In the past, B2B companies only sold to one target group: the business market. Over the years, technology improves and distances get smaller. And so today we can go more than one traditional route: it's getting easier to skip middlemen. Increasingly, B2B companies are deploying direct-to-consumer eCommerce. Direct-to-consumer (D2C or DTC) means selling directly from the (brand) manufacturer to the consumer, without using a retailer, wholesaler or other point of sale. Not only does D2C strategy reduce supply chain problems, it also improves your customers' brand loyalty. It also increases margins, because you eliminate intermediary(s) from the chain. Reason enough to delve into this model.
eCommerce is moving fast. Boundaries are blurring and customers can purchase from anywhere in the world, right from their own home or office. Where before the wholesaler, distributor or trader were part of the process, you skip these intermediaries with D2C eCommerce. This results in significant savings for both you and the customer. By the way, don't jump straight into the air: an intermediary sounds superfluous, but it doesn't have to be. They perform essential actions to get your product to the customer. Think of storage, logistics, marketing, customer service, etc. If you decide to use the D2C model, these tasks will also become part of your strategy.
Intermediaries compete for the profit share. Because they sell to the end customer, you as a B2B company are forced to keep the price low. This is at the expense of the product's profit margin. If you find a way to take over the duties of an intermediary, you can charge the same final price as he did. In other words, the profit margin goes up.
Those who work with intermediaries hardly get any information back. After all, you only sell to that party and the intermediary does the rest. As a supplier, you do not receive information about prices, why a customer does or does not buy something or what the reason for return is. If you choose to sell directly to the end customer, you will have access to more options. For example, you can use cross- and upselling, use A/B testing or analyze returns to improve your product.
We probably don't need to explain anymore that brand identity is important for customer loyalty. Whoever sells to an intermediary lets go of control over that brand identity little by little. You have no influence on price, promotion and placement. If you sell directly to the end user, you can experiment with the price, offer promotions and decide for yourself how you launch and present a product.
With a traditional sales strategy you only produce the products. An intermediary does the rest. With the D2C model you have more control over all activities: production, packaging, marketing, sales and much more. That means you can offer an omnichannel experience that fits seamlessly with your business.
One size fits all: wouldn't that be ideal? If anything has become clear in recent years, it has been the rapid transformation of eCommerce. We don't know what the future holds and which model best suits a company. Therefore, choose an eCommerce platform that responds to all target groups. For example, a platform that includes a B2B2C model where both B2B and B2C customers can buy from the same store. Here they can buy products in bulk or only as individual variants. With an eCommerce platform for different target groups, you can easily manage different shops from one platform.
Select a platform that integrates easily and flawlessly with other parties. Think of marketplaces such as Google, Amazon or Bol.com. Many online buyers start their search on a marketplace, making this an important channel for brand awareness. A strategy that capitalizes on this uses these channels as a diving board for the D2C channel.
Customers are influenced and convinced through various channels. For example, they see a video ad on their TV and search for your brand on their phone. They are then reminded by, for example, an advertisement on Google. Therefore, choose a platform that can be implemented headless. This offers visual flexibility and contributes to a uniform appearance, both online and offline.
Simply providing information about the product is no longer enough to convince customers. They are looking for useful content. Content that adds value and helps to select the right product they are looking for. Think of videos with product details, knowledge articles, but also related products that are offered through cross-selling. Select a platform that offers the ability to combine product expertise with a product category to increase sales.