Manufacturers, in general, must work with wholesalers and distributors to help their businesses reach a broader audience, manage the complexities of contracting product distribution, and effectively scale their business. However, as the barriers to reaching the end consumer and distribution continue to collapse, manufacturers should consider engaging a direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel for selling some of their products.
Adding the ability to go directly to the end consumer can give manufacturers more control and market protection, especially when building consumer relationships.
Now has never been a better time for manufacturers to introduce D2C ecommerce as more and more of the consumer market shops online, distributors are selling across boundaries, and companies like Amazon can erode your market presence. Other benefits to manufacturers considering selling directly to the consumer include gaining greater control over their pricing, product assortment, end-to-end relationship with consumers, overall customer experience, and opportunities to upsell and cross-sell across their product mix. There are often easy places to start adding a D2C model to your business.
While some manufacturers may be hesitant to add this capability because they don’t want to appear as though they are double dipping into the sales pool and possibly ruin their relationship with distributors and retailers, this article will discuss the many benefits and the need to make this change if you want your business to prosper.
Why Manufacturers Are Making the Switch to Direct-To-Consumer
As the traditional method of doing business for manufacturers is rapidly changing, adding should be done sooner than later to help companies remain relevant and successful. By moving to D2C, manufacturers can directly connect with their consumers in ways they could not before. Also, the additional benefits offered through D2C ecommerce outweigh the dated model of committing solely to distributors to sell products.
Benefits of Selling Directly to Consumers
Some advantages of selling directly to consumers are the increased opportunities for innovation, marketing, increased brand trust and recognition, and opportunities to move inventory such as custom or short-run and discontinued products.
Opportunity for Innovation
D2C allows manufacturers to launch and test new products, such as targeting sales to specific demographics to gain more insights into how their consumers feel about their products, buying habits, and more. Manufacturers can understand what their consumers want and then focus on making products that sell the best based on their customers' wants.
Custom, Short Run, and Discontinued Product Sales
Many distributors will focus on a particular line of products, especially those high-volume or high-profit items. This leaves those custom or short-run products and even products discontinued on the shelf unsold. Lastly, a great place to start is parts for older products that consumers and end users may need help finding to keep your product in service.
Offering the full range of product lines to consumers, from varied sizes, colors, designs, and more, makes it far less likely that a consumer will go to a competitor for the product. Plus, it allows them to discover and explore products they may have yet to realize were available from their favorite brand.
Marketing and Branding
In today’s digital age, selling directly to consumers helps manufacturers connect with them. D2C allows manufacturers to control their branding experience, from product packaging to messaging and consumer communication. Once marketing strategies have been enacted, be sure your business can support customer service expectations, from quick and easy shipping to fast customer service department response time.
Increased Brand Trust and Recognition
If a manufacturer has the business infrastructure to support a direct-to-consumer offering, they will have more autonomy in supporting and providing their consumers with D2C. By working with consumers from the first visit to purchase on their website, manufacturers can establish strong relationships with consumers, building brand trust and loyalty.
Taking Your B2B Company to the Next Level
Companies must be more willing to expand and adapt, as remaining in the traditional business model can harm their growth or open the manufacturer to be replaced throughout the distribution channel. Adding a D2C channel for certain parts of your product line allows companies to be more competitive and thrive in the modern marketplace.
If you are a manufacturer interested in adding a D2C channel, ROC Commerce can help you build a dynamic and compelling site with personalization and targeting tailored to your consumer's needs while also providing the ability to deliver all your B2B requirements should you wish to harmonize on one platform which is also recommended. ROC Commerce maximizes every visit to your website with marketing and personalization capabilities.