How D2C brands and sellers can adopt technology to enhance operational efficiency
Since the onset of the pandemic in India in early March this year, there have been substantial changes in our lifestyles and the way businesses function. For D2C brands and sellers, over the past 7-8 months, these changes have been rapid and are likely to be permanent. D2C segments such as ecommerce have been gaining steady traction long before the outbreak.
According to a Capgemini report titled ‘The Consumer and COVID-19: Global Consumer Sentiment Research in the Consumer Products and Retail Industry’ published in April 2020, the Indian consumers’ penchant for online shopping is projected to increase from 46% to 64% percent in the next 6-9 months. Driving this progress, is without a doubt, technology.
Having revolutionised our lives by helping us restore a sense of normalcy even amidst the pandemic, technology has played an instrumental role. Technology has been built to empower us with convenience, efficiency, and effectiveness.
We live in a world where it has become easily accessible and with aggregators acting as a medium, anyone can become an entrepreneur and take their business online. For D2C brands and sellers, leveraging technology to its fullest potential will not only accelerate growth further but will also help enhance operational efficiency and make the entire process simpler.
That said, let us take a look at how D2C sellers can incorporate technology into their business to make operations simpler and more efficient.
Logistical automation to improve the trust factor
For most businesses logistics forms a vital part of their operations, and for D2C businesses, logistical operations are paramount to ensure business continuity is not lost. For this reason, logistical operations need to run like clockwork for improved customer satisfaction and retention.
This is where brands turn to technology to help them finish the job. Introducing features such as real-time tracking and updates will contribute to the efficacy and success of the brand in several ways.
For instance, even though lockdown restrictions have largely been eased, there may still be some last-minute movement restrictions, resulting in delayed deliveries. To keep the customer informed regarding these delays, real-time tracking is necessary. They not only allow the brand and the customer to know the whereabouts of the orders but also help build and strengthen the trust factor between the two parties without a lack of transparency, thereby creating a frictionless post-order experience.
In many ways, automation in logistical operations alleviates the doubt and fear regarding the order and delivery, simplifying the process and making the seller feel at ease.
Partnering with third-party aggregators for smooth last-mile deliveries
Perhaps one of the most overlooked yet crucial steps in simplifying operations, partnering with third-party aggregators gives a D2C brand an edge over competitors for a variety of reasons.
When a D2C brand partners with third-party aggregators, they possess the power to make informed decisions that cut down the risk factor significantly.
For example, a vast majority of third-party aggregator businesses are driven by technology, which in turn gives the D2C seller similar access to technology and offers huge scope and a wide array of tech-enabled services to choose from. Right from choosing the right courier partner from their robust network of delivery partners, to hyperlocal deliveries, packaging, automated warehouse management, highly experienced and well-trained staff, and even updates such as non-delivery reasons, the D2C brands are presented with a plethora of choices.
Furthermore, third-party aggregators even provide the necessary handholding to sellers to help them make the right choice, thereby proving to be cost-effective in the long run.
But sellers and brands need to choose the right aggregator who can help them with end-to-end fulfillment.
Choosing the right third-party provider can be tricky as it can make or break the seller’s business. Sellers must take the time to analyse factors such as the services offered, if they fit into the seller’s requirements, and lastly, the cost of partnering with the aggregator.
With changing consumer preferences and an ever-growing demand for features such as doorstep delivery, online shopping, and order tracking, the D2C segment is evolving. Brands in the segment need to keep pace with the evolution by adopting cutting-edge technology to enhance operational efficiency, add convenience, and progress quickly.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)