Also known as vertical integration, entering the space of Consumers from Distribution or OEM manufacturing, BigCommerce can make this transition easier when you are on their B2B eCommerce platform. Not just using the platform itself, but leveraging the best practices of consumer marketing and technologies to excel in customer service, and customer experience.
Business Case for vertical integration
The benefits can be summed up as driving your own supply and demand than just stuffing the channel. However, resellers aren't going to be happy unless your pricing is higher than MSRP. It is a tricky balance entering the retail space after you have set up your distribution. In addition, if the distribution is struggling, adding your D2C channel will only add additional pressure on them - not helping those B2B relationships. The benefits, changes, and adaptations are:
Selling direct to consumers adds an additional revenue stream
You are in direct touch with the customer journey
You end up with 2 target audiences, B2B and D2C - it will impact your email marketing, social media marketing, and all other digital marketing.
Have a direct understanding of customer acquisition which helps to message and inform the B2B audience on how to position the product.
Sharpen your customer support with B2B and D2C
Your marketing strategies will expand to cover B2B brick and mortar outlets, online outlets, and your D2C.
Ensure good customer satisfaction through marketing tactics, customer acquisition strategies, and interactions with your brand in order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service.
The effect from B2B to D2C
The first thing that concerns the marketing team is the disruption the change will have. When the direct model came about in the late 1980s with magazine-based orders, the traffic was based on magazine distribution, and finding your target audience was based on readership in industry-relevant publications. To make a change was the re-creation of a channel from scratch - this is no longer the case when it comes to the digital world. The access that all consumers have is with their smartphones, tied to your brand.
BigCommerce leads the way in this marketing move, with BigCommerce B2B Edition which is a phenomenal architecture for interfacing with B2B clients and has all the tools to drive successfully the products you offer in that channel.
In 2021, Diffusion being an international independent PR Agency put out a report that 2 in 5 Americans (43%) are familiar with D2C native brands and within that group of D2C familiarity, 69% have made at least one purchase in the last year.
The study shows that certain industries such as wellness, apparel, big retail, and tech are seeing a consumer shift from traditional retail to D2C.
This is making D2C competitors feel the biggest challenge.
Digitally native brands aren't the only obstacle but counterfeit goods offered by third-party resellers put pressure on the native brands through various marketplaces. Even though the likes of Amazon try to curb the problems caused by this, it also reduces the confidence of consumers which hurts the marketplace, and brand. It has been captured that 52% of US Customers in the consumer report have lost trust in the brand after unintentionally purchasing a counterfeit product online. D2C improves trust in online consumer purchasing and does add greater credence to the B2B channel on the authenticity of the product.
D2C core benefits to the brand
Aside from adding a new revenue stream, manufacturers that deal with competitive pressures have a way to turn around updated products faster with the ability to sell-off at a discount their end-of-life product runs on their site. The ability to offload older products introduces new customers to the brand, and improves brand loyalty, acquiring customers.
2019-2022 Covid-19 Pandemic: While the pandemic affected retail stores with lockdowns and social distancing measures, this slowed retail sales which impacted manufacturers seeing product move - D2C gave manufacturers continuity, and provided them the pressure relief in sales.
It has been found that 33% of shoppers surveyed that brand manufacturer websites are the most influential as they research the products that they seek. Additionally, when enhanced with social media, groups of people that congregate to talk about usage models, and reach knowledge bases on consumer branded products, then it makes trust and confidence rise when it comes to purchasing with confidence.
Customer behavior and creating a customer journey
A good social media marketing strategy, allowing for engagement with your customers as well as providing product information allows for growth in brand loyalty and good customer service. In addition within these groups, such as FaceBook you can create surveys and capture customer behavior and product feedback data.
When it comes to new product introductions, changes in features and the ability to get receive client feedback, combined with retail sales data combination can greatly assist the marketing direction of the product portfolio and how to complement reseller data to approach strategies for improving the revenue stream. Shaping and refining the customer journey, the product life cycles, and enhancing a great customer experience with customer surveys and focus groups.
Loyalty and Trust are built-in the product cycle
With D2C giving you a customer journey map, from the target audience, through your D2C sales funnel, to product ownership and support - you have transparency on the full lifecycle and user experience. With customer segmentation available, the online store captures all the behavior interactions from Email marketing, Blogs related products together with market research you can fine-tune brand loyalty by achieving the products the audience seeks, and the service they expect.
Get the retailers promoted
In keeping in balance with your channels, promoting your local retailers helps your audience to feel-n-touch before purchasing, as well as those that like to do business in a brick-and-mortar store, who might see a preference in a physical transaction. The manufacturer's site can offer a retailer map for finding your closest retailer, and if it is too far, giving them access to the social media sites to ask for opinions and experiences. Access today is limitless to acquiring information on a product, your brand, and customer service.
B2B and D2C on the same platform
BigCommerce B2B Edition is also a D2C platform, where retail.mydomain.com can easily be pointed to, and have the full D2C power to promote, sell, and service your D2C customers. BigCommerce has several enterprise clients offering their products to the two channels successfully, some have gone further to have marketplaces include their products with Amazon and eBay. When providing many options to your various audiences such as payment methods, delivery and access, and reach out for assistance.
D2C and 3PL
If you have a 3PL partner, then things just got easier to have your products shipped out directly to your customers. While you are looking to dispatch single or small packages out to D2C clients, the pick-pack-ship process is streamlined through the back-end connection of your BigCommerce B2B store and gets differentiated from freight or low-cost shipments that may not be used by D2C clients.
In today's competitive environment, D2C offers manufacturers and large distribution centers the option of BigCommerce B2B Edition while managing both B2B and B2C channels with the same inventory. Additionally leveraging the current B2B infrastructure and engaging with your end customers can be a powerful move. If you would like to uncover the expansion of your B2B store to include D2C, please reach out to us at email@example.com