Module 05: Distribution Channels (M5-EN)
Angela Ivanova, Wolfgang Kniejski
In the previous modules, you have already learned about monastic products and how to sell them as authentic in your monastery shops. Nevertheless, this knowledge is not sufficient, if you have or plan to achieve increased production of goods involving monks, nuns or people from the region.
Many monasteries see in this action an opportunity to gain additional funds for the monastery. Therefore, you need to know how to distribute your products or just how to gain ideas on this topic for your own monastery. In this unit, the main definitions are presented and a short overview of the distribution process is made.
Unit 2 provides information about what a distribution channel is, how monasteries sell their products, and gives real examples from current practice of various monasteries illustrating how they are organising their distribution activities.
A monastery should decide, whether it wants to sell its products and services through its own channels (monastery shop, sales people and advertising materials), or should it partner up with other monasteries and non-monastic companies or with intermediaries to use their distribution channels.
Designing a successful distribution strategy requires good networks with various stakeholders as suppliers, supporters, resellers, distributors, promoters, etc. Please look at Module 7 “Value Adding Through Networks” as a valuable source of information on this topic. All your partners should be aware of your sales concept and expectations, including the volunteers who are included in the distribution and sales process.
Distribution channels are a key element of your marketing strategy. They help in making a product or a service available to target customers in different places. By using the proper distribution channels for your monastic products, you can reach maximum potential customers. Effective distribution channels can maximize the revenue for a monastery, and just the opposite – the unplanned distribution with non-effective distribution channels can lead to losses.
After you have learned about the main considerations in choosing a distribution channel in Unit 3, now, you can define what is the best place to distribute your products and who will be your distribution intermediary.