In the earlier times before D2C platform existed. The only way brands could reach out to consumers was through retailers and wholesalers, which means they had to share the commissions with the middlemen. The other popular form of unorganized retail was door-to-door sales which were prevalent in the late 1990s.
There was almost no direct relationship between the brand and the end consumer. Even if it existed it was more of a person-to-person relationship rather than a direct-to-consumer relationship. Thus, the ability of the brand to understand the needs of the end consumer was very insignificant.
With the advent of the internet and the penetration of mobile shopping, we have witnessed multiple Direct to Consumer brands and Direct-to-Consumer platform(s) emerge. Some of these brands are Dollar Shave Club, Wakefit, Bewakoof.com, etc. Post-Covid, the D2C model is catching up real fast and companies are seeing it as the future of retail since consumers are now comfortable with shopping online.
Until a Decade ago setting up your shop online was a huge task, it meant employing a dozen of IT people who were working day and night to make it a smooth experience whereas now with the help of SaaS companies like Yelo, JungleWorks, it is merely a task on 10-15 days and as easy as drag and drop. With many retailers having to close their shops due to unforeseen circumstances going online was the only option and that is when brands like Yelo, JungleWorks came out to help the distressed economy to help them bounce back on their feet.
What a SaaS Platform can do for your D2C Business?
- Get you started in 10-15 days
- Save cost
- Integrate with analytics
- Integrate with Social Media
- Offer Seo Optimization
- 24/7 Support
- Offer Inventory Management
- Integrate with Payment Gateway
- Order Fulfillment
- Customer Relationship Management
- Provide an Interface for customers to place orders.
Let’s Dive a bit deeper on how to select a platform for your D2C business:
The price is the uniform controller for growth in any country. Your business needs to pick the right platform while keeping pricing at the forefront. While almost all the platforms offer you the basic features, they differ in terms of file storage, GDPR compliance, bandwidth, and support, such as Live Chat support 24/7, a webstore, and app modules, as well as blog modules.
Yelo helps with all this and much more. Use content pages to link blogs to your main website and provide clarity to your customer. Yelo helps you accomplish all this and so much more, like linking multiple blogs to your main site, providing clearer information to your users as well as spreading your brand message etc.
The next crucial step is the seamless integration of payment gateways. A failed payment can turn off your customers and send them to your competitors – This is a major weak point of emerging brands. The function of the payment gateway is to transfer funds between 2 parties. Depending on your target audience you should decide the right payment gateway and the platform that has seamless integration with the same. Not having the right payment gateway with multip[le payment options can lead to the loss of many customers which is a big pain point for any brand.
JungleWorks’ supports a plethora of payment gateways so that you don’t have to compromise on your choice of payment gateway. Most of the payment gateways charge 1.75% to 2.5% over the fixed cost per transaction so you should also keep that in mind while scaling up.
Security is also something that should be on the top of the mind while selecting the platform and the payment gateway to gain trust and retain the customers. Choosing payment gateways with SSL encryption and safety features to increase the trust among your customers since the payment gateways share financial information.
SaaS or Cloud-Based D2C Platforms
Most Saas-based or Cloud-based D2C platforms provide a ready-to-use platform hosted on the cloud and managed by them for you to take your business online in only a span of 10-15 days. They along with the platform also provide you with the ability to analyze the data and use their platform to market their products to the end consumer.
These platforms are generally simple order management systems that help you with everything you need to manage your retail side of the business along with the integrations with 3rd party software so that you can be omnipresent to your customers. Along with marketing and payment integrations these platforms also tend to have other 3rd party integrations such as delivery management, catalog management, google maps, customer relationship management platforms, etc.
Yelo provides you with the full-fledge ordering solution that helps you with an inbuilt marketing ecosystem giving you features like promo code management, loyalty scheme, referral codes management along with an option of SEO optimization. Apart from this it also boasts its proprietary mapping platform FLIGHTMAPS that helps you save costs on google maps who has increased its cost by 8 times in the last few years. Along with this it also has a seamlessly integrated suite of customer relationship management platforms “BULBUL”, Delivery Management Platform “TOOKAN” and many 3rd party integrations that are required to make your D2C business a mean revenue-generating machine.
While an in-house platform seems more reliable to the companies since it provides more control over the platform it does require additional resources and long-term planning while scaling. It involves a whole lot of extra costs for servers, resources that will manage, update and give support to the platform. One has to continuously update the platform according to the latest trends and always be on top of the new technologies which is not possible for small startups and hence, cloud-based SaaS solutions are the best choice for them to launch and get to market fast and easy.
Social Media and Analytics
Besides big tech companies providing order management and cart software, Social Media platforms such as Google, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc have helped multiple D2C brands to establish their brand and increase awareness among their target audience by taking them online and giving them visibility.
They’ve helped the brands to get in touch with their consumers and control the narrative and messaging of the brands by offering multiple cost-effective channels to communicate with the customers directly using various mediums such as audio, video, and images.
Finally, with all the channels helping the brands spreading their message and increasing their customer base, analytics and integration with platforms like google analytics is of prime importance. This is where brands get the collated view of their customers and the effect of their marketing on them. Analytics provides you with the data you need to make future decisions that will make or break your brand in the D2C world.
Yelo provides you with real-time reports that help you make decisions quicker along with the inhouse business intelligence tool it also has the ability to integrate with google analytics so that you can also get a deeper insight about your products, customers, and brand messaging and develop your strategies accordingly.
Lastly, you can also put some emphasis on the questions like:
Does the platform allow you to sell on up-and-coming marketplaces such as Facebook?
What kind of 3rd party integrations does the platform support?
What is the frequency of updates over the platform and how customizable is it?
In conclusion, different platforms will work for different brands, depending upon their budget and requirements. With the wave of D2C driving the future of retail and wholesale it’ll be a win-win for the brands and various platform providers.