D2C is becoming an attractive option as it presents a unique opportunity for building the relationship between consumer and brand. In the past few years, there has been a significant surge in D2C brands as an innovative marketing strategy that enables the brand to enter the market directly.
It is the future of customer engagement as mentioned by Scott Ginsberg very aptly that, “don’t want to rely solely on the stores to put the products out in the right places for the right people, or for the local sales reps to be educated about it. The other upside is, brands who go direct to consumer take ownership over their most important assets: their customers.”
Having a D2C strategy gives the business direct contact with the customer and a direction to focus on understanding the evolving needs. And thus, brands need to ensure their fulfillment operation by ensuring rapid shipping, excellent unboxing experience, and effective return management.
Make Error-Free Deliveries
The backbone of any retail business is, its efficient supply chain management, and managing the same is a daunting task. The growth of technology has helped the brands capture and improve the real-time data by error-free tracking of stock availability and delivery preference. And for smooth supply chain operations, brands need to update their Warehouse Management Solutions to reach the customer efficiently.
As per the report by a media portal, “The Indian D2C market is expected to triple from $33.1 billion in 2020 and touch $100 billion by 2025 on the back of the projection that online shoppers in India will reach 350 million by FY25, up from 128 million in FY2”.
There are various prominent platforms across India providing warehousing solutions like Delhivery, DHL E-commerce Fulfillment, Shiprocket, Unicommerce, to D2C sellers. Beyond these providers, there are huge modern-day solutions that can help in eliminating the middlemen and streamline the supply chain. Artificial Intelligence, cloud-based inventory management, big data, all hold the ability to analyze the insights from customer data and turn them into actionable insights.
D2C fulfillment, with the help of platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, is delivering excellent benefits to brand like easy entry, high-profit margins, and direct oversights. D2C brands should include technology for more transparent and error-free delivery to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and enhance the experience of the brand.
D2C Fulfillment Process
D2C fulfillment is a journey of making a product reach its end-user by directly engaging with customers. And a recent survey by Barclays has highlighted, “that tech-savvy manufacturers who had adopted a Direct-to-Consumer strategy, stand to gain £13 billion in revenue in the next five years”.
In the current scenario, retailers need an effective D2C fulfillment strategy to manage the seamless shopping journey of unique orders with their unique destinations on daily basis. The centralized fulfillment ensures consistency as consumer demand is never uniform. Thus, D2C brands are focusing on optimizing their delivery logistics keeping multi–depot management, improving fleet dispatching, real-time visibility, optimizing the route with maximum cost-effectiveness in mind.
D2C brands ensure customer satisfaction with their sound fulfillment process by using the right technology and self or third-party logistics services. As mentioned by Ankit Kaushik, COO, Pickrr, “As a brand grows, logistics operations can quickly become tricky, leading to cost escalations and erosion of profits. At this juncture, businesses should explore opportunities to partner with a logistics solution provider that has expertise in end-to-end supply chain management. This will bring operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction in the long run.”
The Game Has Changed
At one go where D2C brands are growing because of referral marketing, social media, digital advertising, it has its own set of challenges w.r.t reverse logistics, warehousing, and real-time tracking.
Beyond technology, smart transportation, better road links will ensure the growth of the D2C brand as NHAI announced the development of 23 expressways and corridors by March 2025.
Although in the coming years D2C will reach $100 million in sales, one thing is clear that the same has already set a standard of building connections with customers. The key to success lies in focusing on consumer pains and maintaining consumer centricity to build a sustainable business.