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The distribution for the Chromebook computers should be based on the traditional channels. It is not an expenditure product, so customers are not likely to buy a Chromebook spontaneously. Chromebooks may require future hardware and software maintenance, which is not always easy to conduct in foreign countries. They would be best distributed through the three channels, including retail networks, distributors, and the Internet.
Retailers are one of the most used elements of distribution channels. The Google corporation acting as a producer may reach retailers either directly, or through a distributor. Retailers would be the ones who connect directly with customers. Currently, the corporation sells its products through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot. If Google interferes with retailer networks skipping distributors, it will have a better opportunity to get customer feedback. This channel is also beneficial for the sales process. Potential customers who do not have an idea of which computer to buy may search the store and ask for a consultant’s help. They might end up with buying the Chromebook even if they did not plan on it at the beginning. However, there is a risk that consultants will not promote Chromebooks due to their personal attitude to this product.
Cooperation with distributors may become beneficial regarding the market expansion. Distributors may work with dealers and retailers, who cannot afford to work with the producer directly. The distributors’ role is identified as “the ability to provide products on demand, saving or minimizing the stocking burden on the part of its customers” (Dent 26). Not all retailers have the possibility to store large amounts of computers or pay for them in advance. For instance, Google can make a deal with the Ingram Micro corporation, one of the leading distributors of computers and technologies in the world. It will be fully the responsibility of Ingram Micro to ensure the product quality to its customers.
The dealer network would be the second step after the distributors. It would benefit Google by helping to promote the Chromebook computers and support the company’s image. Dealers are responsible for supporting the final customers with services like computer maintenance, warranty repair, software installing, etc. Google will benefit from the scheme since dealers can work in any part of the world and it will give an opportunity to sell Chromebooks in other countries where it finds hard to operate directly.
Currently, Google has an option of buying Chromebooks through its website (“Chromebooks”). The feature is available to customers located in the USA only. This channel may be useful in several ways. Firstly, the company acquires a better understanding of the client behavior. It can trace the amount of time spent on each page, detecting features that were the most appealing to viewers. Secondly, Google may analyze the buyers’ geography by tracking orders. Finally, it can receive feedback directly from the end customers. Google is currently working on expanding the list of countries where Chromebooks could be purchased online. However, this may result in difficulties regarding shipment expenses and local tax policies on imported products.
Traditional channels such as retailers, distributors, and the Internet would be the choices for Chromebook sales. Some of them provide opportunities for receiving the customer feedback, while others use their own client base to promote the computers. Although the e-commerce is rapidly developing, Internet purchases are not available to the entire audience, so the corporation must distribute Chromebooks through offline stores as well.
“Chromebooks.” Google Store. Google Inc., 2016, Web.
Dent, Julian. Technology Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market. Kogan Page Limited, 2014.