The rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) models has disrupted traditional distribution channels. While the shift towards e-commerce is undeniable, distributors can still remain relevant and thrive. However, it takes more than just a fancy e-commerce website to succeed. Distributors need a comprehensive solution that encompasses efficient personalized, omnichannel customer offerings and value-added services. In this blog, we will explore how integrating with an ERP solution can help distributors remain relevant in a direct-to-consumer world.

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Improve Customer Experience 

Customers no longer expect (or want) sales calls, meetings, and other types of offline contact. They want to find answers and/or products quickly – so give them an effective e-commerce presence to research and purchase directly from inventory.

Selling products directly to customers allows businesses to capture and analyze data – What are the best-selling products? Who is a frequent customer? What are common purchase trends? This allows businesses to adjust inventory and provide customers with more of what they want.

Value-Added Services 

Based on the positivity of a business experience, customers become loyal – the power of a brand depends upon customer satisfaction.

Businesses may already have simple value-added services such as product selection, picking, packing, and shipping. However, digital transformation allows businesses to differentiate from the competition by providing services which add value:

  • Product installation and component assembly
  • Product customization
  • Field service, maintenance, and quality inspection
  • In-house repair
  • Just-in-time delivery
  • Consulting
  • Training and education

Although there will be an understandable focus on e-commerce, it is essential to note that there are other ways in which businesses can reach customers. This means businesses need an omnichannel mindset across all customer touchpoints.

Customer Data 

With effective software, predictive sales, and accuracy patterns, end-users can forecast product demand and adjust inventory levels accordingly. Better product knowledge and analysis of customer data will give market insights that help answer questions like:

  • What products sell and don’t sell in which markets?
  • Which international markets should you focus your attention?
  • Which customers should you focus on to make the best profits?
  • How are the interests and needs of your customers evolving?

End-User Buy-In

Going D2C is not merely a case of creating a fancy looking e-commerce website. Working to integrate direct-to-consumer processes may require considerable shifts in the way end-users work and stakeholder buy-in. It may require restructuring, additional investment, new staff, and new ways of working, alongside requirements for training.

Remember, managing a move towards D2C is likely to require a significant change in business culture. Setting up an e–commerce strategy may affect the sales side of a business, and business operators will need investments and safeguards in place to ensure the ROI of a new digital strategy.

Your Next Steps

With over 25 years of industry experience, the ACC Software Solutions team is ready to help tackle your next project. ACC offers a full range of business management technology services, including consulting, ERP implementation, targeted training, and ongoing support. We aim to build long-lasting relationships based on trust by committing our support to your business goals today, and tomorrow.

Contact ACC Software Solutions, the leading ERP provider for the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, for a FREE consultation.

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