eCommerce has made it possible for manufacturers to sell their products directly to consumers easily without the help of a third party.
Experts estimate eCommerce sales worldwide to hit more than $6 trillion by 2024 and as eCommerce continues to grow, new trends such as Direct to Consumer (DTC) businesses are gaining popularity.
Online shoppers are skipping suppliers and retailers and building deeper customer relationships while also growing their brands. If you’re thinking about trying DTC ecommerce, the first thing you need to do is find a leading DTC consultant.
Keep reading to learn more about direct to consumer eCommerce.
Why are Businesses Going Direct to Consumer?
In Direct to consumer eCommerce (DTC or D2C), brands sell their products directly to their end customers without any help from a third-party business such as a wholesaler or retailer. As more customers continue buying items online, they prefer going straight to the source and businesses have also taken advantage of this to leverage a DTC model.
DTC helps businesses have better control of their profitability. This is because they can control the entire process, from manufacturing to retailing. DTC also allows brands to offer competitive prices because their margins are higher.
That said, there are several advantages of selling directly to consumers. Some of them include:
1. Improved Relationships with Customers
When brands do not have a direct relationship with their clients, the middlemen act like a veil between the manufacturer and consumer. DTC allows manufacturers to relate directly with their consumers.
With DTC, manufacturers can collect feedback directly from the customers, their phone numbers, and email addresses and market to them or handle their complaints directly.
Manufacturers can also leverage social media marketing, build brand awareness, encourage word of mouth and user-generated content. With DTC, a business can build a better total experience, make purchasing goods easier, and offer fast delivery.
2. Own Customer Data
Customer data is crucial to the growth of any business. Since DTC allows businesses to contact their consumers directly, they will have full control and feedback on customer buying trends.
With this information, they will know how to accurately map the customer journey and tell which products are on demand. The business will also get market data in real-time and tell what’s trending among consumers.
3. More Control over Customer Experience
Since the manufacturer is in charge of their customer’s entire journey, they will have more control over their experience. With customer feedback and data, manufacturers can build a shopping experience that fits an ideal customer profile.
DTC also allows businesses to be more flexible with their marketing strategy, making it easier for customers to reach out and have a quick and accurate response.
Challenges Facing DTC Businesses
This business model adds new processes to an already complicated wholesaler-retailer relationship. Some of the challenges in the process include:
1. Lack of Tech
By nature, running an ecommerce business will require a lot of investment in technology. Ecommerce businesses have to build their online presence across all digital channels and provide shoppers with a rich brand experience.
If a manufacturer is new to ecommerce, they will have to leverage SaaS platforms to offer friendly payment methods and more. This may also mean overhauling the back-office tech stack.
2. Handling Business Operations
In a DTC process a manufacturer will have to take up the role of handling smaller purchases, packaging individual orders, creating and maintaining digital channels and the ecommerce storefront, processing and shipping orders, handling returns, and more. This transition can be challenging.
As such, working with a DTC consultant can help businesses avoid these challenges and have a smooth transition to DTC ecommerce.
How to Get Started with DTC
DTC ecommerce is growing, and several enterprising manufacturers are leveraging this opportunity. If you want to join the world of DTC, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Choose Everyday Products
Selling products that consumers use every day rather than selling a novelty product can pay off faster in DTC. This is because the need for an everyday product is already established and this gives you the freedom to innovate the selling process instead of building a new one.
2. Work With Influencers
One of the best ways of reaching your target audience is leveraging influencers. Influencers have an already existing audience that you can take advantage of. The trick is to choose an influence that resonates with your target audience.
3. Encourage Customer Feedback and Reviews
Customer reviews play a major role in building trust with new customers. People want to read the stories, experiences, opinions of other customers with a brand. This influences their buying decision. Encouraging your customers to submit reviews and feedback can also increase your Return on Investment (ROI)
4. Offer an Easy Return Policy
Several customers shy away from shopping online because of a complicated return process. Though it may be challenging to communicate the value of a product to a customer who can’t experience the product before buying it, having a customer-friendly return policy will encourage the customer to buy it.
5. Have Creative Making Ideas
You need to have a robust value proposition then tell your brands clearly and concisely across various channels. Some of the creative ideas you can utilize are content marketing, email marketing, SEO strategies, social media marketing, video marketing, and more.
6. Work With a DTC Consultant
Though DTC has several benefits to offer businesses, it can be challenging to implement. It may be best to work with a leading DTC consultant to ensure a smooth business process.
DTC consultants offer services such as marketplace assessments, brand growth strategy, content strategy, operational and organizational design for a performance-based model, customer insights and analytics, and more.
The right consultant will help your business build the right mindset and establish performance-based growth activities, a customer-centric approach, and ensure you foster a good direct consumer relationship.
To Sum It Up
It’s no secret that the future of shopping is online, and that future is now. If you want to leverage DTC ecommerce, speak to a DTC consultant and learn how to implement this process.