More than 800 D2C startups are operating in India, with over 100 million users. These figures do sound exciting. However, what is D2C? It stands for the ‘Direct to Consumer’ approach, receiving wide acceptance by retail-based businesses; across the board. In this model, the manufacturers or producers sell their products directly to consumers without involving middlemen like dealers, retailers, or brick-and-mortar stores. Most D2C companies use the internet to conduct their transactions.
This model is not new. It has always been there, especially in the fashion and lifestyle segments. However, the virus outbreak turned the attention of businesses from various industries towards this approach. Compared to the year before the pandemic, the number of companies registering as D2C organizations noted a significant 88 percent hike. Today, startups working on this model book whooping profits like Rs 100 crore in a much shorter span than those working in the traditional setup.
Does this mean all D2C-based companies will earn remarkable profits? Not quite. If you are looking at a direct-to-consumer approach, you must have a solid technological foundation. Here are some ways showcasing how tech-based solutions are critical for a D2C ecosystem-
Helps Your Platform Reach its Full Potential - Simply developing a website for your brand is not enough. It must be aesthetically appealing, user-friendly, and glitch-free. While providing payment options - do not restrict to mere card payments; but also include other electronic payment options like UPI, net banking, and bank transfers. Use disruptive solutions like artificial intelligence to build chatboxes that help resolve first-hand customer queries most quickly and efficiently. Finally, consumers lose interest if the website redirects them to several pages for one purchase. Ensure this does not happen with your brand and keep the transaction loops shorter.
Inventory and Order Management for Impeccable Deliveries - For all businesses operating online - inventory and order management become crucial tasks. Companies having multiple sales channels must focus on these aspects to avoid duplication and confusion. D2C players should invest in top-notch inventory management systems. These software solutions entail a centralized database that carries real-time inventory information from different warehouses. They drive home with 100 percent visibility concerning products entering and leaving the storage units. Further, they even help track the order movement until the last-mile delivery.
Cutting-edge order management solutions automate processes like order allocations after considering several criteria such as location, stock availability, demand channel, and delivery preference. These tech-based systems are critical in reducing order-related errors, consequently improving consumer experience and brand image.
Enables Hassle-Free Supply Chain Operations - If you are running your brand online, supply chain management becomes imperative. Failure at this end can be damaging for your business. Choose a management software that promotes easy receiving and placement of inventories. At the same time, facilitates the picking and shipping of orders. Many new software solutions even track the end-to-end movement of goods. Why is it crucial to invest in a robust warehouse management system? It will improve your overall brand experience, lower labor costs, boost inventory accuracy, drive operational flexibility, and curb errors during picking and shipping goods.
Improves Return Management - It is not always a guarantee that a buyer will keep the product. Many times, in a D2C model, consumers order a commodity, and later change their minds. Return is an inevitable part of selling. According to experts, the smoother your return process, the more likely is the customer to make another purchase. What you need to focus on is how to make this aspect of your business effortless? Technology, again, comes to your rescue in this situation. Tech-based solutions help reduce the time frame to close the entire transaction loop and analyze the reason behind the return in a much more detailed manner.
Builds Strong Customer Relationships - D2C is not just about directly selling to buyers by removing the middlemen. Under its gambit comes another priority - developing and maintaining strong relations with the target audience. Now, numerous tech-based solutions will help you achieve this goal. Begin with a predictive and analytical tool to understand the needs, wants, and expectations of your customers. Once you know, what your consumers want, you will be better able to address their demands. Further, make use of technology to keep your target base engaged. Consumer engagement is critical for retention and developing brand loyalty. Use social media marketing to spread awareness, build a community feeling and attract potential customers.
It is safe to say that the direct-to-customer model has streamlined data and access to consumer purchase patterns. This business model is here to stay and will only grow with time. Back your D2C business with the thoughtful implementation of technology; to keep your company flourishing and thriving!