowledge and is not always an actual item.


This relates to how much an item or service is worth to both the seller and the buyer. It can include tangible and intangible aspects like list price, discounts, financing, and the probable response of consumers and rivals.


Any interaction used by a seller to explain, convince, and remind consumers and potential purchasers about the seller's goods, services, ideas, and influence on society is a promotion.


This ensures that items are available, accessible, and visible to end-users or enterprise customers in the targeted outlets or consumers where they choose to buy.

What is E-Distribution?

E-distribution is a method of distribution that is solely based on the use of electronic media. It is sometimes characterised as the purchase or sale of services or commodities through a public network without physical media; this is typically accomplished by downloading content from the Internet to the consumer's electronic device. Because no physical medium is required, this distribution method is available to many clients and is, therefore, more cost-efficient for enterprises.

E-commerce is incomplete without e-distribution. Businesses may gain from e-distribution in various ways, the most important of which is the immediate aspect of the transaction. Consumers may be confident that they are working with legitimate producers and manufacturers.

Another benefit is the vast market reach capabilities. Because the vendor has a direct connection with the customer, there is little need for staffing. All orders may be processed instantly, resulting in significant cost savings. In e-distribution, the seller has far more authority, allowing a client purchase to be delivered on time. E-distribution can also shorten or eliminate wait times and potential shortages. Businesses may make significant profits by reducing expenses; the payment method in e-distribution is also most efficient and safe.

Differences Between Distributors and Wholesalers

We may clearly define the distinction between wholesalers and distributors based on the following factors:



The distributor is one of the most important connections in the supply chain for goods and services to the whole market.

A wholesaler is a person or company that buys things in large quantities and resells them in smaller quantities.

Distributors typically contract with manufacturers to trade in non-competing items or product lines.

A wholesaler does not engage in a contract with the producer, which means they are free to sell competitive items to the retailer from multiple producers.

A distributor's region of activity is greater than that of a wholesaler.

A wholesaler covers a restricted area since they operate as an intermediary to provide certain commodities in the market.

A distributor distributes items to various parties across the supply chain, including wholesalers, retailers, and even direct customers.

A wholesaler’s sole clients are retailers.

The distributor agrees with the manufacturer and engages in promotional operations to boost sales. As a result, they serve as the producer's sales agent. 

Wholesalers do not promote, pitch, or sell items to potential customers or retailers; instead, a product from a single producer awaits retailer attention and order placement. 


Economic activities that mix production and consumption are known as distribution activities. The goal of product distribution is to supply the manufacturer's products to consumers. Business partners are individuals or corporations who work together to conduct business. Direct and indirect are the two major types of distribution used in the execution. Sales operations are carried out to assure the production process, ensuring that items reach customers securely and make the product more accessible.

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Q: Why is distribution called a down streaming process?


The downstream process refers to the technique of distribution, which includes aspects such as distribution, wholesaling, and retailing. All of these techniques are engaged in guaranteeing effective delivery to customers. Finally, the merchandise and the end consumer are connected. The channel is targeted down to the consumer base hence referred to as the ‘downstream’ process.

Q: How does distribution management adds value to the customer?


Consumers profit from distribution channels since they may get a wide range of items in one location. Without these channels, consumers would have to buy things directly from manufacturers, which would be limited in selection and unworkable.

Q: What are the motivating factors for distribution channels to sell a product?


Better prices, strong customer service and support, the uniqueness of the product or brand, and a unique selling feature are all motivating elements for selling a product through distribution channels.

Q: What are channels of distribution?


Distribution channels, also referred to as channels of distribution, are the commercial routes and paths via which a product or service is transported before reaching the ultimate consumer.

Q: Who is a distributor?


Distributors serve as a link between producers and retailers, and end-users. A distributor's primary tasks include transporting items and rendering them available on the market.

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