Next wave of eCommerce: D2C and live selling

Highlights 

  • COVID-19 has brought numerous changes in the way people live, work and purchase products.
  • The pandemic gave a massive boost to a new wave of eCommerce - D2C and live selling.
  • D2C eCommerce refers to the strategy through which a manufacturer or a producer sells its product online directly to its end customers.
  • Live selling involves selling a product online via live streaming.

COVID-19 brought industries around the world to a halt and changed the way we live, communicate, perform daily activities and the way we buy products. Yet, at the same time, the pandemic united the world for a common cause to fight against COVID-19 and gradually return to normal life.

During this period, many businesses and customers had to cope with the ongoing changes in several ways. The period also gave a boost to a new wave of eCommerce- D2C and live selling.

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Let's understand these two concepts.

D2C selling

D2C eCommerce refers to the strategy in which the manufacturer or the producer of a particular product sells the product online directly to their end customers. Traditionally, the manufactures used to provide the finished goods to the wholesaler. The wholesaler then sends the product to the distributor, retailers and then reaches the end-users. However, in the D2C model, the product’s manufacturer sells the product directly to the end-users and cuts the middleman earlier involved in this process.

Live selling (Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media)

Benefits of D2C Selling

D2C selling disrupts the traditional way of selling a product as it provides a competitive advantage over the traditional way of selling products. Some of the benefits of D2C selling include:

  • Manufacturers have more control over their brands. Earlier, following the traditional selling strategy, the manufacturers had control over their products before handing them to retailers regarding packaging and marketing activities. With the D2C strategy, the manufacturers can directly build relationships with the end-users and gather inputs.
  • Manufacturers get more opportunities to innovate with the product and sell it to the end-user. In the D2C strategy, manufacturers can introduce the product to a small population, test on a relatively small demographic, and collect feedback. Based on the feedback, manufacturers understand what the customers want and make relevant changes wherever needed.
  • Manufacturers get access to end customers and the data.
  • As the strategy eliminates the middleman between manufacturers and customers, the manufacturers can achieve improved margins.
  • Broad market opportunities: D2C selling helps manufacturers to expand into new geographies. Only the manufacturers need to identify the correct market and the relevant market segment.

Challenges in D2C selling

D2C selling strategy does have a few challenges as well.

  • Manufacturers might experience challenges in selling the products. They do not have that level or the capacity which the retailers have to sell a particular product.
  • D2C companies might experience challenges concerning order fulfilment. These businesses might face challenges with big players and retailers in the market that can deliver the product with the next day shipping option.
  • Manufacturers need to look for new marketing strategies.

Live Selling

Live selling involves selling a product online via live streaming. In the present times, we see people selling products live on social media platforms such as Facebook. The users live at that time can purchase the product directly from the seller without leaving the social platform. The advantage of this live selling as the customers can directly contact the sellers and ask any question on a real-time basis without leaving the social media platform.

The sellers go live to sell their products and encourage viewers to buy products. In addition, sellers provide their viewers with brand experience and inspire confidence in them regarding the quality, size, and authenticity of the product.

Live selling (Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media)

Besides, the viewers get a glimpse of the product, and they get an idea of how the product works and how to use it.

Benefits of Live Selling

The increase in the demand for live streaming during the pandemic period gave a boost to live selling. Some of the advantages of live selling include:

  • Live selling helps the seller to gain access to customers around the world. In the present times, most people are active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Many sellers go live via these platforms and sell their products.
  • Sellers can connect with different users in real-time. They can communicate directly with the customers and understand their requirements. They can engage sales via direct communication and at the same time boost their reputation by offering quality products. Further, real-time promoting the product helps customers to get all the details in real-time.

Challenges in Live selling

While live selling connects the seller and buyer in real-time, it also has some challenges. Some of them are as follows.

  • Data security is one of the major challenges in live selling. It is possible that any technical issue can harm the reputation of the store.
  • There is a possibility that eCommerce companies might increase their prices.
  • It isn't easy to maintain customer loyalty.
  • Ecommerce strategy is never constant. There is fierce competition in this space, and the sellers must keep working on different strategies to sustain the business and grow further.
  • Cybercrime is also possible via live selling. Sometimes online sellers could sell fake products, which can damage the reputation of other sellers as well. Both buyers, as well as sellers, may be involved in fraudulent activities.

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