It is difficult to generalize about the channels and means of distribution worldwide because so little standardization exists. Modern channels exits in some areas of the world, including selected urban pockets in some of the developing nations. An extension or adaptation of domestic practices may be effective in such cases. However, other nations maintain what seem to be rather archaic and economically inefficient systems.
Typically, the exporting firm must be concerned with adapting to the existing distribution structure of each nation. As an example, a San Francisco French Translation Services company recalled a client that tried to sell its cosmetics in France that didn’t use perfumers – small local retailers specializing in cosmetics who typically dictate French opinion on such matters. The American cosmetics company thought it could sell to larger chain stores. The perfumers, however, were resentful of this snub by the Americans and managed to turn French opinion against the American brand.
Variations such as this exist in the channel structures, the nature of retail outlets and distribution systems. In According to Cincinnati Japanese Translation workers, Proctor and Gamble must sell through a complex network of five types of wholesalers before their products even get to the retail level.
In many markets overseas, small specialty retailers exist. According to numerous Language Translation and Marketing Localization consultants, prices may be quite high, and bargaining is expected. Food products are often purchased in quantities for consumption that day, so large packages do not sell well. People simply do not have the storage or the refrigeration space to keep foods for any length of time so retailers perform this function.
The total logistics systems must be considered as well. Domestically produced products often must be shipped several times. First the domestic producer must ship the products to some dock or overseas shipping point. The goods must then be shipped from that point to another point of foreign entry. From there, they are shipped to either a regional warehouse or the foreign nation for which they are intended. Finally, the goods must be shipped to whatever type of unit may eventually sell the product. In addition, roads are not always well constructed overseas, airlines are usually concentrated in urban centers; rail systems may or may not exist and ports are not always capable of handling sizable amounts of cargo. Many differences in usage exist for these reasons.
However, more effective and efficient international distribution channels are evolving. The impact of free trade area is increasing, as is international activity in many areas. The impact of free trade areas is increasing as is international activity in many areas. Some of this activity is due to government intervention aimed at encouraging and stimulating economic growth.