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Why a fulfilment partner is a necessity for a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand

Versha Kamwal
August 10, 2021
7
mins read

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Ecommerce trends are everchanging and they leave a lasting impact on the industry. The most recent ecommerce trend in India is the changing consumer behaviour and the industry is addressing the new shift.

Ecommerce brands are now strengthening their online capabilities and opting for different approaches to cater their customers— by going directly to consumers to offer a great experience to their patrons.

In this blog, you'll learn what are direct-to-consumer brands, why do customers prefer to buy from direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, why direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands can't keep up with customer expectations, how can direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands meet ever-growing customer expectations with Eshopbox, and what direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have to say about Eshopbox.

What are direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands?

Direct-to-consumer (D2C or DTC) are the brands that sell their products online directly to their customers. They eliminate retailers, distributors, wholesalers or any other type of middlemen from the selling process.

Here are a few of the top direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in India:

SUGAR cosmetics, MyGlamm, MarchTee, Everpret, Super Smelly, and many more.

Traditional retailer vs direct-to-consumer (DTC)

Why do customers prefer to buy from direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands?

Online store builders and shopping carts like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce have made starting a direct-to-consumer (D2C) business easier than ever. In the last few years, along with the rise of ecommerce, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have also started popping up in the Indian business ecosystem. According to Avendus Capital, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands could be looking at a $100 billion addressable consumer opportunity in India by 2025. Moreover, leading direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands in personal care and food spaces have witnessed over 100% growth.

Thus, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have experienced massive growth. Now let's see why.

  • Low prices

In traditional retail, the involvement of too many middlemen such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors increases the prices for end customers. In contrast, as there are no middlemen in direct-to-consumer (D2C), prices stay low for customers.

  • Better policies

Policies like returns and refunds are much more customer-centric when customers are directly dealing with the brand which manufactures the product, i.e. a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand. Moreover, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands never hesitate to go the extra mile in keeping their customers happy.

  • Quality assurance

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands maintain complete transparency when it comes to the quality of their products. Unlike some products listings on marketplaces such as Amazon, which can include fake or counterfeit products. As customers assume that they are buying from Amazon and not from a particular brand (due to lack of brand differentiation), it's easy to fool customers and still not hamper the brand image. However, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands ensure that they provide detailed information of their products so that their customer know what exactly are they buying, such as content-rich descriptions and adequate high-quality product images.

Mama earth provides detailed product information
Mama earth provides detailed product information

  • Customer engagement

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have mastered the art of customer engagement by building a loyal following across social media channels. To enhance customer experience, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands often engage with their customers directly and turn them into brand advocates. With engaging content, giveaways, contests and more they are reaching customers through relevant interactions across every touchpoint while building a great brand experience. Moreover, some direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands also focus on a certain set of values and social causes, which helps them connect with customers on a personal level.

Sleepy owl coffee aims high at customer engagement across social media
Sleepy owl coffee aims high at customer engagement across social media

Why direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands need a fulfilment partner?

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands can experience exponential demand when marketed correctly, and they often do. But keeping up with the constant increase in demand is not easy. Here most of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands fail to realise a sizable growth if they don’t have an experienced fulfilment partner. It is essential to capitalise on the first real touchpoint with their customers—the order delivery. This happens because direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands don’t have the time, infrastructure, scalable storage or manpower to fulfil a high volume of orders. This results in missed timelines, poor order accuracy, slow shipping speed, or ordinary packaging, which can hamper the customer experience all at once and may cost the brand loyalty. That's why having an ecommerce order fulfilment strategy is a must which can grow with your direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand.

How can direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands meet ever-growing customer expectations with a fulfilment partner like Eshopbox?

