Apple’s I-phone was launched in US first in 2007 & now one can avail it in more than 86 countries.Apple has significantly focused on its distribution channels & the result is seen with the evident success as decisions related to distribution makes the products available to the consumers at accessible locations thereby creating a value (Anitsal.I, Girard.T &anitsal.M,2012). Thus ensuring
“The right product at the right price available in the right place to be bought by customers”.
An organisation should develop the proper distribution strategy as it has a huge effect on the profitability(Singh.M,2012).Apple’s marketing mix exactly did the same & thus taking the advantage of its various distribution channels.
Apple has adopted the selective distribution strategy with exclusiveness,In this push strategy is used (Wilkinson 2013).
Its main market is United States with 50% share followed by Europe & Asia..The market share of apple with the highest selling rate are Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain. Android phone of google with tripled market share in just 3 months is the main competitor of apple in Us but still it dominates the market.Because of the high population in Asia ,it also has high potential for apple.Apple has established its name world wide.
Apple has full contol over its distribution as it authrises its sellers(Greenspan.R,2015) The following channels are included in Apple’s distribution strategy:
STORES: Apple operates its direct sale by online stores & retail stores offering all range of apple products. With the help of technology right product at right place to right person is ensured in direct marketing(Vander.S et. al. 2012).Apple earned more than 12$ million within the first 30 days after the opening of its first online store in 1997.Apple’s first retail store was opened in 2001 & now there are over 300 retail stores in the world. i store is located in CBD of major cities, built up areas & up market areas.
Apple products are available on various online shopping sites such as eBay, amazon but apple.com is its official site,payments can be made through credit cards, pay pal & even cash on delivery.E-commerce has made things easier as niche product reaches to wider population with less barriers &getting developed as a exclusive channel(Singh ,M.2012)
Direct sales force: is done to retailers. The Apple also sells its products to the final customers by a retailers . It is of advantage as Customer recognizes the brand more when exposed to it frequently because the degree of intensity with which a product is distributed plays an important role in affecting the decision of customers.(Yoo et al. 2000)
Third party wholesaler: Apple supplies its products with more than two wholesalers,who buy the product and sell it to another & then product is sold to retailer or directly to final consumer. Customer & Retailers have a strong relationship as different products of different brands are exposed signifying apple’s uniqueness.(Singh.M,2012) .
Premium Re seller: In this apple does not directly owns the store but the premium re sellers sells all the products of apple such as I-pads,I-phones,laptops. but to become the reseller one has to maintain the high standards of service. In return Apple company supports the reseller in advertising, marketing & training.Due to the premium model of the product, the distribution is niche and is given only to premium retailers who can meet the targets set by the company.(Bhasin.h,2016).It is franchising basically.Franchising is considered to be the significant distribution channel for faster achievement of territorial coverage. (Sen & Shane, 1996)
APPLE as a exclusive carrier:
Apple’s I phone entered into market with exclusive carriers’ strategy for each country who the only one is selling the iPhone.In the USA, it is AT&T, in Germany T-Mobile, in France Orange and so on Stanley,M analysed that its market share could easily double (or more) when it’s distributed by multiple carriers in each region because its seen in several markets network is selected prior to handset especially in US.(Morrommer.d,2009).
but its coming to an end in any regions. In Australia, Iphone is also now available tthrough voda, telstra, & optus even. Even Us had started selling unlocked GSM network handsets in 2011 & are available through the three main U.S. operators: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.(Kirk.J.2012). As ending the exclusivity in France caused increased the sales to double & defeated blackberry in the race.
CONFLICT IN ITS CHANNELS: Apple is growing & so is its conflict.Apple retail stores are growing at a 33 percent, year-over-year clip, and serve almost 22 million customers a quarter(Moltzen.E,2007). Here comes the conflict in other channels. According to the apple retail channel partners , apple is continuously opening its retail stores to sell everything themselves & driving the business to their stores.Also apple offer deals at their retail stores not to the other channels.
Other conflict lies in the education space with mac ‘s success in this channel beyond retail element.
CONCLUSION: Though everything is fine for apple as it still dominates the market in US (APPLE INC., 2012) but it should be recommended that apple should go cautiously with Price & plan its distribution well considering the upcoming Asian market for it as with more technology ,more markets will rise of its premium products(Fadaei.R,2012) (APPLE INC., 2012)
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