What Is Selective Distribution? 6 Pros & 5 Cons, Example

Selective Distribution is a type of distribution strategy that lies and operates between intensive and exclusive distribution.

Mostly furniture, television and home appliance brands are distributed in this manner. In this post we explain the concept of selective distribution and how it helps users navigate to a particular section of your website. 

What Is Selective Distribution?

A corporation chooses which distributors to collaborate with in order to optimize product visibility and sales through selective distribution.

Vertical agreements between firms are controlled by a variety of various block exemption and competition regulations in order to prevent monopolies or other unfair advantages for any one enterprise.

What Is Selective Distribution?

Consider a huge fast food franchise that only gives locations to potential franchisees who meet the parent company’s stringent standards. Consider a prominent online shop that allows chosen vendors who satisfy specific requirements to sell their items on their site.

The Main Types of Distribution Strategies

There are both exclusive and intense dissemination methods. Some characteristics of these two techniques are included into selective distribution, which employs a carefully selected network of distributors.

An exclusive distribution strategy involves a company only selling through its own channels. By preserving its intellectual property rights, the firm is adopting a more careful (and hopefully lucrative) approach to entering new markets.

Assume, for the purpose of argument, that a high-end cosmetics firm chose to avoid utilizing third-party distributors and instead sell only through its own website and retail locations.

What Is Selective Distribution?

However, intense distribution prioritizes network expansion by hiring as many new distributors as possible. As a result, firms will seek to sell their items in as many locations as possible. At each given supermarket or drugstore, you may find a large range of product lines.

What Is the Purpose of Selective Distribution?

Some firms have adopted a “selective distribution” method to better reach consumers in a certain region or group of end users, in which they exclusively offer their products through a restricted number of carefully chosen retail outlets.

The purpose of selective distribution agreements is to combine the advantages of exclusive and intense strategies by combining their smaller and broader ranges.

Companies concerned with quality should explore this mode of distribution since it allows them to focus on satisfying the needs of consumers in a specific geographic region. As a result, many high-end item companies exclusively distribute their products to a select group of people.

Luxury brands that produce high-end garments and accessories frequently use selective distribution.

What Is Selective Distribution?

For example, if you’re shopping for Dolce & Gabbana products, Neiman Marcus may be a better option than JC Penney or Wal-Mart. This is done to regulate quality and closely monitor suppliers.

The term “exclusive distribution” refers to an extreme kind of selection distribution. A particular region will typically have no more than two distributors.

This distribution method is also commonly utilized to sell branded televisions, appliances, and furniture.

6 Advantages of Selective Distribution

There are various benefits to utilizing a selective distribution strategy. Three of its potential advantages are as follows:

1. Reduced costs

Selective distribution of your company’s products may be significantly less expensive than wide distribution. Because you won’t be putting up as much effort to sell, you may be able to save money by reducing your target rather than attempting to reach as many individuals as possible.

2. Targeted marketing

By building personal contacts with local suppliers, select distributors may acquire insight into the best techniques of advertising in each location. Having a great working relationship with these distributors may have a big influence on your company’s bottom line.

3. Wider availability

Gaining a higher market share at the expense of competitors is more difficult for exclusive distributors than for selective distributors. By strategically putting your items in the correct chains and independent outlets, you might get increased customer reach and sales potential.

Strategic distribution allows businesses to attain broad market penetration at a low cost. This option gives both new and existing businesses the ability to test the waters to see whether it helps their bottom line.

What Is Selective Distribution?

Customers may expect higher quality goods across the board because the company carefully picks a few important wholesalers. Another aspect that manufacturers should scrutinize is the distribution procedure.

This reduces the possibility of errors, which leads to more satisfied clients.

Manufacturers may quickly establish strong relationships with channel members since they only have to maintain a small number of retail locations. Most successful companies aspire to increase brand recognition by improving internal cooperation and communication.

5 Disadvantages of Selective Distribution

Every marketing strategy has advantages and disadvantages. Three possible disadvantages of selective distribution models are listed below:

1. Dilution of premium status

If maintaining a premium image for the brand is crucial, selective distributors may suffer more than those that adopt an exclusive distribution model. The value of a luxury item is determined by its scarcity; therefore, allowing more stores to sell it lowers the price per unit.

2. Less control

Following the implementation of a selective approach, you may discover that you have less control over specific aspects of your distribution network. This gives third parties, such as merchants and franchisees, the potential to alter how customers perceive your brand.

What Is Selective Distribution?

3. Loss of some sales

While intensive distribution has a larger sales potential owing to its extent, selective distribution tries to attain optimal market coverage through a more controlled approach. If you limit the distribution of your things to a small number of sites, less individuals will notice them than if you used a more thorough and aggressive strategy.

You may not be able to increase market penetration with products given through selective distribution due to restricted availability. However, the answers to such questions are dependent on the goals of the organization.

A disagreement with a distributor might result in significant losses. Businesses must ensure that there are no misconceptions and that any differences are resolved swiftly in such a circumstance.

Companies who conduct rigorous market research may get the most out of their efforts. This allows them to determine what form of distribution plan works best for their items.

Businesses can use a distribution strategy to select the best retailers to stock their items in based on where their consumers reside.

What Is Selective Distribution?

It’s also advantageous for businesses since it allows them to adjust their price to the demands of their clients. This eventually leads to a more personalized shopping experience, which keeps customers returning.


In order to find a good balance between product availability, inventory, and storage costs, a middle ground known as selective distribution has arisen.

We use selective distribution when it is not required to stock the items on every store shelf. We now have more leeway in selecting our channels. This has the twin benefit of reducing the time and money spent storing items while also raising their public exposure.

Selective distribution also allows us to more carefully pick the media with whom we partner. Getting our products to market requires consumers to make a modest effort.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Pat Moriarty
Follow me

Leave a Comment