Eshopbox is a tech-enabled 3PL (third-party logistics) provider, that enables direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to put their ecommerce operations on autopilot. Eshopbox allows brands to scale flexibly by handling the entire order fulfilment process for them so that they can focus on core business like marketing, and other business growth initiatives. Here are other ways 3PLs like Eshopbox can help direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to grow:

1. Fast shipping

Eshopbox leverages powerful technology in the entire order fulfilment process, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, and more. Additionally, the streamlined pick and pack process ensure quick order processing so that your D2C orders are marked 'ready to ship' as soon as possible. Additionally, automation minimises the risk of human error and ensures incredible order accuracy. You can also enable priority pick and pack for orders that require faster turnarounds.

Eshopbox's streamlined pick and pack
Eshopbox's streamlined pick and pack

2. Custom packaging

Packaging can make a significant impact on how your customers perceive your direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand. Custom packaging can help increase your brand recognition and drive more sales. You can create an exceptional unboxing experience for your customers and curate an unforgettable first impression of your brand.

With Eshopbox, you can set flexible packaging rules for packaging materials to be used for different products and add inserts such as samples, gift cards, coupons, pamphlets and more. You can also incorporate special instructions for using bubble wrap for fragile merchandise and generate custom labels like 'fragile.'

Moreover, in this age of social media, influencers who make “unboxing” videos with your products can increase your direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand's visibility and improve brand image.

The Mom's co's custom packaging
The Mom's Co. creates a great unboxing experience

3. Distributed network of fulfilment centres

Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres (with more locations coming!), which means you can split your inventory across the country and reach your customers faster. With Eshopbox, your orders are sent to the fulfilment centre closest to your customer, which results in faster shipping times and lower shipping costs. Thus, you don’t have to be a billion-dollar direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand to have an Amazon-like reach.

Eshopbox's distributed network of fulfilment centres

4. No hidden fees

At Eshopbox, we believe every brand deserves the peace of mind when it comes to routine business expenses. Our pricing is transparent so you don't have to deep down to find any hidden fees, as everything is clearly visible.

5. Real-time inventory tracking

With Eshopbox, you have a real-time view of your inventory across multiple locations and multiple inventory statuses. With complete inventory visibility, you are fully informed about how much inventory is sellable, inward in progress (on the way), and outward in progress (being processed and fulfiled). Moreover, you can set up reorder points to ensure timely inventory replenishment.

Eshopbox's actionable dashboards provide complete inventory visibility
Eshopbox's actionable dashboards provide complete inventory visibility

6. Handling the constant surge

During an expansion spree, you require an infrastructure that is flexible enough to manage the constant increase in order volumes, i.e. adequate manpower and scalable storage space at all times. As orders spike up, the requirement for automation also arises to minimise the need for manual operations—which are time-consuming and not so cost-effective. You can leverage Eshopbox's established fulfilment infrastructure to effectively manage the increase in sales while ensuring a branded experience for your customers.

What does a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand have to say about Eshopbox?

Some of the fastest-growing direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands partnered with Eshopbox to handle their order fulfilment. Here’s what this direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand has to say:

Zero Risque

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred demand for a variety of products- from supplements and home workouts to sanitisers and disinfecting wipes — but one that really stands out is facemasks. This need quickly transformed into a trend that saw a lot of interest from all industries as a mark of support for their community. However, Zero Risque emerged as a reliable expert offering trendy yet safe products for people at large.

Zero Risque is a sustainable face mask brand that offers a creative blend of technology, utility and fashion, giving customers a unique product experience. It has collaborated with a leading Swiss Technology firm Heiq Vroblock to provide reusable face masks that are 99.97% effective at killing viruses.

Zero Risque

Our customers are accustomed with the best products and services and often want this in a quick time. With Eshopbox, we have managed to delight our customers every day. This has led to a massive increase in our returning customer base which has been a pleasant surprise.

-Abhas Kumat, Concept owner, Zero Risque

Read more

Bottom line

Direct to consumer (D2C) brands gained massive popularity in the past few years due to lower prices, customer-friendly policies, customer engagement, and more. With such high demand, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are primed for success. However, this constant surge means the inability to constantly fulfil customer expectations would eventually slow their growth if they stick to self-fulfilment. That’s why many of them partner with 3PL providers (third-party logistics) to help them grow faster by taking direct-to-consumer (D2C) order fulfilment off their hands.

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