Are you a manufacturer interested in exploring the D2C model of e-commerce? This article is for you. Read on for some helpful information that will help you consider your options and choose the right e-commerce strategy and approach for your manufacturing company.
Download now: D2C E-Commerce in Manufacturing – How a Direct-to-Consumer Model Supports Manufacturing
How can D2C e-commerce benefit your company?
The main and obvious benefit is higher profit margins by selling directly to customers at a price closer to retail prices. This is certainly a great incentive in and of itself, but there are more reasons for manufacturers to adopt D2C e-commerce.
- Increase customer loyalty: Manufacturers considering D2C have the opportunity to provide customers with more competitive prices than retailers, while maintaining greater profit margins than wholesale. This is a win-win for both customers and manufacturers.
- Deeper Customer Insights: By having a direct relationship with your customers, you can get comprehensive data and gain insights you wouldn’t have had access to without D2C. By taking control of the entire customer experience online, you can learn first-hand what works and how to innovate for the future.
- Promote your brand: Take full control of your brand and deliver the kinds of customer experiences that keep customers coming back – like personalized promotions and useful content. Expand your brand awareness and sales with better online visibility and SEO.
- Increase sales: With close relationships with customers, you can customize and target your marketing activities. This enables you to fine tune your conversion funnel, increase sales, and achieve revenue growth.
What are the main challenges of D2C?
Thanks in large part to retail giants like
Do you have the right technology? A mature and comprehensive e-commerce solution designed to support manufacturers is a must. To reduce the complexity of e-commerce, you will need to consider a solution that can meet both a typical retail scenario, as well as a B2B wholesale scenario with more complex requirements, to keep your solution management and integrations reasonable. Ultimately, your manufacturing company will benefit from both end consumers and B2B wholesale buyers who place orders through your e-commerce platform.
Are you ready to expand and improve your services? To get the full benefits of D2C, you need to retool and rethink your sales, marketing, and service resources. For example, you will need to launch digital marketing initiatives that are customer centric and a unified experience across all channels. Your sales department will now need to be oriented towards your end users and your brand experience, and your service department will need to manage customer support.
Can you compete with new players and markets? D2C creates new battlegrounds for winning customers. Some former channel partners may now become competitors. An expanded online presence also means access to new markets and new competition.
Top 5 D2C Manufacturing Considerations
Now that you understand the biggest advantages and challenges of D2C e-commerce, what else do you need to consider as a manufacturer?
The transition from a traditional manufacturing business to a D2C business model is a major change and requires careful planning. Before you start your digital transformation, you should consider these five critical elements.
1. Investing in technology
D2C requires a large technology infrastructure including an e-commerce solution designed for your end customer and sales model. Additionally, you will need to integrate a customer data platform that supports the entire customer experience.
2. Determine potential channel conflict
When you open a D2C sales channel in addition to your traditional distribution channels, you will be competing with retailers and distributors who already have experience selling your products to end consumers. You will need to invest in additional sales and marketing strategies to gain visibility across existing channels such as brick-and-mortar stores and online marketplaces.
3. Height to meet customer expectations
Customers expect an elegant web presence and a well-designed purchasing process. Oh, and they also expect you to have a deep understanding of their needs, high quality products and short delivery times. This puts pressure on the seller, in this case the manufacturer, not just to create great products, but to create great experiences.
4. Integration plan
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5. Implementation to achieve success
Choosing the right ecommerce solution for your D2C goals is important but doesn’t make sense unless your ecommerce partner can successfully set you up and running. Invest in technology backed by a team experienced in the unique requirements of manufacturing.
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For more information on the benefits and challenges of D2C e-commerce for manufacturers, download our white paper,
Download the white paper – D2C eCommerce in Manufacturing