The benefits of selling D2C
Obviously cutting the middleman out of the equation provides the potential for brands to earn a higher margin and have direct access to their consumers and their data. But there are other notable benefits of selling D2C, which we explain below:
Benefit #1 To gain a better understanding of the customer
Before the intervention of D2C, manufacturers rarely interacted with the people who purchased their product. Sure, brands may try to get a good understanding of their target market by doing research and conducting surveys. But trying to understand your customers through these methods isn’t necessarily the best way to get to know them.
Ideally, you need to have direct contact with your customer through every stage of the sale process, this also includes the communication that you have with the customer after you sold the product. These types of interactions are very hard to replicate in a focus group.
To give you an example, it is widely known that consumers in the US want to eat healthily. GlobalData reports that 87 per cent of consumers in the US check the ingredients before they purchase a food product, and 75 per cent are concerned about consuming too much processed and unhealthy foods. But on the contrary, those same customers, who have said they want to eat healthily, also want to indulge in a gourmet burger served with fries.
D2C enables brands to gain direct insights into their consumers and gather data that accurately reflect their behaviour.
Benefit #2 Faster GTM (go to market)
Besides being stuck in their ways, another reason why most legacy brands tend to shy away from innovation is that of the extreme risks involved. On average, a new product launch takes between 18 to 36 months – too slow, right? That’s exactly what customers feel.
In D2C, manufacturers can take quick decisions allowing them to launch a new innovative product on a smaller scale but faster. Manufacturers can develop a specific product, test it within a very tight demographic, and then get their feedback. This enables large manufacturing firms to understand what their customers love and hate about the product so they can make the required adjustments where appropriate.
Benefit #3 Increased control over brand, product, and reputation
In a traditional manufacturing-retailer relationship, manufacturers could only have full control over their packaging and their outbound marketing activities like TV commercials and billboards. Once the product hits the shelves, larger brands no longer have control in trying to influence the sale.
Even though these large brands try to influence as much as they can through commercial advertisements, if retailers struggle to sell their product, then they’re at risk of incurring a loss.
With D2C, firms maintain complete control over their brand from the moment a customer makes their initial engagement right up until the product has been purchased.