Manufacturers are looking to third parties for help in adding consumer sales to their former B2B-only business models.
Today, as the demand for frictionless buying experiences heightens, manufacturers face many challenges transitioning into direct to consumer sales, including accessing data, maximizing conversions and channel conflict concerns.
According to a study commissioned by marketplace solutions provider Mirakl and SAP Hybris, an e-commerce solutions provider, manufacturers are turning to the online marketplace model to help remedy these issues. With an online marketplace, manufacturers are able to interact with consumers efficiently, support their own customer data and fulfill channel partner sales.
The study, conducted by worldwide advisory firm Forrester Consulting, surveyed 125 manufacturers and found that 53 percent are selling through third-party marketplaces or through channel partners. Respondents said they chose this route due to their inexperience with ecommerce, potential channel conflict and the expense associated with building out their own platforms.
Further, the study showed that many manufacturers that go it alone are less confident in managing transactions and direct customer relationships. For example, only 35 percent are confident in their ability to convert visitors to buyers. But those companies that use third-party marketplaces are 10 percentage points more comfortable making conversions. Similarly, only 28 percent feel comfortable in their ability to capture consumer information on their own sites, while 32 percent feel confident with this via their third-party partners. Manufacturers with online marketplaces were also 9 percent more confident in managing final stages of purchase fulfillment than their counterparts.
Despite facing challenges, most manufacturers are aware of the benefits of direct customer relationships. The study indicated that 90 percent of manufacturers said converting site visitors to buyers would be a crucial capability. Almost 90 percent of manufacturers also said that managing the customer experience through the entire purchasing cycle would boost their business potential.
Consumer insights were also important to manufacturers, with 84 percent stating that they would like to communicate pricing information to shoppers, as well as 80 percent that expressed interest in tracking consumers from visit to purchase.
While consumers demand better shopping experiences, manufacturers could pursue a direct selling model to stay relevant in the competitive market. By facilitating direct consumer relationships on online marketplaces, manufacturers could tap into shopping behaviors, establish a seamless purchasing process and perform well amidst retail’s changing landscape.
FDRA data revealed that footwear consumers may be shopping more in stores for the holidays.Read more
Price may be king but convenience governs much of the way traditional retailers are thinking about their customers today.Read more
Textile companies are delving deeper into product development to create fibers and fabrics that help regulate temperature and deal with extreme weather conditions.Read more
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association wants to establish more reasonable wage standards for the country’s ready-made garment sector—and any potential shifts could come with a wage hike, too. The BGMEA has asked the government to form a wage board for workers in order……...Read more
Consumer prices rose by an expected rate in October compared to a year ago, the result of a retreat in energy prices that had spiked at the end of hurricane season, plus flat food prices. Apparel prices dropped slightly year-over-year.Read more
This year hasn’t been an easy one for trade, with deals becoming defunct or upended, Brexit remaining an ongoing riddle and weather-related catastrophes disrupting global supply chains. Apart from the stress these market forces may have induced, they’ve also served as a reminder that agility is in higher demand than ever before.Read more