How to Distribute to Austin
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of Texas. It is the second-most-populous state capital city (after Phoenix, Arizona). With a 2020 population of 988,218, it is the 4th largest city in Texas (after Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas) and the 11th largest city in the United States. Austin is currently growing at a rate of 1.23% annually, and its population has increased by 25.03% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 790,390 in 2010. Spanning over 327 miles, Austin has a population density of 3,089 people per square mile.
Being a capital city, Austin enjoys relative prosperity. The average household income in Austin is $97,331, with a poverty rate of 14.48%. This makes it attractive for normal and upscale products. More, a lot of money comes in from multinational corporations headquartered in it. Thus, Austin is a green market for trade.
Distributing products to Austin can take a direct or indirect approach. The type of product for sale, of course, matters. Notwithstanding, the two most popular distribution methods can work well for the Austin Market. These two will be considered when looking at the areas within Austin.
To fully understand the distribution of products to Austin, one may need to look at the areas in the capital city. An insight into distribution in these areas will help to understand the bigger environment.
Distributing Products to Central Austin
This area encompasses communities such as Bryker Woods, Clarksville Historic District, Caswell, Heights, Downtown Austin, Eastwoods, Hancock, Heritage, Hyde Park Historic District, Judge’s Hill, Lower Waller Creek, North University, Oakmont Heights, Old Enfield, Old Pecan Street, Old West Austin, Original Austin, Original West University, Pemberton Heights, Rosedale, Ridgelea, Ridgetop, Shoal Crest, Shadow Lawn Historic District, West Downtown.
Central Austin comprises the city’s downtown and central neighborhood. And it is a large area. Penetrating this area may be daunting due to the many districts, but it is not impossible. Many distributors have mapped out this area and are distributing products to the retailers here.
The job of a distributor is to get products into stores. To do this, the distributor has to forge several business relationships with retailers. The distributor needs to understand the distribution network. She also needs to study consumer behavior and patterns in the area. They may not like certain products due to popularly-held ideals and principles. Moreover, some products may not sell because they may be too upscale. Whichever way it is, a distributor’s job to understand the distribution area.
And this is why manufacturers use them a lot. In a large area like Central Austin, distributors can help get your products to the shelves. It is an indirect method of distribution, but it is effective. And especially if the product is new – this strategy could be combined with marketing.
The downside to this distribution method is the real-time gathering of inventory data. However, many distributors have found a way around this problem with technology.
Distributing Products to North Central
This area encompasses communities such as Allandale, Balcones Woods, Barrington Oaks, Battle Bend Springs, Brentwood, Crestview, Estates of Brentwood, Hancock, Highland, North Burnet, North Campus, North Lamar, North Loop, North Shoal Creek, Saint John, and Wooten.
North Central is largely residential – all the communities are residential communities. Targeting this market may require working with a distributor or going directly to the retailers.
Going directly to the retailers as a manufacturer is the direct method of distribution. You have to think about shipping, inventory tracking, packaging, and many other factors. However, as a benefit, you get real-time inventory data. You also get consumer feedback easily due to the proximity you have with the final consumer. This is one of the benefits Tesla enjoys by handling its own product distribution.
To get to retailers directly – especially in a particular area – you may have to target them by location. You can network within retailers’ associations. These are geographically based. You can easily connect with the people there to discuss the possibility of distributing your products to their stores.
A very expansive retailers’ association in Austin is the Texas Retailers Association. This association covers almost every – if not every – aspect of retail trade in Texas. You can narrow down retailers by their location and niche in this association.
Distributing Products to South Central
South Central comprises communities such as Barton Creek, Barton Hills, Bouldin Creek, Dawson, Galindo, South Congress, South Lamar, South River City, Travis Heights, and Zilker.
This area is also largely residential. The several neighborhoods that make up the South-Central district can be penetrated through the direct or indirect methods of distribution. Of course, this largely depends on the type of product you’re selling and how much time, effort, and resources you’re willing to invest in distributing the product.
Things to Note When Distributing to Texas
Without marketing, the product only has about a 20% chance at success. I doubt any manufacturer is willing to take that chance. This is why you need to invest in marketing. And your marketing has to be specific and well-targeted.
Despite the mass usage of ad blockers, people still see ads. You can employ both the mass and internet media in reaching your target audience.
Large Area – Diverse Communities
There are a lot of neighborhoods in Austin. Therefore, it is advisable to approach several retailers in the area. And this is why retail associations are helpful. Here, you can easily network and get connected to a wide range of retailers in the area.
Laws and Codes
Looking at the expansive area Austin covers, you may want to be aware of the laws and codes that govern products in each area – if there are any.