Launching a D2C Channel for a B2B Organization
The increasing popularity of direct-to-Consumer (D2C) channels has been one of the biggest business trends of the past few years, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more consumers rely on online channels to make purchases, businesses have had to adapt their strategies to remain current with changing consumer behavior. As the world continues to embrace this new wave of digital transformation, many business-to-business (B2B) organizations are exploring ways to expand their consumer reach and revenue by launching direct to-consumer (D2C) channels.
Read on to learn why B2B organizations are launching D2C channels and how to ensure yours is successful.
Why Launch a D2C Channel as a B2B Organization?
B2B organizations have traditionally relied on distributor and wholesaler networks to sell products to the end-use consumer. However, as ecommerce has continued to grow and digital channel offerings have become increasingly important, B2B organizations now see the benefits of selling directly to customers.
The Benefits of a B2B Brand Using a D2C Channel
Reach New Customers
Customers have become increasingly reliant on D2C experiences, with D2C purchases increasing by 200% from 2019 to 2020. A D2C channel lets you meet these customers where they are.
Provide More Unique, Personalized Customer Experiences
D2C channels can also improve your control over the customer experience. By selling directly to customers, B2B organizations can better understand customer needs and preferences and tailor their products and services accordingly. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention, as well as higher sales and profits over the long term.
Build Your Brand
Brand visibility and recognition is a major benefit of a D2C model for a B2B organization because D2C gives complete supply chain management control to owners who can effectively target potential customers.
With a D2C model, manufacturers are free to launch new products on a smaller scale, as well as test them and collect customer feedback. This capability lets them understand what the customer wants and improve as needed to remain agile and offer innovative products to customers.
Diversify and Grow Revenue
Another reason B2B organizations might want to launch a D2C channel is to diversify their revenue streams. By relying solely on distributors and wholesalers, B2B organizations are at the mercy of those partners' business decisions and market conditions. Launching a D2C channel lets B2B organizations reduce their reliance on those partners and generate additional revenue streams. Further, D2C models generally allow for larger profit margins on the same products, as a dealer or distributor is not needed and removed from the process.
How B2B Businesses Can Adopt the D2C Model
One of the most crucial steps to take when adopting a D2C model is to ensure you choose the right technology that can accommodate D2C capabilities and provide customers with a positive UX experience — but that does not create unnecessary IT complexity by not connecting to your existing business systems or ERP. Instead, IT systems should help reduce complexity for the D2C channel while still supporting the new capabilities.
Evaluate Customer Base and Identify Customer Segments
When looking to launch a D2C channel, the first step is to identify your target audience, understanding who your customers are along with their needs and preferences. In the B2B space, your target audience may include businesses of all sizes, so you need to have a clear understanding of the industries you serve and the specific needs of your customers within those industries.
Understand Your Core Strengths
As a B2B organization, you likely have deep expertise in your industry and a strong understanding of your customers' needs. Make this an advantage by focusing on products and services that play to your core strengths and address your customers' unique pain points to differentiate you from your competitors.
Develop a Strategy
A D2C strategy should balance the brand’s current and future goals. It is important to connect the strategy with marketing, using new tools and promotion mechanisms in digital channels, and adapt other areas of business: order management, sales department, and logistics flows.
An implementation strategy should include
- Adding products to the online store
- Setting up logistics flows
- Choosing order packaging and delivery vendors
- Collecting customer data
- Optimizing based on analysis results
- Creating a risk map using data visualization
Choose Your D2C Platform
Choosing the right D2C platform is crucial. To be successful in the D2C space, you need to have a strong ecommerce platform that can handle online sales, order fulfillment, and customer service. Make sure you invest in the right infrastructure that is user-friendly, scalable, and secure.
Measure and Optimize
Once you have launched your D2C channel, you will need to keep track of its performance and analyze data to identify where you can improve. You can use tools like Google Analytics to measure traffic, sales, and customer behavior.
SmarterCommerce Is Your Fully Connected Business Solution
SmarterCommerce is rapidly gaining traction as the go to ecommerce solution for JD Edwards organizations looking to launch webstores. With the right ecommerce solution, organizations can launch a D2C channel without the IT complexity of supporting a non-connected solution. By following these steps, B2B businesses can successfully adopt the D2C model and benefit from the increased customer engagement and revenue opportunities that come with it. When you are ready to launch your D2C channel, reach out to SmarterCommerce.