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Digital Marketing

It’s time to sell direct to consumers. Here are a few considerations.

Last Updated on June 3, 2020

Many companies don’t want to manage inventory, fulfill orders, or risk offending retailers. We get it. But times are changing. And those who don’t reconsider their sales strategy by selling direct to consumers may just get left behind. 

Here’s a new business phrase you may not have heard: “D to C” or Direct to Consumer (a.k.a. DTC). It means selling your products on your own website. “Direct to Consumer” seems logical enough.

However, many companies don’t do it. Instead of selling direct to consumers, they sell only through distributors, physical store retailers, or Amazon. Why would a company choose this business strategy? Many companies don’t want to manage an e-commerce website, fulfill orders, hold and manage inventory, or offend distributors and retailers. (Or all of those things.)

Well, times are changing, and companies who don’t do “D to C” should reconsider their sales strategy.

The online sales strategy has fundamentally changed in just a few short months.

Since March 2020, distributors have stopped distributing, most retailers have been closed, and Amazon has been hard-pressed to deliver orders in a reasonable timeframe.

Without a “D to C” sales channel, many companies cannot sell their products.

Their business has completely dried up, through no fault of their own. I ordered two products on Amazon that have taken over ten weeks to receive. I canceled one of the orders because I don’t care to wait anymore. The other order was intended as a present, but the opportunity has passed. Months into this pandemic, Amazon is still overwhelmed. 

Late orders reflect poorly on your brand.

Without selling directly to consumers on your website, your company has little control when something like a pandemic disrupts business.

The truth is: Customers would much prefer buying directly from you, the brand they trust.

It may seem hard to believe, but customers like the idea of coming to your website, shopping for what they need, buying it from you, and getting communications from you throughout the entire process. This strategy doesn’t mean you should stop selling through distributors, retail stores, or Amazon. But not selling direct to consumers is frustrating for those who want your products and can’t get them.

Some businesses sell their products on Amazon but fulfill the orders themselves. However, even a sales strategy like this puts most of the shopping experience with Amazon, who would just as soon sell a competitor’s product right next to yours. Can you afford not to sell directly to customers if that’s what they want? 

dtc ecommerce website examples from Hanser, Rachel Pauls, and Natorps

Now is the right time to get aggressive about selling direct to consumers.

USDP builds accessible new e-commerce sites or adds e-commerce shopping to existing websites all the time. It takes months of close collaboration with clients to design pages, create the product database, determine pricing and shipping costs, integrate inventory and orders, and train staff to fulfill orders.

Take a look at a few of our client examples: 

Hanser ecommerce homepage

HANSER is the premier publisher of plastics technology books for industry, science, and education.

rachelpauls dtc ecommerce website

Rachel Pauls Food sells Low FODMAP products direct to consumers to help individuals with IBS.

natorps ecommerce website filter

Natorps has successfully been using e-commerce to help their customers find the perfect plants.

Despite the hard work of setting up e-commerce, the payback is rewarding when you begin to see new product orders, repeat orders, satisfied customer reviews, and a whole new sales channel for your company.

How can distributors or retailers fault you for covering all your bases?

With a new approach to e-commerce, perhaps the negative impact of an economic shutdown won’t be as dramatic the next time around. 

It’s time to get serious about selling direct to consumers. Please let us know if you’d like to discuss the right approach for your company. Call us at 513.929.4603, or schedule an e-commerce review with one of our client leads. 

 

David Brecount Image Alt

By: David Brecount

David is a Client Leader at USDP. He enjoys going skiing with his five kids and playing the guitar in his spare time.