Multiplechannel Strategy

The multiple-channel strategy refers to a situation in which two or more different channels are employed to distribute goods and services. The market must be segmented so that each segment gets the services it needs and pays only for them, not for services it does not need. This type of segmentation usually cannot be done effectively by direct selling alone or by exclusive reliance upon distributors. The Robinson-Patman Act makes the use of price for segmentation almost impossible when selling to the same kind of customer through the same distribution channel. Market segmentation, however, may be possible when selling directly to one class of customer and to another only through distributors, which usually requires different services, prices, and support. Thus, a multiple-channel strategy permits optimal access to each individual segment.

Basically, there are two types of multiple channels of distribution, complementary and competitive.

Complementary Complementary channels exist when each channel handles a different noncom-Channels peting product or noncompeting market segment. An important reason to promote

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