Manufacturers are no longer depending on traditional methods of finding a retail partner to distribute, merchandise, price and sell their product. The historical end-game simply boiled down to sharing the gross margin with the retailer. On the path from product source to sale there was a heavy spend on marketing and advertising to promote and build the brand.
Nowadays manufacturers build their brand by using social media and other digital tools. Through investment in digital platforms such as ecommerce and mobile they are able to sell directly to the customer whilst maintaining control over the distribution, merchandising, pricing and selling of their products. By selling directly to the consumer via an ecommerce platform they retain 100% of the gross margin. However, manufacturers may find difficulty in breaking free of traditional methods of interaction with middle men and may adopt a hybrid model of the D2C concept of direct sales with which they are comfortable. This fusion is likely to be the future sales and marketing default model across multi channels.
To make the most of the evolving landscape in direct sales, manufacturers require a digital platform that is powerful, functional, user friendly and scalable – an online sales tool that effectively promotes the brand and product to an engaged customer base enthused by both product uniqueness, value and transparent marketing strategies. Magento is the default future -proofed choice of ecommerce systems for serious manufacturers who wish to retain control of their product life cycle from concept development and manufacturing through to product sale and onward shipping. It allows Companies to build a branded retail presence at a fraction of the price of constructing High Street store fronts. Magento provides capabilities such as indepth reporting, analytics and same day shipping. The system also provides a host of digital tools that add to the platform’s scope and complements its inherent functional capabilities. Through introducing live conversation facilities for customers and focusing exclusively on their needs, it can promote customer relationships and drive online traffic.
Other parallel developments such as advances in smartphone technologies, more capable mobile networks and growing availability of mobile-specific digital tools are expanding the reality of both mobile commerce and location-based services. This all means better brand and consumer engagement, which is what the customer of today demands. Manufacturers can get their products into the traditional distribution channels through a Magento 2 digital platform without having to provide retailers with products consignment. It also dispenses with the related financial burdens of trade spend and listing fees. The opportunities provided by Magento are an unlimited reach, personalised marketing, advanced loyalty, full real time access to customers, fast product speed to market and retained control of merchandising and distribution. Manufacturers can rely on Magento developers to advise on and implement the safest, most competent payment portals, advanced shipping and return of goods policies with built in guarantees of product quality and efficient customer services. Magento also provides excellent SEO opportunities with clear provision for the implementation of digital marketing strategies and page optimisation for achieving optimal Google page rankings in SERPS. Its integration capabilities enables seamless linkup with accounting packages and CMS software.
Some of the greatly empowered features of Magento 2, that specifically help to drive manufacturer direct to consumer sales are:
- Robust coding architecture. This provides obvious benefits for manufacturers going forward .
- Evolving availability of an increased number of extensions improving customer engagement and promoting digital opportunities for increased conversions.
- A much more simplified dashboard that is easily navigated for more fluent administration
- Evolution towards a more customer-centric shopping experience with real time customer interrelational conversation possibilities.
- Provision of automatic upgrade installer to keep manufacturer’s website secure against malware and potential hacking
- Greater API compatibility providing easier integration with other programmes.
- Magento is CPI compliant making it a safe and secure platform with payment gateways such as Paypal, BrainTree and Authorise.net. These make manufacturers’ websites as unbreachable as an ecommerce site can be.
Magento provides manufacturers with a digital platform that is future-proofed and offers superior user experience. Customer-centric features lend themselves to the D2C model where the customer is put centre stage in an online transaction that offers quality value product and consumer focused service. The system has many rich features in its functionality that boost different sales and marketing models including B2C and B2B. It also provides an array of D2C specific features that enable manufacturers to select and adopt the best way of promoting brand product and online sales.