In the modern world of business sales one thing is clear. Manufacturers can no longer afford to wait to sell direct to customers. Those who still rely solely on middle-men and vendors will soon find themselves taken over by manufacturers selling direct to consumers already.
It’s time for almost all brands to take at least a part of the sales process into their own hands. Consumer habits are changing quickly with technology. Manufacturers selling direct to consumers not only give themselves an upper hand, they preempt any glitches that could arise by leaving their brand image in the hands of third parties.
4 Essential Tips For Manufacturers Selling Direct To Consumers
Manufacturers selling direct know that the sales process is not a walk in the park. Still, it is worthwhile to invest some in-house resources towards the effort and reap the benefits of having direct interaction with your customers. Here are tips that are simple enough to get you started while you learn the tricks of the trade along the way.
(1) Manage The Experience
To start off on the right foot, manufacturers selling direct need to take control of the sales experience. Some customers prefer to buy from a retailer — both online and offline — but they will still check a manufacturer’s site for product information before the purchase. This is the point where you can increase your value by having more thorough info to guide the buyer’s journey. Having a brand site that is rich with content can provide an on-the-spot incentive to purchase. One thing to keep in mind is to not use a bolt-on eCommerce shop but to integrate commerce into your dot come site. It may take more time and be more expensive but will pay off in terms of SEO and user experience.
(2) Get Your Pricing Right
According to the Forrester and Digital River survey, manufacturers selling direct to consumers enjoy increased revenues. However, there’s a fragile line to tread when it comes to pricing. Customers may prefer to pay a slight premium for buying directly from manufacturers for a few reasons. (We’ll get into that in a moment.) But know that if your retail partners are selling the same item for 20-40% less than your list price, this could easily be perceived as an insult. Try to give your customer options by pricing that meets or is only slightly above the average retail price. They can choose the option that is most convenient for them and you can increase your brand image by giving them a further reason to purchase directly from you. This brings us to our next point.
(3) Offer A Unique Value Proposition
Manufacturers selling direct need to make sure that their brand experience provides the gold standard. Buying “officially” should always be the most rewarding option. The tactics for making this happen for brands are indeed very simple. Offer up branded coupons and programs for loyal buyers. Present point-of-action freebies and perks. (Need some ideas? Check out this blog.) These are the tidbits your retail partners can’t really afford to offer. Steer away from the false idea that these tactics may offend your retail partners. Instead, make it clear that you deserve to nurture and have access to your most loyal buyers.
(4) Sell Direct Through Group Buys
Why do you need a Groupon to host group buys? First of all, it may be a bad idea, and second of all, it’s quite easy to host your own branded group buys. Manufacturers selling direct should always have a group buy offer ready on their website. It’s (a) a way to spread word-of-mouth, (b) a means to get rid of items in bulk, and (c) a way to bring prices down — as in the case with BMW. Worth a mention is that today you can even organize a white label group buy with no extra fees. This is the kind of power that manufacturers selling direct need in their hands.
There is no reason why manufacturers should shy away from selling directly to consumers. All the tools you need are there and the market is shifting in favor of it. We offer one tool that can help you on all the points listed in this post. A free group buying platform that you can start using right now — no strings attached. If you want to learn more, download our free Group Buying Guide and get started today.