Make Supply Chain and D2C Best Friends with Priority Driven Business Shift
Old days are gone when a storefront used to be the next home, and you used to only buy through your trusted supplier, retailer, and seller. These days shopping experience is like an extravaganza.
With the golden age of eCommerce and increased direct-to-customer interaction, every company wants to create various channels for direct customer interactions. To capitalize on this trend of individual exchange, every company wants to transform its business models to facilitate such media.
For many brands, D2C has created selling heaven as they can now offer their whole range of products from the same channel, i.e., pet supplies, clothing, household products, food items, etc. Many companies have used this increasing D2C trend to get rid of the middlemen. It has provided such small companies opportunities to interact with the customers directly for the first time.
With some huge players in the market and their massive outreach, the demand for faster response and seamless delivery is causing headaches to be minor, middle, and new players. But with Direct to Consumer eliminating the middle parties, it also creates problems with a highly focused eCommerce approach.
The eCommerce approach requires you to create an integrated system that will cover all operations, end to end. But this D2C market is very demanding as you need an extensive plan to cater to people on an individual basis. It is a real challenge for supply chain and logistics, especially for companies with a vast workforce or huge corporate setups to fall back on.
If you are the owner of a small or medium-sized business and want to have the total-blown exposure of the D2C advantage, you need to change your business strategy and keep the below-mentioned points in mind.
Your existing system needs transformation to make way and cope up with the change
Before eCommerce became everyone’s choice, suppliers and manufacturers used to rely on deliveries in large quantities to the fixed partners for driving sales. Those days sales used to be less but much more predictable. But with D2C came the unpredictability of sales and scattered deliveries. Also, there are no fixed buyers as everyone has so many options. Such a competitive landscape has made the market more and more fragmented with ever-increasing possibilities.
Being in such a competitive marketplace, with increasing options for customers, the market is heading towards being fragmented. In other words, switching to eCommerce is not the key, the very mindset and drive to establish a smart supply chain strategy will truly base your business for success.
For example, suppliers who do not have a streamlined supply chain strategy will ultimately hinder a smooth transition to the e-commerce space. Existing technology platforms may also lack the capabilities to support connections to sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, or Shopify, resulting in different disconnects within ordering and delivery practices.
It’s therefore essential for businesses to evaluate their supply chain strategy, inventory system, warehouse management, and more. This proactive attitude will help the business succeed and progress with the world.
Order accuracy must be crucial
A study in 2019 reveals that consistent accessibility of online products inspired shoppers to shop more. The accuracy delivered by eCommerce businesses was exceptional. The challenge with D2C model implementation is that it was never designed to deliver quickly & efficiently. To maintain a good customer relationship amid the “want it now” mindset, inaccuracies in business deliveries can tarnish the brand image, customer relationships, and more.
Small and medium businesses in 2021 must consider eCommerce models which are customer-centric. In order to build and work through such a business model, the business needs consumer-facing adjustments viz displaying in-stock products on-brand website, for instance. This holds for logistical shifts as well, such as an updated sales forecasting methodology. One easy solution is to use invest in cloud-based technology, which leverages automation and ensures a multi-channel and well-integrated warehouse. This will eventually result in 100% order accuracy virtually and a streamlined order-to-delivery process.
Communicate in real-time & be transparent
Instead of “fast” or “free,” consumers today expect delivery choices when they place an order, for example, same day, next day, two days, or time-definite (e.g., Friday between 9-11 am). At the end of the day, eCommerce businesses must be able to offer smart delivery options, offering a win-win situation for customers & the supply chain.
Companies must consider the idea of providing real-time product tracking details to customers. This shows how transparent your brand is and keeps customer services hassle-free. Such are smart ways to communicate with customers and keep them coming back.
Connect the dots & improve your supply chain strategy
Picking and implanting D2 strategy is not an overnight job. Companies may make mistakes but, rising from the failures in the early stages helps overcome challenges.
Despite the pandemic, the world has evolved in the D2C space. With change management being the key, several businesses have successfully developed comprehensive strategies, invested in prospective technologies, and are seeing progress already.
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