How to Distribute to Seattle
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America.
With a 2020 population of 783,137, it is the 18th largest city in the United States. Seattle is currently growing at a rate of 2.50% annually, and its population has increased by 28.67% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 608,660 in 2010. Spanning over 142 miles, Seattle has a population density of 9,338 people per square mile.
There is considerable prosperity in Seattle as the average income and poverty rate are better than many American cities. The average household income in Seattle is $119,707, with a poverty rate of 11.79%. This is not surprising as Seattle and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city’s largest employers.
With the population nearing 800,000, an encouraging growth rate, and one of the highest minimum wages in North America, it is crystal clear that Seattle is very promising for any type of product distributed to the city – everyday commodity or upscale items.
To fully understand the distribution of products to Seattle, it may help to look at the areas in Seattle and how to distribute to them. These areas make up Seattle. While doing this, we shall also look at the direct and indirect methods of distribution.
Distribution to North Seattle
North Seattle comprises Broadview, Crown Hill, Bitter Lake, Blue Ridge, Greenwood, Northgate, Lake City, Wedgwood, Blue Ridge, and Sand Point. North Seattle is a large area that will require a lot of work to fully navigate. This is why many manufacturers outsource the distribution of products to distributors. This is the indirect method of distribution.
Distributors take the stress off manufacturers. They have the resources and expertise to enter remote areas manufacturers can’t. With this, the manufacturer does not have to worry about inventory and logistics. Those become major points of concern for the distributor. And the distributor ensures that all these are catered for.
Manufacturers focus on product development while distributors focus on distribution networks. They understand well enough to know which area is most fitting for certain types of products. As an advantage, distributors forge long-term relationships with retailers. This makes it easy to introduce new products and follow up sales. With these data, they know which products and brands sell better in a particular area. Thus, they can concentrate effort and resources in the right places.
Distribution to Ballard
Ballard comprises West Woodland, Whittier Heights, Adams, Sunset Hill, and Loyal Heights. You could use the direct method of distribution to penetrate these areas. This is by going directly to retailers. This can seem daunting, but it is not impossible.
Targeting retailers by niche and geographical locations have been made easy through retail associations. Retail associations have retailers in a particular region as members. This allows you to network and establish direct relationships with retailers.
Though we have more general retail associations than niche retail associations, many are based on the type of products they sell. The advantages of going directly to retailers are:
- As a manufacturer, you’re closer to the final consumers. You can easily gather data about reactions, suggestions, and opinions to improve the product.
- You get inventory data easily and smoothly as you’re in direct touch with the retailer.
- More, warranty and other consumer benefits are easier to claim.
Distribution to Belltown
Belltown is the most densely populated neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. In 2007, CNNMoney named Belltown the best place to retire in the Seattle metro area, calling it “a walkable neighborhood with everything you need.” Belltown is home to Antioch University, Argosy University, City University of Seattle, and the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.
A manufacturer can employ both indirect and direct methods to penetrate this area. To distribute to retailers directly, the manufacturer can network within retail associations such as the Washington Retail Association and the Washington branch of the National Retail Federation. These are general, but members can be narrowed down to Seattle and the products they sell. This way, you can get in direct contact with the retailers.
It is important to note that irrespective of the method of distribution used, marketing should precede. Marketing is essential. Retailers may find it hard to accept products they aren’t sure of. As Belltown is a populated city that also houses some colleges, marketing to this area should take a more targeted approach. The internet and mass media will do a lot to help push the brand message to the prospects.
Things to Note When Distributing to Seattle
The market in Seattle is quite large, with areas and neighborhoods stretching very wide. And as expected, competition is a thing a manufacturer will have to deal with in a large area like this. It will help to set a brand apart by focusing on the unique selling point. This will help it build a sustainable brand following.
The benefit of this cannot be overstated. It is what gets your brand messages out to prospects. You should work to make your marketing well-targeted to your prospects. Being a diverse community of students, seniors, and the middle class, you may want to do more research to learn what works for each group.
Seattle hosts a couple of university communities. This means a big market. It also means that you need to understand how different it is to do business in a community like that. As much as there is a lot of money to be made, you should study them well to know what gets their attention.