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What's It Mean To Be "Direct to Consumer"?

What's It Mean To Be
Bill Madl June 15, 2018

In the last two decades, the revolution of online, direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales has disrupted the marketplace. As more consumers opt for the “buy now” button over the store shelf, businesses must adjust their systems in order to keep up. And to have an edge over the competition, they must innovate all the more.

There’s No Going Back

It’s safe to say that the DTC model is not a passing fad. While the “Amazon Effect” has certainly made online shopping the norm, resulting in vanishing malls and brick-and-mortar shops, people are looking for more direct, personal experiences with companies and their products. According to Bringg Logistics, “. . .almost half (48 percent) of manufacturers are racing to build Direct-to-Consumer channels, with almost all of them (87 percent) seeing these channels as relevant to their products and consumers.”

For the consumer, it’s not just about getting a box on their doorstep while wearing pajamas. It’s about feeling connected.

Changing Up the Supply Chain

DTC sales have changed the supply chain in significant ways. Companies that have sent large shipments to retail shops for decades are now finding themselves scrambling to send smaller packages out to individual consumers. As a result, manufacturers are connecting with more business partners and more closely communicating directly with transportation companies and delivery fleets while increasing their number of fulfillment locations.

These are exciting, yet difficult changes. As businesses focus on the old metrics that made their company successful in the past, they find themselves falling behind despite their best efforts. Evolving processes, shifting deadlines, and changing consumer expectations and relationships as the individual replaces the retailer, can add up to a certain level of...stress.

New Opportunities

But there’s a good side to so many changes. According to a 2015 Forrester report, “an overwhelming 72% of brand manufacturers believe that ‘building a closer relationship directly with the customer’ is a critical benefit of DTC.” In other words, today’s uncharted territory can become tomorrow’s profit.

Here’s why: when transitioning to ecommerce with a direct-to-consumer product, a business must differentiate themselves from the pack as they find a pathway into the current industry. One of the most direct and cost effective ways to differentiate is through packaging and distribution. By targeting delivery, packaging, and the entire “unboxing experience” directly to the consumer, the business has more control–and the ability to offer a personal touch.

With increasing direct-to-consumer expectations, you need a product that looks, feels, and delivers differently. For more information about how you can improve packaging and fulfillment to meet the demands of today’s–and tomorrow’s–consumers, contact us for a packaging audit. Be sure to click here and see how Smilo Baby Products changed their world!

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