A channel structure is a means of reaching your customer with your products and services. This is essentially a high level view of your sales and distribution channels that outlines the architecture of your business.
DirectSelling directly to the customer using channels such as personal selling, retail or ecommerce. For example, a fashion brand that has its own shops and ecommerce site.producer → customer
RetailSelling to retailers who sell to the end-customer. producer → retail → customer
EcommerceSelling to ecommerce partners who manage the relationship with customers.producer → ecommerce → customer
Selling to firms that add value to your products or services before selling them. For example, a firm that sells components that are used in mobile devices.producer → value added reseller → customer
WholesaleSelling to wholesalers who distribute the product to retailers or ecommerce sellers.producer → wholesaler → retail → customer
AgentsUsing agents or brokers to manage your sales to wholesalers, retail and/or ecommerce sellers.producer → agent → wholesaler → retail → customer
ComplexIt is common for organizations to have many channel structures for different products and regions. For example, a fashion brand that sells direct in Germany but uses agents, wholesalers and retailers in other countries.Germanyproducer → customerFranceproducer → customerproducer → retail → customerJapanproducer → agent → retail → customerproducer → agent → value added reseller → customerUnited Statesproducer → wholesaler → ecommerce→ customer
DetailedChannel structures may include details such as the types of channel that are involved. For example, a direct producer → customer structure might be expanded out with more details:Germanydirect retail → flagship → customer direct retail → brand shops → customer direct retail → outlet shops → customer direct sales → customer direct ecommerce → customer
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