D2C, B2B, eComm: Trends on what’s working for consumer brands

Apparently, there’s a fine line between genius and insanity. Makes us wonder if there’s a Russell Crowe’s John Nash in every brand and sales manager. In that, the obsessive seeing of numbers everywhere. If you find yourself thinking that there’s more than a touch of insanity in you these days, then know you’re not alone.

For good reason. The list of woes seems unending these days. Consumer confidence has tanked. Any expectation of recovery seems to be lost along with millions of jobs for the salaried class. Why then, you could ask, are we still talking about pivoting business models? Why are we campaigning for Direct to Consumer models? Can consumer brands build capacity for such models in times of crisis?

It’s long been established that downturns offer the best opportunity for technological or digital transformation. Look up the case studies about it in the Harvard Business Review. 

D2C and even B2B eCommerce are hard to do in India’s retail ecosystem. There are real challenges around capacity, infrastructure, aligning distributors, last-mile deliveries and access to data. That more or less sums up the entire digital supply chain. Whoever thought or said digital transformation is easy is deluded. 

We know it is hard and this is why apps directed at retailers such as ours can bridge the technological infrastructure gap. Such apps connect your brand to retailers allowing you to get a realistic understanding of the demand for your product categories. Retailers have complete access to your product portfolio with easy access to your trade promotions. You can direct all your incentives to the right retailer and build greater capacity with productive outlets or your key retail outlets.

That leaves the distribution piece to figure out. D2C or B2B eCommerce does not do away with your distribution network. Orders sent through such apps will flow into distributor management systems just as in the non-D2C systems. The only difference is that you have access to the demand data and the flexibility to execute Just In Time Distribution (JIT).

The JIT trade model might be a difficult sell to your distributors but one that can be addressed by having the right incentive schemes for prompt order fulfilment. None of these is new to your current format and working of your downstream supply chain.

There’s a lot that consumer brands gain from digitising their supply chains the foremost being accruing the right demand data. We are a long way away from getting the complete picture. But every revolution started with a few steps. 

Here are insights that we observed from a couple of brands who have moved ~3% of their trade to D2C/B2B eCommerce distribution channels. [June & July 2020 data]

Metro vs Non-Metro in Adoption of Retailer Apps

C&D Class Outlet vs Salesman

Retailers of class C&D outlets tend to order 135% more in value on the retailer app than the brand’s salesman.

Retailers Ordering vs Salesman Taking Orders

Retailers self-ordering is helping brands increase their range of selling by more than 50%. Lines per sales call for retailer app is 4.4 while LPSC of a salesman is 2.9.

If you’re curious about a long-term B2B eCommerce strategy for your brand, get in touch with us. Share your contact details by clicking the button below and we will get back to you. Contact us now.

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