By Dave Llorens
The direct-to-consumer model can help companies cut costs and develop mutually beneficial relationships with manufacturers.
For business leaders, minor expenses can add up quickly. Remember that free 30-day trial of software you tested to see whether it would help you with Google Ads or invoicing or — whatever? I’ve probably paid for a year of unused software in this situation a dozen times. And that’s just one example.
There are plenty of runaway expenses if you don’t keep your eyes peeled for them. In a survey regarding the biggest financial challenges for business owners and managers, 35% of respondents ranked unforeseen expenses as their top pain point. Unexpected expenses or unexpected losses of revenue can cause severe problems, such as lawsuits, theft, damage, large customer returns, broken deals, etc.
Force yourself to sit down a few times a year, look at your expenses, and evaluate how they’re breaking down. Is there a pie slice of expenses that seems way too large? Look for ways to reduce the size of that slice. Luckily, many companies are saving money on a wide array of business expenses by moving to a direct-to-consumer model.
Being for the Benefit of Businesses
Companies like Away, Glossier, and The Honest Company are using the internet to skip retail and go straight into customers’ mailboxes. These companies and other direct-to-consumer brands have started to overtake some industries — their sales represented 13% of e-commerce sales after increasing by 34% in 2017.
Beyond traditional retail, some surprising industries are jumping on the direct-to-consumer bandwagon.
With the direct-to-consumer commerce model, however, manufacturers are getting out from under wholesalers. One such product gaining traction in this space is LED lighting. LED lighting is new, but the general lighting industry definitely is not. The business structures of LED lighting are dominated by some fairly archaic structures and byzantine distribution channels, with plenty of channel conflict and layers of markups as the product makes its way through the chain to the end user.
Consider the territorial sales representatives for most of these businesses. If there’s a potential lighting deal but it’s in another representative’s territory, you often have to get your price on the lighting from that rep — even if that rep works for the same company. Given that they’re territorial, they quote you a high price, so you lose the deal. But the real loser is the company itself.