direct selling/marketing

direct selling/marketing

a method of selling and buying goods and services that enables a supplier to sell direct to the final customer without the need for traditional ‘middlemen’ - wholesalers and retailers. Direct selling can be undertaken through catalogues (see MAIL ORDER) or by ‘clip-out’ coupons in newspapers, but increasingly it is being undertaken by telephone sales (e.g. telephone banking and insurance) and through e-commerce (INTERNET sales). Direct selling can provide firms with an effective means of tapping into a mass market; it can reduce BARRIERS TO ENTRY so that some small firms can offer their products alongside big-name companies; and by eliminating the ‘middleman’, selling costs and prices can be lowered, conferring COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. Apart from lower prices, another attraction for customers is the convenience of being able to ‘shop’ from home rather than having to visit a retail outlet.
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