Direct Channel (Zero Level)
A direct channel of distribution describes a situation in which the producer sells a product directly to a consumer without the help of intermediaries. This is also called direct selling. The most easy and the straight mode of distribution is direct distribution, where in the commodities are made directly obtainable by the manufacturers to clientele, without involving any intermediary. This is also called zero level channel.
A directly and straight relationship is established between the producer and the consumer. For example, when a manufacturer sells his goods through his own retail outlets (e.g., KFC, Hush puppies); it is referred to as direct channel. Similarly, mail order selling, internet selling and selling through own sales force, (e.g., Amazon) are example of direct selling or zero level channel.
Advantage of selling through direct channels
- It is simple and fast.
- It is economical.
- The producer has full control over distribution.
- Satisfies the desire to reduce dependence on middle men.
- Cash sales.
Disadvantages of selling through direct channels
- Non-availability of expert services of middle man.
- Large investment is required.
- Unsuitable for small producers.