Evolution is known to be about the survival of the fittest, but isn’t that a misinterpretation? The fittest does not mean the strongest or the smartest; it means the most adaptable. When it comes to business, going Direct to Consumer (D2C) could be the smartest way to stay ahead.

The evolution of eCommerce: from B2B to B2C to D2C

If you are considering selling D2C, in essence, you will most likely be cutting out the middle steps of the process, by taking your product straight from the source to the customer. Does this mean retail and wholesale as models are dead? Well, not quite. By adding on their responsibilities of administration, communication and marketing, and sales to your manufacturing business model, making your business end-to-end.

Challenge your eCommerce platform to do it all

By being able to offer your products for individual sale on your website with separate retail and wholesale channels, and by still selling your products wholesale to retailers, you can diversify your offerings and cater to your different types of customers. But the best way to do this is with one simplified eCommerce platform and many have a wealth of different capabilities for B2B, B2C, and D2C.

If you are looking, then now is the time to get each platform’s capabilities under the microscope. Can they offer email marketing? What about intuitive content management or smooth integration using an API architecture?

Here are some other considerations.

A note on adopting dropship (versus a holding stock model)

In the scenario where a manufacturer chooses to sell direct to the consumer, the dropship model would not make any sense. The manufacturer would hold the stock that it produces and sell it on directly. The manufacturer could therefore adopt a hybrid system to sell stock B2B and send it directly to the consumer on behalf of the retailer, the manufacturer’s B2B client, which, in essence, is the manufacturer providing a service to its client at a premium. The manufacturer can sell D2C but both require it to hold the stock necessary for both relationships. Drop-shipping works for only some B2C business models.

Consistency with brand and packaging

Based on the scenario where the manufacturer absorbs the distributor and, sometimes, also the retailer business functions, it takes control of holding stock and shipping direct. This convoluted hybrid model allows the manufacturer to control quality assurance and consistency of all branded packaging. The only branding function it would not be able to control is the retailer’s business to consumer marketing and sales unless it were to franchise.

Choose a smart platform for your future needs.

A robust eCommerce platform like BetterCommerce has a simple, powerful and flexible OMS (order management system) to manage your inventory across all your sale models and channels. Your customers will be able to check stock availability when ordering and selling your product, making stock management so easy to manage.

In the end, the consumer is buying the product and their trust should be in the brand behind that product, not in the retailer alone.

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