Written By: Akshat Akarsh (Ash)
Direct to Consumer (D2C) delivery is a business process model that eliminates the need for external delivery service providers such as FedEx or UPS. Many distributors outsource the shipping of products and only focus on tangible inventory but developing or using a D2C delivery model is especially useful for furniture or big appliance stores, you just have to have the right software in place to manage it.
Benefits of D2C
Adopting a D2C strategy is beneficial from a financial and operational standpoint, and the D2C brands also have competitive advantages over traditional retail brands. Let’s look at some benefits of the direct-to-consumer delivery model:
Direct Ownership of the Buying Journey
One of the greatest benefits of running a D2C business is the control you have over the customer’s buying journey. Whether the customer saw your product online or in-store, you have the ability to capture them and exceed delivery expectations. Because of mega marketplaces like Amazon, deliveries are expected to be done quickly and correctly. Instead of leaving that to the delivery service providers, you can train and manage your own delivery staff to avoid any common disruptions.
Increased Brand Loyalty
D2C provides direct ownership of the customer life cycle leading to better customer experience and support which then builds trust for your brand. Engaging with your shopper in a meaningful way on their terms makes them more likely to return and tell everyone about their experience through reviews and ratings. Maintaining communication regarding delivery delays or arrivals can help your customer prepare to receive the delivery and helps to ensure that errors are eliminated. This helps to increase the success rate and thus loyalty.
The Implications of D2C:
Despite D2C’s success and many benefits, it does have some drawbacks. Selling directly to customers exposes your business to risks that are normally undertaken by middlemen in the supply chain. Let’s look at these drawbacks of D2C without the right software to help you manage it:
As customer demand for an online omnichannel experience rises, so will the competition. As mentioned above, marketplace giants like Amazon steal the show when it comes to direct-to-consumer delivery satisfaction. You have to set the bar high when it comes to your customers, meaning you should have access to in-depth analytics and route optimization within your backend software.
When you shift to a D2C model, you have control over the entire business process which makes everyday operations more complex. You will have to make sure that orders, shipments, transportation, payments, returns, and customer care are all up to the mark. Sorting out orders and making sure they get to their destination is your responsibility and any mishap can affect your brand’s image and reputation. Implementing backorders and having the right software to manage it, can help you avoid the loss of a sale.
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The Right Software for Direct-to-Consumer Delivery Management
We have mentioned numerous times that the right software is what you need to be successful in the D2C Delivery space. You’re probably thinking you need some type of delivery software or inventory software but what you should be looking for is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software which is an all-in-one tool to manage all your business operations. Whether it’s accounting, inventory management or lite warehouse management, ERP Software can be integrated and show you live updates. For example, Blue Link ERP Software can help you make sure that each truck has a coherent delivery route each day, allowing for pick-up as well as delivery, in the appropriate sequence, while keeping the customer informed every step of the way. You also have access to other tools such as Contact Management, SQL Server Reporting Services and a POS System for in-store retailers.