If you’ve been following our eCommerce blog recently, you’ll know that direct to consumer (D2C) commerce is rapidly gaining popularity in the retail and eCommerce world. Is your manufacturing business ready to jump on the bandwagon and join the hype? Find out with these 7 questions to ask before going D2C.
Recap – what is D2C?
If you’re already au fait with the definition of D2C, then you can skip on to the next section. If not, then read on.
D2C stands for direct to consumer and is the process of manufacturers and CPG brands selling directly to consumers.
This cuts out the middle people (wholesalers, distributors and retailers) and brings benefits such as profits, control and data. You can read more about D2C and the future of retail in our handy guide here.
7 questions to ask before going D2C
Whether you’re looking to go sole-D2C or you’re thinking of implementing a D2C strategy to supplement your existing wholesale arrangements, it’s crucial that you’re ready.
While D2C is pitched as the easy way to start selling online and generating profits, it’s an entirely different way of conducting business. Therefore some initial preparation is required.
To find out if you’re ready, answer these seven simple questions:
1. Do you have a plan?
It’s great having the passion and enthusiasm to take your business D2C, but without a plan, that enthusiasm may soon fade. Create a realistic and detailed plan of how you intend to execute your D2C strategy and go from selling online to profiting.
2. Are you operationally ready?
Dealing with wholesalers and retailers, you’ll be highly experienced in bulk shipping, large-scale warehousing, and possibly freight forwarding. But how ready are you to handle and perfect these operations on a smaller scale? Will you offer free shipping, use a 3PL and provide next-day deliveries?
3. How will you manage your retail partners?
If you plan to run a hybrid business of wholesaler/retail and D2C sales, how will your existing retail partners feel about the change? Will you make arrangements not to undercut them, sell only exclusive products D2C or share relevant consumer data with them?
4. Where will you sell?
Having your own website is a great place to start, but that isn’t necessarily where all the action will be to begin with. While you’re educating customers about the ability to buy directly from you, will you be using sales channel(s) such as Amazon and eBay to get the wheels turning?
5. How will you manage a hybrid model?
Running a hybrid sales strategy will take more than just two teams to run it. You’ll need to consider how you’ll integrate your ERP system, 3PL, inventory software and different sales channel(s), and whether D2C eCommerce management software can help.
6. How will you generate sales?
While you may already have experience marketing your brand to consumers, do you have a plan of how you’ll market yourself as a sales channel, create the customer journey and, importantly, compete against your retail partners?
And the final question…
7. Do you want to go D2C?
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to too. If you’re unsure about your readiness to tackle the consumer market, or whether you want to do it at all, have you thought about a small-scale trial?
If you’d like to know more about how Expandly can help prepare you for D2C commerce, get in touch with our specialist D2C team today.