How Does Distributorship Work? [Complete Guide]

Editorial Team

How Does Distributorship Work [Complete Guide]

You’ve probably heard the term “distributorship” before, but you may not know exactly how it works. In this post, we’ll give you a complete guide to distributorship, from how it works to the benefits. By the end, you should understand what distributorship is and whether it’s right for you. So, let’s get started.

The Distributorship Process: How Does It Work?

The partnership between a producer and a distributor is known as a distributorship. During the distribution process, a distributor would acquire products from a producer and then sell those products to end users, often via going through retailers that are part of the distribution channel. 

Distributors may sell products directly to end users or other companies, depending on the nature of the goods or services being distributed. Distributors can generate revenue by marking up the prices of the products they sell to customers over what they pay to the manufacturer.

A distributorship is often characterized by a business agreement between a producer and a distributor. The terms of the agreement stipulate that each party is responsible for achieving particular objectives to satisfy their duties to the other. 

For instance, the terms of a distributorship contract can stipulate that a manufacturer must create a predetermined quantity of items in exchange for the distributor agreeing to sell those products at a specified price.

Distribution Channels For Products

The method through which a producer gets their wares into the hands of end users is known as a distribution channel. In most cases, this procedure involves a network of distributors and merchants that work together to bring a product to customers’ attention. There are three primary categories of product distribution channels, which are as follows:

Wholesale: A wholesale distributor is a business that buys large quantities from a manufacturer and then resells those products to retail stores, brick-and-mortar, and online.

Retailer: A retailer buys products from wholesalers and then sells those products to end users through traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts and online stores.

Direct-to-consumer sales: In the distribution model known as direct-to-consumer sales, a producer sells their wares directly to end users of the product without using a middleman, such as a distributor or a retailer.

The Different Types Of Distribution

There are several different channels of distribution that manufacturers have at their disposal to market their products, including the following:


Instead of selling items to the shop’s distributor, a direct distributor sells directly to the store. The ability of direct distributors to sell and supply items more quickly than other types of distributors is one advantage of using direct distribution. 

Because of this benefit, direct distributors may form mutually beneficial partnerships with retailers, who appreciate the capacity of direct distributors to offer the required quantity of stock to satisfy customer demand.


An intense distributor cultivates connections with many merchants to stock items throughout a vast portion of the region. Getting a product into the hands of as many different shops as possible is the objective of intensive distribution. 

One of the benefits of this kind of distribution is the potential of intensive distribution to dominate a market with a product and provide more possibilities for sales. This kind of distribution works best with widely available items and is sufficiently common to warrant many potential substitutes.


In contrast to an intensive distributor, a selective distributor only sells items to a limited number of shops that align with the producer’s intended audience or branding.

A manufacturer can have better control over their client base and utilize this authority to establish higher pricing when they employ a selective distributorship, which is one of the benefits of this business model. Products geared toward certain specific markets frequently make use of the distribution method known as selective distribution.


A manufacturer who only works with one distributor for a specific product is said to have an exclusive distributor. A legally binding contract ensures an exclusive distributorship. You can form exclusive distribution arrangements with a manufacturer for either their complete product line or a specific geographical region. 

One of the advantages of having exclusive distribution is that it may allow a manufacturer more control over the image and branding of their product.

An Overview Of Distributors

Reviewing the particular responsibilities of each participant in the distribution process might prove to be helpful as a distribution process continues to mature and develop through time. The following summaries explain the functions that participants in a distribution process play and the reasons for their existence:


A distributor is someone who sells things to end users directly and also fills orders placed by retailers. They can conduct responsibilities related to customer service, such as answering customer queries and managing product returns. 

In contrast to other professions in the distribution process, a distributor concentrates on marketing and selling items to a particular market sector. They can undertake market analysis using this expertise to verify that things are selling in accordance with the strategy.

For instance, a distributor may establish a business partnership with a maker of nutritious custards. This would ensure that customers of the distributor’s e-commerce website and retail stores that obtain their stock from the distributor would have access to the healthy custards.


Wholesalers fulfill the orders for a stock placed by retailers. They can purchase goods in bulk from manufacturers or distributors in order to receive a price reduction and then sell the goods to retailers for a price that is higher than the price at which they purchased the goods from the manufacturer. 

One example of a wholesaler is a food store that buys huge amounts of food commodities in bulk from their respective producers and then resells those products to end users for a profit. This company can pass along some of the cost savings resulting from bulk purchasing to its customers, or it can use the savings to help improve its bottom line.


In distribution, many sales operations, such as marketing and contracting, are managed by agents. They can maintain client interactions for manufacturers who outsource these services and choose to do so. Because of this acquisition, agents will now be able to represent manufacturers throughout the distribution process.

For instance, a manufacturer of footwear might form a partnership with an agent, who might agree to handle the distribution, marketing, and sales strategies for the manufacturer’s footwear products, allowing the manufacturer to direct their attention and resources solely toward the production of the footwear.


A location that sells goods directly to end users is known as a retail establishment. Retailers can sell their wares either online or in traditional storefronts. A retailer will buy these items from wholesalers or distributors in order to market and sell them.

A retailer may be, for instance, a small clothing boutique that stocks the latest trends from various companies. It can establish working ties with distributors in order to supply the shop with items that are available for purchase by end users.

The Distribution Strategy For Products

The production distribution plan, a component of corporate logistics, is essential to making everything function properly. Check out the following list of things to consider

The Packaging Of The Product

The goods ought to be packaged in a manner that is both cost-effective and sufficient in terms of protection in order to prevent the things from being damaged while they are in transit. The company’s capacity to turn a profit is negatively impacted by anything that might render the goods unsaleable.

