We've been saying for awhile now that Customer Experience (CX) is one of the most important factors that manufacturing leaders need to be focusing on in the 2020s, and this CMSWire article highlights even more reasons why. The disruptions of 2020 have caused major shifts across the manufacturing industry, damaging retail chains, and speeding up certain trends which had already been in progress. Now, more than ever, industry needs to be looking to embrace digitally-focused B2B and D2C processes to avoid falling behind.
The Importance Of Investing In Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Sales Processes
"The new emphasis on digital purchasing and rising customer expectations for digital experience give manufacturers some opportunities to grow revenue and build customer loyalty."
Even before the chaos of 2020, buyers were moving to embrace D2C sales processes. At the end of 2019, forty percent of American buyers had made at least one purchase directly from the manufacturer. At the time, this was still relatively rare, with most buyers only making a few purchases this way. However, those numbers are now on the rise, due in no small part to the coronavirus outbreak and the push to avoid face-to-face interactions whenever possible.
Simply put, manufacturers in every industry should now be looking to sell direct to the public through their website and other digital channels, unless contractual obligations outright forbid it. Many brands are increasingly banking on these D2C purchases, and it makes sense that they would.
Another trend fuelling this shift towards D2C is the proliferation of online marketplaces offering cheap imported goods. When sites like Alibaba, Ali Express, and Wish all offer extremely cheap (in every sense) imported products, and even Amazon is becoming flooded with cheap imports, it's become extremely difficult for quality manufacturers to stand out. More and more manufacturers want to avoid that particular race to the bottom, and look to bring buyers directly to their own digital outlets instead.
What can bring buyers directly to your digital storefronts? There are several strategies being explored.
- Value-added services: Since products themselves are becoming more readily available, a shift towards offering bundled services is a great way to add value, while also increasing buyer loyalty. For example, offering tech support and service as standard with new products.
- Leveraging data services: Another potential value-add is utilizing your own data, or data-storage services, to enhance your offerings. By adding Internet-of-Things functionality to products, companies can collect valuable data on usage while also reselling that data back to the buyer in the form of analytics and other data services which enhance the value of the product. (eg, vehicles with built-in sensors that construct usage profiles for their owners.)
- Focusing on improved Customer Experience. CX is now one of the major differentiators separating businesses in the same industry. The smoother and easier it is to interact with your operation, the more likely you are to earn customer loyalty. Look to streamline your online interactions, speed up product delivery (a major issue with overseas marketplaces), and integrate your software/data-service offerings to make the experience as smooth as possible.
LogicBay Makes Large-Scale Corporate Strategy Shifts Easier To Implement
For years, LogicBay has helped manufacturers improve operations and CX within indirect sales operations. Now, we are shifting with the times, and applying our ecosystem-based approach to business to help industrial leaders update their processes. LogicBay tools and consulting help connect all aspects of your business ecosystem, encouraging communication, collaboration, and improved education.
Our digital platform, FUSE was built to give manufacturers and dealers more opportunities to interact with customers and deliver an improved brand experience. Customers can utilize the FUSE ecosystem to stay connected with the brands and dealers they buy from, access information about their products, and get the support they need to succeed. FUSE was designed to help manufacturers engage effectively with all constituents from supplier to dealer, and most importantly the customer, to strengthen overall business relationships