Welcome back to our new series on Reviving D2Cs! Previously in Part 1, we discussed the key reasons why D2C brands fall behind, and now we will explore how technology can save them. In the last several years, tech has gained the ability to reduce human errors and excel in the booming e-commerce space. With the right AI-powered tools, D2C companies can build robust operations, expand their footprint, create a stronger competitive position, and ultimately accelerate growth.
Let’s explore four such technology solutions!
IMS to Optimize Inventory Levels, Costs, and Profitability
Globally, retailers lose $1.75 trillion annually due to inventory mismanagement. When online retailers and D2C companies can’t manage inventory levels, minimize holding costs, anticipate demand, or improve inventory turns, they end up losing a lot of money. They also miss orders, anger customers, and lose their reputations.
Here’s the good news: D2C retailers can think of increasing their profit percentage by better managing their inventory with Inventory Management Software (IMS). Unlike old-fashioned manual or spreadsheet-based inventory management systems, automated IMS solutions simplify and even help optimize inventory management. They provide real-time visibility into inventory status and allow direct to consumer retailers to manage inventory flexibly. MIS allows D2Cs to avoid the unwanted risks and costs of incorrect inventory levels. With advanced planning, forecasting, notifications, and reporting features in IMS platforms, D2C retailers can anticipate demand, adjust sales projections, and fulfill orders. With a host of capabilities at their disposal, they can not only improve inventory management; but can also maximize inventory profitability.
Automated OMS to Streamline Fulfillment and Satisfy Customers
Seamless order management ensures the fulfillment of incoming orders to meet customer demands. For a growing D2C company, spreadsheet-driven order tracking/fulfillment systems are not just insufficient but can also drag down its growth prospects. This is because such old methods often result in missing, mismanaged, or misplaced orders that annoy customers, affect the company’s reputation, and damage the financial position.
In contrast, an automated, D2C-ready order management system (OMS) simplifies the entire order management process from start to end. It faithfully records and tracks all received orders through every channel the D2C brand operates in. It also enables them to automatically route orders to the right warehouse and send order information to third-party logistics (3PL) partners – both of which can improve order fulfillment and delivery.
With the correct OMS, D2C companies can also track orders by location and currency, send order updates to customers, and ease the process of returns, exchanges, replacements, and refunds. An OMS platform is also ideal for customer relationship management. D2C companies can easily access customer information to create personalized email campaigns and build strong customer relationships. They can also target customers for cross-sells and upsells, which can have a huge impact on their sales, revenues, and profits.
WMS to Modernize Warehouse Operations
To streamline their inventory-related operations, D2C companies need both warehouse management software (WMS) and inventory management software (IMS). IMS provides a high-level view of the total inventory in one specific location. On the other hand, WMS platforms allow D2C e-commerce companies to manage the entire storage system within a warehouse, not just inventory. These firms can track stock movement from the warehouse to the point of delivery to the customer. Here WMS can show its exact location within the warehouse and allows D2C companies to better manage warehouse and inventory operations. They can effortlessly manage daily warehouse tasks and generate detailed reports on stock status. Further, they can analyze sales trends, profit margins, and holding costs and find opportunities to optimize these aspects of the business.
The best WMS platforms also help standardize activities related to stock picking, packing, and shipping. Unlike spreadsheet-based systems, WMS software makes it easy to manage replenishment and order fulfillment activities. All these capabilities help maximize the operational efficiency and growth prospects of D2C brands.
Artificial Intelligence Tools to Enhance Customer Experiences
D2C brands have yet another powerful technology at their disposal – Artificial Intelligence. By leveraging AI tools, they can better understand their customers, and design offerings to enhance customer experiences. With AI solutions, they can create customer-centric search engines that display more relevant results, thus improving customers’ shopping experiences. These results also reduce the chances of the shopper abandoning the search. Abandonment can be a death knell for D2C brands, and AI can help them avoid this fate.
AI empowers D2C businesses to retarget potential customers that are already interested in the company’s products and therefore more likely to spend! With AI, D2C sellers can also generate new leads, create a more effective sales process, offer “conversational” support with chatbots, and deliver personalized recommendations to boost sales.
All in all, D2C companies that embrace AI-driven platforms can successfully get into turbo drive mode, while the laggards who deny its potential fall behind.
In e-commerce, the D2C space is crowded, hence hyper-competitive. In this scenario, great products and affordable prices are simply not enough for success. To differentiate themselves and succeed over their competitors, D2C companies need to do more to understand their customers, manage their inventory, and perfect their order fulfillment capabilities.
With spreadsheet-based or other legacy systems, all of this can be overwhelming and nigh impossible. Here’s where technology comes to the rescue. By implementing the right tools and using them in the right way, D2C companies can overcome their challenges and achieve success.
If you are a D2C brand, then we’ve got your back! Ergode helps D2C companies scale their operations and boost growth with AI and Machine Learning solutions. From data collection and order processing to customer communications and predictive insights, our AI/ML offerings simplify complexity and empower D2C firms to grow their business. Contact us to know more.