The growing demand for online shopping and convenient deliveries has brought about a new revolution in the consumer goods and retail supply chain. While traditional mom-and-pop storekeepers have started selling products digitally, big-scale retail brands and consumer goods manufacturers have adopted the direct-to-consumer selling model in order to fulfill customer demands.
Direct-to-consumer or D2C selling is a fast-track retail model wherein brands sell merchandise directly to consumers through an online storefront, without involving intermediaries such as wholesalers or distributors. Brands sell directly to consumers via in-house fulfillment centers, e-commerce marketplaces, or with the help of third-party logistics providers.
Why are Brands Gunning for this Business Model?
Going D2C has several advantages, and retail brands are stepping up to meet the evolving needs, expectations, and behaviors of the tech-savvy, post-pandemic consumer.
Cost-Effective Retail Distribution - By implementing a D2C distribution model, enterprises can save the logistical costs involved in the secondary mile, by avoiding shipping and transporting to wholesalers, and directly shipping goods to customer locations. Companies also save the added cost of beat planning and sales reps visiting retail stores to replenish stocks.
Safe Doorstep Delivery - Post the pandemic, consumers are concerned about the quality and safety of the things they are buying and the way they are handled. In D2C distribution, goods are shipped and delivered directly from the manufacturing location to the consumer’s address, minimizing the number of places a package travels to and the number of people who handle it.
Brand-Consumer Relationship - D2C allows brands to offer customers personalized product options, resolve issues quicker, and ensure a satisfying fulfillment experience. It also allows consumers to know the brand well, share their shopping experiences, product feedback, and grievances directly with the brand. By selling directly to consumers, retailers can build stronger relationships with their customers as well as an improved brand image in the market.
Faster Last-Mile Operations - In D2C distribution, manufacturers and big retail brands simply take orders online and deliver faster, using their own logistics arms or with the help of 3PL distributors. By skipping middlemen involvement and wholesaler distribution, enterprises can speed up the last-mile delivery process by shipping goods to consumers directly as and when an order is placed.
What are the Supply Chain Challenges in D2C Selling?
The D2C model has various benefits but there are also some logistical challenges brands must consider:
Supply Chain Visibility - When customers purchase from a brand, they expect complete transparency from the seller. They want to know when their order is shipped, where exactly their order is in transit, and who is handling their delivery. If a D2C brand does not have an efficient delivery tracking system, they might not be able to establish this transparency with their customers and makes it difficult for logistics managers to monitor on-ground operations, and take preventive measures in case of any deviance from planned delivery schedules.
Fleet Utilization Challenges - In order to fulfill customer demands with doorstep deliveries, companies might depend on either in-house fleet or rental fleet, based on demand fluctuations. Businesses are faced with the challenge of identifying the right mix between owned and outsourced fleets to carry out delivery operations cost-effectively while ensuring vehicle capacity utilization.
Last-Mile Delivery Bottlenecks - A shift to D2C selling comes with an underlying requirement of efficient last-mile delivery. However, many brands may be new to last-mile dynamics and challenges such as delivery route planning, rider allocation, route restrictions, customer address verification, and more.
Competing with e-commerce giants and ensuring timely and efficient last-mile fulfillment, especially during the festive season is a major challenge ahead of D2C sellers.
What’s the Solution?
Digitization is the need of the hour, and D2C selling is not an exception.
With logistics SaaS solutions such as route optimization, fleet management tools, and last-mile visibility tools, brands can plan delivery networks and routes optimally, reduce costs, build greater visibility in the supply chain and automate manual processes such as dispatch planning and rider allocation.
The new ground reality also demands companies to be prepared for different scenarios and challenges in business. Logistics SaaS tools can enable businesses to come up with optimal game plans that can tackle these challenges efficiently.
Whether planning to expand retail sales by entering the D2C market, or trying to optimize existing D2C operations, it’s essential to consider implementing intelligent logistics tech in your D2C supply chain to gain a competitive advantage while fulfilling customer expectations effectively.
In an era where sustainability and innovation are becoming paramount in every industry, URturms stands out as a beacon of change in the fashion world. Founded by Surender Singh Rajpurohit, this apparel brand is on a mission to cater to eco-conscious individuals who refuse to compromise on style or sustainability. With a vision that blends cutting-edge technology and eco-friendly practices, URturms has redefined the narrative surrounding fashion, proving that style and sustainability can coexist harmoniously.
Surender Singh Rajpurohit's journey to becoming the owner of URturms is as inspiring as the brand itself. With a background entrenched in the automotive industry, Surender's foray into the world of sustainable fashion began when he became a customer of URturms in 2018. Recognizing the brand's potential to make a significant impact, he made the bold decision to acquire URturms in 2022, infusing it with fresh perspectives and a commitment to excellence.
Innovative Technology Meets Fashion
At the heart of URturms lies its innovative approach to clothing, leveraging advanced hydrophobic technology to create garments that are not only stylish but also practical and durable. From their signature 30-day no-wash denim jeans to AC cool tech shirts and 7-day no-smell socks, URturms' product line embodies the perfect synergy between fashion and technology. By integrating these cutting-edge technologies into their designs, URturms is revolutionizing the way we perceive and interact with our clothing.
"Innovation and sustainability are not just buzzwords; they're the driving forces behind meaningful change in the fashion industry," states Surender Singh Rajpurohit
Optimization and Restructuring
Before URturms made its debut on Shark Tank India, Surender embarked on a mission to streamline the brand's operations and optimize its resources for maximum efficiency. With a keen eye for business operations, Surender reduced the number of SKUs, optimized packaging costs, and trimmed the team from 60 to 9 people. These strategic decisions not only helped improve the brand's bottom line but also positioned URturms for exponential growth and success in the future.
Shark Tank India: A Platform for Success
When Surender stepped into the den of investors on Shark Tank India, he presented a compelling case for URturms, seeking Rs 1.2 Crore for a 2 percent equity stake, valuing the company at Rs 60 Crore. Despite facing tough negotiations and intense scrutiny from the sharks, Surender remained steadfast in his vision for the brand, showcasing its impressive growth trajectory and solid unit economics. His passion and determination caught the attention of the sharks, ultimately leading to a lucrative deal for URturms.
Sealing the Deal
After a series of intense negotiations, URturms secured a deal with Azhar Iqubal, who offered Rs 1.2 Crore for a 4 percent equity stake in the company. This landmark moment not only validated URturms' potential but also provided the brand with the necessary resources and expertise to propel it to new heights of success. With Azhar Iqubal's backing and the exposure from Shark Tank India, URturms' net worth soared to Rs 30 Crore post-deal, solidifying its position as a trailblazer in the fashion industry.
Continuing the Journey
Even after its momentous success on Shark Tank India, URturms remains committed to its core values of sustainability, innovation, and style. With a renewed sense of purpose and determination, URturms is poised to continue pushing the boundaries of fashion while staying true to its eco-friendly ethos. As the brand continues to grow and evolve, it serves as an inspiration for both consumers and aspiring entrepreneurs, proving that sustainability and style can go hand in hand.
URturms' journey from eco-conscious ideals to Shark Tank triumph is a testament to the power of innovation, determination, and sustainability in reshaping the fashion industry. As the brand continues to make waves with its groundbreaking designs and eco-friendly practices, it remains a shining example of how fashion can be both stylish and sustainable. With URturms leading the charge, the future of fashion looks brighter than ever before.
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