More and more consumers are purchasing online, to the point where e-commerce is becoming a significant percentage of overall retail sales. Many manufacturers—of various sizes and industries—are now taking advantage of this buyers’ trend by selling online direct to their customers. A recent survey by PwC found that 52% of shoppers in the U.S. visit a manufactures website with the intent to buy directly.
The way consumers interact with a brand has shifted allowing people to research and transact all in the same place. Buying directly from the manufacture’s gives people the added confidence that the product information they get is accurate and up to date. By dealing with the manufacturer, they know they have access to the full line of the company’s products, and that they are getting the real deal and not a knock-off version.
Josiah Ludovico, Creative Director at Brand Experience says, “Consumers are much more comfortable today with buying online than they were only a few short years ago. And they are much more comfortable with user interfaces. I believe this holds true for all demographics. When we proposed our vision for a new website with a simple online ordering application for elite custom rifle barrel manufacturers Hart Rifle Barrels, they were concerned that their customers would not accept all of the steps necessary for ordering a custom product online. But we found that the customers are very comfortable with ordering online. Even for a highly customized product like Hart’s. The response to the new e-commerce website has been shockingly successful.”
The video below demonstrates the Hart Rifle Barrel online ordering process, which makes it easy for customers to customize their order.
More control for the manufacturer
For the manufacturer, an e-commerce site allows them to maintain control of the marketing message and their product brands with their direct-sales interactions with the customer. A brand is built and maintained by the experiences the consumers have with it. With an e-commerce site, manufactures have the ability to control all of those experiences.
As a company directly interacts with its customers along their sales journey with an e-commerce site, they gain valuable insights into the customer, their interests, and what they are looking for. Much more can be learned about a target market by interacting with actual customers than through market research efforts and focus groups. All this valuable, first-hand data about the customer can be collected and analyzed to improve current and future sales.
Successful dealer networks need not feel threatened
It’s very possible for a manufacturer with an existing dealer network to establish an e-commerce sales channel without offending these relationships. It can be a win-win situation for both. The manufacturer is able to glean customer insights and share valuable data with their dealer network – enhancing their sales as well.
With an e-commerce site helping to increase market share and brand awareness, this can also help all sales channels sell the product brands of the company more effectively.
Direct-to-consumer is scalable
E-commerce shopping carts can easily guide customers through selecting and purchasing products without needing any intervention from a salesperson. This makes for a very scalable sales channel. With an efficient ordering process in place, there is no need to add more sales personnel to facilitate increased sales.
57% of manufactures have adapted to the Direct-to-consumer sales model
Are you ready to take the plunge into E-commerce? Let’s discuss how Brand Experience can help you navigate the direct-to-consumer model and enable your customers to effortlessly purchase your products directly.