When it comes to shopping online, the line between brands, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers isn’t as bright as it used to be. In recent years, due to the growing digital maturity of organizations at every level of the supply chain, one of the fastest growing segments in eCommerce includes manufacturers and wholesalers looking for ways to work around and through their channel partners, and sell direct-to-consumer.
Meanwhile, customers are also growing more sophisticated than ever before. With access to pricing data, reviews, and the ability to order almost anything, at any time of day, it’s no wonder they are starting to expect more from the brands they love. They’re starting to plan their customer experience to be a seamless, online and off, whether through the web, mobile, social or beyond.
Beyond the fact that retail is in a tailspin, there are many great reasons for a solid B2B2C digital commerce strategy. In this post, we’ll explore a few.
- Customers expect it. In a recent report prepared by Digital Clarity Group1, I learned that slightly over half (52%) of consumers are already visiting manufacturers’ websites intending to make a purchase, and a third of those actually would prefer to buy from the manufacturer.
- Increased sales. In my analysis of Black Friday weekend sales, the National Retail Foundation (NRF) shared that 33% of shoppers participated online only while just under 40% shopped both in-store and online. Only 25% of weekend shoppers went to a physical store exclusively.
- Improved margins. According to that same DCG report1, one vendor interviewed reported seeing increases among customers from 50% to as high as 400%. Depending on the product category, net margin dollars per unit doubles with D2C.
- Less dependence on retail partners. The Retail Apocalypse is devastating many traditional sellers, and there is tremendous uncertainty around a few dominant big-box stores. The time couldn’t be better to reduce dependence on old channel partners by investing in your capabilities.
- More control of the customer experience. In the era of accelerating change, customers expectations for the experience they have with your brand are continually evolving. Meeting your end-consumer customers earlier in the journey they take with your brand means you can control their experience and ensure it lives up to the quality of your products and services.
- The technology is better than ever Episerver digital commerce platform has been cited by Gartner and others as an excellent solution for large mid-market, small enterprise, or a large enterprise with independent divisions looking to develop a robust B2B2C digital commerce strategy. We’ve helped organizations make the D2C pivot while maintaining a healthy relationship with their channel partners with a custom designed solution built on Episerver’s cloud-based solution.
If you’re thinking about direct-to-consumer eCommerce for your brand, we’d love to talk. Luminos Labs has helped many brands with the planning, experience design, and technology implementation necessary to succeed. Don’t hesitate to contact us. There’s no cost or expectations associated with initial consultations.
1 A Brand Manufacturer’s Guide to Direct-to-Consumer E-Commerce by Jill Finger Gibson – Link