Managing Inventory

This is necessary because you should always have enough products to satisfy customer demand; otherwise, you will lose out on potential profits. On the other hand, if you manufacture an excessive number of items, they will be stored in a warehouse where they will not generate any revenue and may see a decline in value over time.

The Ordering Processes

It is time to get to work since we have an order to fulfill from a client who has placed their order. Because the items need to be located, loaded into a delivery truck, and delivered out in a timely way, hopefully, this location was designed with an exceptionally high level of efficiency in mind from the beginning. Additionally, during this period, invoices will be compiled and sent out.

The Logistics Solution

To accomplish this, all that is required is to determine the mode of transportation that will be necessary for the product to arrive at its final location and to reach an agreement with the party that will be accepting delivery on a general time and location at which the transaction will be finalized. When you are loading or unloading things, this is also the moment to determine whether you need any specific equipment.

Working With Distributors: Tips For Success

You may build and maintain a successful distributorship by using the following advice:

Get To Know Your Product

Before forming a connection with a distributor, fully understand your goods; The procedure relies heavily on this element. You can sell the goods more effectively to customers and distributors alike if you know the product’s pricing point and packaging requirements. 

If the product is in more demand, you may also devise a strategy for increasing its manufacturing capacity. Your preparation for becoming a distributorship can be aided by your familiarity with these aspects of your items.

Develop A Strategy For Your Marketing

However, the manufacturer is often responsible for promoting their goods, even when distributors sell their wares to retailers and end customers. If you create a marketing plan, it will be easier for you to demonstrate to distributors the value of your product and the demand for the product among the consumers that make up your target market.

The following is a list of the components of a marketing plan.

Goals: A marketing strategy should include the goals you want to achieve both with the marketing of a firm and overall. In this part of the marketing strategy, key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketing might also be included.

A marketing strategy may contain branding methods in order to increase the appeal of a product to the audience that it is intended for. 

Branding: A marketing strategy may contain branding methods to increase the appeal of a product to the audience it is intended for. 

Target Audience:  The term “target audience” refers to the customers you are trying to market a product to and the demographic data associated with those consumers. This might include the customers’ ages, the financial brackets they fall into, and their behaviors.

Include any marketing strategies you plan to use, such as social media marketing, to advertise the product or service to the target market that will benefit the most.

Strategies: A marketing strategy will also include a budget for the various marketing methods, such as advertising and public relations.

Timing: As the last step, you are free to add the product marketing strategy’s period in your discussion. The timing of a marketing strategy may be affected by several factors, including a budget, the firm’s fiscal year, and the season (for items that have seasonal attractions, such as Christmas decorations).

What Are The Benefits Of A Distributorship?

The distributor typically handles all marketing and sales for the products within a specified territory. There are many benefits to having a distributorship, including the following: 

  • Increased Reach: One of the main benefits of a distributorship is that it allows you to reach a larger market than you could on your own. This is because the distributor will have a network of customers and will be able to sell to them directly. 
  • Lower Costs: Another benefit of a distributorship is that it can help to lower your costs. This is because the distributor will buy the products in bulk and sell them in small quantities.
  • This can lead to referrals and new customers.

What Are The Ways Distribution Companies Make Money?

Selling To Retailers: Most people know that when they buy items from a store, they pay more than what the store paid for the item. They may not know, however, that the store is also paying a fee to the distribution company. 

The distribution company acts as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the retailer. They make their money by selling products to retailers at a higher price than what they paid for the product themselves. 

The distribution company can profit because they buy products in bulk from the manufacturer. They then turn around and sell smaller quantities to retailers. Because they buy the product in bulk, they can get a lower price from the manufacturer. They are also able to save on shipping costs by sending multiple products.

Selling To Consumers:  Most distribution companies make money by selling to consumers. This is the most common way for these companies to make money. They find a product they think will be popular and then sell it to consumers. 

This may be done through various channels, such as the internet, physical storefronts, and catalogs. The key to making money by selling to consumers is to find a product that is in demand and then price it correctly. 

Pricing too high will cause consumers to look elsewhere, but pricing too low will result in the company not making a profit. To succeed, it’s crucial to balance these two elements.

Example 1

Filmmaker: Film distribution companies make money by distributing films to theaters, TV networks, and home video outlets. They typically take a percentage of the revenue generated by the film. For example, if a film grosses $100 million at the box office, the distribution company might take 10% of that, or $10 million.

Example 2

A more straightforward illustration would be a $40 footwear industry Proposed Retail Price for a product. The wholesaler then sells it to the retailer for $30 after purchasing it from the producer for $20. The producer probably makes at least that amount, while the distributor and retailer each make a $10 profit on each item.

 How To Become A Distributor

To become a distributor, you should know a few things about how the process works. First, you’ll need to find a company whose products you’re interested in selling. 

Once you’ve found a company, you’ll need to contact them and inquire about their distributorship program. Most companies have specific distributor requirements, such as a minimum order quantity. 

Once you’ve met the requirements, you’ll likely need to sign a contract. This contract will outline the terms of your distributorship, such as how long it will last, what exclusive rights you have to sell the products in your territory, and what fees you’ll be responsible for paying. Once you’ve been approved as a distributor, you can start promoting the product.

As a distributor, you will be compensated for your efforts through a commission, depending on the business agreement. 


Overall, a distributorship can be a great opportunity if you have the right products and services to offer. It may be a means for you to start selling a company’s goods after you get your foot in the door.

However, it is essential to research and ensure that you are getting into a distributorship that is right for you and your business. You want to make sure you can sell the products and profit from doing so.