With the explosion of eCommerce and online shopping in the retail market, some manufacturers have adopted or pivoted to a direct-to-customer (D2C) channel to diversify and get more control over their sales pipeline. Merging manufacturing, logistics and sales all under one umbrella, D2C has become an independent sales channel, with many brands choosing to sell their products directly to consumers in addition to their wholesale or other B2B channels. This opens up new, supplementary revenue streams, allowing brands to expand sales, bypass third-party players in the process and establish a direct link with their customers.
Employing the D2C channel also offers businesses detailed insights into their sales data, inventory and other operational aspects which can help them with pricing, strategy and analysis in real-time. Now that they have a dedicated space which can be directly accessed by the customer, brands don’t need to compete for real estate with other brands in a physical or digital marketplace.
However, for a manufacturer, becoming a ‘retailer’ is not straightforward by any stretch. Retailers are established experts in dealing directly with consumers to provide the level of customer service and experiences needed to sell products. They are also the experts in marketing, processing orders, stock control, managing margins and a whole host of skills that are not immediately transferable from manufacturing - it’s a sophisticated industry. Manufacturers entering the D2C space, therefore, are not doing so to compete with retailers. Instead, they can look to offer an alternative experience to customers that wish to connect with them directly, providing enhanced brand engagement, for example. This can only be made possible, however, with the development of a digital platform that can deliver positive customer experiences.
The good news is that we now have advanced eCommerce technology that offers the opportunity for all manufacturers to create digital platforms that are not only fit for purpose but will also futureproof a D2C strategy and allow businesses to scale as they need. But there is a critical first step to take - replatforming to composable commerce - and in this article, we’re going to talk you through it.
We will explain exactly what composable commerce is, and why it’s the best choice of forward-thinking D2C businesses. We’ll talk about how to make the move to a composable commerce platform, and why it will be the last time you ever need to replatform.
Why should D2C replatform to composable commerce?
Ditching traditional commerce platforms, or ‘monoliths’, and breaking free from ‘templates’, will liberate your digital commerce strategy. From here, you will be able to embrace an altogether more scalable and customizable model with composable commerce.
According to a Gartner report, by the year 2023 organizations that have adopted a composable approach to commerce will outpace their competition by more than 80% when it comes to the implementation and rollout of new features.
Adopting an enterprise-grade composable commerce platform is the best way to take control of your business, become as competitive as possible, and future-proof your business for success.
What is a monolith commerce solution?
In the past, the only option for setting up an online business was to sign-up to a monolith solution - a basic website running from a single platform. There would be limited customization options, pre-packaged features, and capabilities, and you would sign-up to the provider for a fixed contract, probably over a few years.
Usually, in the years of the contract that followed, the system would become gradually outdated and unfit for the demands of the business. As each fixed-term contract came to a close it would be time to shop around, replatform the whole site to the new monolith and lock in to another vendor’s product – repeating the cycle all over again.
IT teams would primarily be tasked with managing and troubleshooting this process, always playing catch-up with updates, rather than spending time on innovative projects that could actually add value to the business.
For a D2C business, this sounds like a ball and chain and can be rather counterproductive. But this needn’t be the case if you are ready for a modular, flexible and scalable composable commerce platform that allows you to exercise your plan of action without any compromises.
What is composable commerce?
Composable commerce leverages the latest MACH technology to make digital architecture completely flexible, adaptable and scalable. The combination of Microservices, an API-first approach, Cloud-based solutions and Headless architecture that decouples the backend from the front end allows businesses to create their very own, custom-built digital services that will differentiate their businesses.
MACH technology offers the chance to select a best-of-breed combination of functionalities and capabilities across every touchpoint, from website and mobile to smart speakers, that will all perform and update independently. There is no vendor lock-in, and all updates are taken care of by the technology partners providing each of the microservices.
The digital commerce solution is no longer limited to out-of-the-box features and static solutions, but a dynamic, customer-centric and ever-evolving platform that makes your business easier to do business with than ever before.
How to replatform to composable architecture - the right way
Like any other significant business project, replatforming is usually a complex process that should be implemented using an organized and agile software development method. Clearly defining and then communicating goals, expectations and requirements from the start is essential.
Set a clear idea of the timeline and be aware of the role of different stakeholders involved in the replatforming, as they will all need to be choreographed to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Communicating specific requirements to your replatforming partner and entertaining external ideas or contributions is also a good approach to achieve the outcomes that work best for your business.
For more insights on the project management aspect of replatforming and a step-by-step guide, you can visit the Complete Guide for Migration to a Composable Commerce Solution.
D2C replatforming, once and for all
By migrating to a composable solution you will be able to design and redesign your own D2C solution using the best, most suited microservices and front-end displays without any limitations associated with a monolithic vendor lock-in. To emerge as a market leader, you will need the ability to adapt and innovate at your own pace, use changing trends to your advantage, control the total cost of ownership, and enable your in-house experts to roll out new features in lockstep with consumer trends.
As an evolving D2C business, you want increased brand awareness and market reach by letting your customers find you and buy from you directly, creating a stronger relationship that will increase trust in your brand. For example, users are able to get in touch regarding feedback, queries, or problems, helping you to address issues faster and gain control over all your customer touchpoints.
By replatforming to a MACH-powered commerce platform, you will be able to cut costs, streamline revenues and increase profits which, safe to say, is the bottom line for any business.
Long story short – if futureproofing your business is a primary concern, your next move should be to replatform from a ‘monolithic’ service to composable commerce. And once you have completed this project, you will never have to replatform again.