Explain the role of channel intermediaries in the product distribution process. Why is their role important?
Channel intermediaries act as a link between the product manufacturer and the product customer ( buyer). They can take on a number of functions which include but are not limited to selling, packaging, distributing and marketing. The roles of the channel intermediary include:
- Providing information to the consumer
- Payment collection
- Risk taking ( Intermediaries may take title to goods therefore removing risk from the producer)
- Point of contact ( they are the main point of contact for the buyer and provide all the customer service functions)
- Promotion ( they may conduct product marketing)
- Physical distribution ( Logistics and order fulfilment)
Channel intermediaries are important because they allow the manufacturer or producer to concentrate their core efforts on product creation. They also allow the producer to reach a far larger proportion of the market than they otherwise would have been able to by organic growth alone.