Coles supermarkets Pty Ltd, is an Australian company trading as Coles since 1914 which is owned by Wesfarmers in Collingwood. They typically sold goods of everyday need of a common man and they had a tag line of “nothing over 2c in this store”. They flourished into a very big retailer in Australia with more than 50% of the market share. The distribution and supply chain system they had was well planned and designed.
Distribution involves getting the product from the manufacturer to the ultimate consumer. Distribution is often a much underestimated factor in marketing. The distribution channels employed by Coles has been a marvel in itself. The number of stores has reached more than 1400 across Australia and still the availability of goods and services is unmatched. The range of goods and services available at Coles fall in different sectors from grocery to dairy to daily used good, vegetables, meat etc. These products fall across different categories ranging from some directly bought from manufacturers like meat, vegetables, dairy and others like fast selling products which are acquired from Retailers and sold at the store. Some products are also obtained directly from wholesalers and repackaged and made available for purchase at the stores.
The major advantage found by analysis of these stores is that customers tend to come to these stores to complete their all shopping needs from a single place. The added new feature of shopping online has been majorly welcomed by shoppers alike. All this has been made possible because of the brilliant stock keeping carried out and the replenishment done as soon as stock levels reach certain point. The multiple stores in vicinity ensure that stocks of fast moving stores do not come to a stage of not available.
Marketing Channel System
They are three type of distributions which are, intensive distribution which is related to inexpensive and easily transportable products. The marketing channel system carried out varies from store to store. It ranges from having different offers on products that consumers are looking to buy. Coles offer major discounts on products which may have come to a stage of reaching their expiry date. It has been observed many a times that energy drinks have major offers on them at the beginning of weekend as it has been seen that consumers indulging in outdoor activities use these energy drinks.
Coles also adopt Wide and Exclusive distribution channels. They put on big display boards and banners of products which are on offers. The products displayed up on offers would be lower quality items. This is a part of their wide distribution channel to increase the sales of lower quality items which they stock in bulk. While exclusive products would be displayed in their regular rows with lesser promotion compared other products in the store. The products in this category would have higher quality and price. This can be linked to exclusive distribution channel as these products do not require much of promotions to catch the customer’s eyes because of their brand value.
Push and Pull Strategy
Push marketing is a promotional strategy where businesses attempt to take their products to the customers. The term push stems from the idea that marketers are attempting to push their products at consumers. An examples can be pointed out related to Coles on this is that when they promote perfumes of a brand which offers them sales incentives for pushing their product into customers.
Pull marketing, on the other hand, takes the opposite approach. The goal of pull marketing is to get the customers to come to you, hence the marketers are attempting to pull customers in. Coles tries to use this strategy when there is a decrease in sales.
Coles have a brilliant online site where the customers get the similar experience like they walk into a Coles retail store near them. The sight is well organized and simple to use. Anyone with limited computer or online knowledge can make purchase through it.
Efforts on Technological advancement
Coles have invested lot of money to improve their technology used to serve the customers. They have invested lot of money for creating their online shopping site and developing Coles application to use in mobile, tablets and laptops etc. They have also introduced the Flybuys card which gives the customers an additional advantage of collecting points and getting good discounts when they reach certain points in the card.
Self-Service technology (SST) was also introduced by Coles, which have helped the customers to save a lot of their valuable time. They have implemented this SST in most of their stores. This have helped to reduce the long Q lines and helped to increase customer satisfaction.
Some recommendations would be:
Coles should keep a check on the quality of products they sell, as when they give products at low cost they should make sure that quality isn’t compromised.
In online shopping, customers are charged with more than the usual price in the stores, as it creates a negative impression on customer’s mind.
The SSTs accept only card payment which some section of the customers find it difficult. Coles must try to incorporate cash acceptance system along with SSTs.
Difference Between Push & Pull Marketing | Chron.com. 2016. Difference Between Push &PullMarketing | Chron.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/difference-between-push-pull-marketing-31806.html . [Accessed 19 September 2016].
“Distribution: Channels And Logistics”. Consumerpsychologist.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. http://study.com/academy/lesson/distribution-channels-in-marketing-definition-types-examples.html . [ Accessed 19 September 2016]