Effects of Channel Distribution Strategy on Customer Satisfaction among the Alcoholic Beverages Distributors in Mombasa County, Kenya
Maina, Peter Macharia
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With the globalization and technological advancement rapidly engulfing the developing economies a lot of changes are taking place in business circles. Local industries are slowly being marginalized by multinational companies and franchised sectors. These trends have not spared local alcoholic beverages manufacturers and distributors. Giant distributors are slowly edging out smaller and medium enterprises because of their bargaining power, product line dominance, price control and their ability to perfect their marketing mix strategies. However, giant companies lackeconomic gripe of geographical and demographical trends in their areas of operations. Customers are so much sophisticated that they mostly dictate what customized products they want and want it delivered at the door-steps. Alcoholic beverage distributors in Mombasa county have not been spared either by these economic surges and thus this study wish to address how they can go round this common denominator-competition, by addressing distribution strategies as means of addressing customer dissatisfaction. The general objective of this study was to analyze the effects of channel distribution strategy on customer satisfaction among the alcoholic beverages distributors in Mombasa County. Specifically, the study sought to:determine the effect of retail distribution strategy on customer satisfaction among the alcoholic beverages distributors in Mombasa County, determine the effect of depot distribution strategy on customer satisfaction among the alcoholic beverages distributors in Mombasa County, establish the effect of online distribution strategy on customer satisfaction among the alcoholic beverages distributors in Mombasa County and to determine the effect of direct distribution strategy on customer satisfaction among the alcoholic beverages distributors in Mombasa County. The study was guided by Theory of distribution channel, Depot theory and System theory. The target population was545 distributors, retailers, wholesalers and bars owners in MombasaCounty who were also the respondents. The study adopted a stratified sampling technique to select the sample. The strata consisted of distributors, wholesalers, retailers and bar owners. Once the strata were established, simple random sampling was used to pick respondents fr+om each stratum. The total number of respondents was 225.The study used questionnaires, containing both open ended and closed ended questions to obtain primary data.The questionnaires wereself-administered. The instruments were pretested with a sample of 22 respondents which was 10% of the sample. The reliability of the instrument was estimated using Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient. This research undertook a content validity technique and a pilot viii test was done by administering the instrument to ensure congruence between field objections and the phenomena being researched. This ensured that all facets under the study were well covered. For research data analysis and presentation, data was collected, edited and coded to ensure consistence. Descriptive statistics including the means and standard deviations were used to analyze the data and capture the characteristics of the variables under the study. Inferential statistics were used to test the nature and magnitude of the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Simple regression and Pearson’s correlations was computed to determine the nature and the strength of the relationship among the variables. The analyzed data was presented in form of tables and charts.The study concluded thatretail distribution strategy, depot distribution strategy, online distribution strategy and personal distribution strategy have an active and direct role in customer satisfaction.Based on the research findings, the study recommends that the alcoholic beverages sector should focus on customer satisfaction by adopting appropriate distribution strategies. Also, the study recommends that distributors of alcoholic beverages should choose a distribution strategy that bests satisfies their customers. Further, the study recommends that distributors of alcoholic beverages should use a combination of more than one distribution strategy. This will help to improve the service provision to the customers.