The delivery of the services can be ensured by using any of the below-mentioned combinations of the distribution channels:
1. Agents and Brokers: These are the wholesalers who do not have the title of the products.
In return for their services, a commission or fee is being paid to them, and they are mainly the agents, purchasing agents, selling agents, and facilitating agents of manufacturers and service providers.
i. Services Providers Agents: These are the agents who provide the services to two or more non-competing and closely related service creators in a certain geographic location.
For example, a travel agent who deals on behalf of Jet Airways and books the tickets for the travelers of Jet Airways for a fee or commission. Along with Jet Airways, he can also work as a tour operator for providing the tour related services.
ii. Selling Agents: Selling agents are the agents who provide the complete range of services of a service provider and are responsible for the marketing activities of these services, which are mentioned in the contractual agreement.
They have the exclusive rights of negotiating on behalf of the service provider. Without owning the title of the products, they can act as a wholesaler. They offer their services mainly to small firms. For example, tour packages.
iii. Purchasing Agents: These agents have long-term associations with the customers and are responsible for judging and buying the services on behalf of them.
They have adequate knowledge and provide useful information to the clients and in-return obtain the best possible prices and services. Most of the firms and individuals hire purchasing agents for finding out rare jewelry, art, antiques.
iv. Facilitating Agents: They are mainly used in marketing activities by offering expertise and different types of supports like risk-taking, financial services, or transportation services.
There is no particular association of the brokers with any specific service providers.
They have expertise in certain fields and provide an interference point so that buyers and sellers can negotiate with each other.
In a certain metropolitan area, a broker may deal with several non-competing service providers. These brokers offer their services, mostly in food and financial services.
2. Franchising: Franchising is one of the most widely used methods for facilitating services. The franchiser, the franchisee, and the customers are the main parties involved in this process.
This class is mainly dominated by the ‘business format franchising’. A lot of success is seen in these kinds of franchising arrangement in India, particularly in the areas of restaurants and hotels (McDonald’s), health clubs and fitness centers (Fitness First), photographic development and printing services (Fotofast), tuition and coaching classes (Career Launcher), computer training institutes (Uptech and NET), etc.
3. Electronic Channels: The only field which does not need any kind of direct human interaction is the electronic channels.
In fact, some kinds of pre-designed services such as information, entertainment, or education will be required.
Telephone, television channels, internet, web, etc., are the services which are known to most of the masses, and there might be several other types of electronic mediums which are still developing.
Multimedia libraries and databases, interactive news and music, interactive, network-based games, movies on demand, banking and financial services, desktop video conferencing, distance learning, and so on are the most popular services which are being offered by electronic channels.