Increasingly, some of the best-known B2B brands in the world, from PepsiCo to Nestle, are selling their products directly to consumers via marketplace channels or launching direct-to-consumer outlets of their own.
There’s good reason for this migration — one recent survey found that roughly 54% of consumers are now using direct-to-consumer channels to shop frequently and are likely to retain those habits in the future. As a result, direct-to-consumer sales are projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2021.
But selling directly to consumers (sometimes noted as DTC and D2C) can be a real challenge for even the most successful B2B brands, from issues of control over product experience to the need for speed on direct-to-consumer platforms. Discover how a strong product information management (PIM) solution can help you navigate around any roadblocks and become a direct-to-consumer success story.
The challenge: If you’re a B2B brand without an eCommerce platform, you’re not alone — there are plenty of other manufacturers and distributors who have yet to complete their digital transformation. In order to sell directly to consumers, however, you’ll need to build an eCommerce store where consumers can find information and purchase your products, one that can stand out from the ever-increasing crowd of companies selling to consumers online. That means offering accurate and consistent product information, compelling product descriptions, dynamic digital assets, and more.
The solution: A PIM solution is purpose-built to help you complete your digital transformation and begin meeting consumers where they are — namely, online and on other digital shopping channels. With a strong PIM solution, you’ll be able to easily and efficiently collect, standardize, enrich, contextualize, and distribute product information to not only your retail and distribution partners but also to your owned channels — such as your new eCommerce site.
Control your product experience
The challenge: To succeed online, it’s crucial to take control of your product experience and provide your customers with a unified, but not uniform, product experience across a range of different channels. But managing your product experience in an omnichannel world is a complex and challenging process that includes complying with the requirements of every channel you sell on. This includes customizing product descriptions and digital assets for each channel and providing a product experience tailored to the touchpoint your customers are using.
The solution: A strong PIM solution will offer tools to help you categorize products, including product variants, and offer tools like automation and a business rules engine to make the product enrichment process more efficient. This will make it easier for your team to present a compelling product experience that remains unified, but not uniform, across a wide range of owned and unowned channels, including direct-to-consumer outlets. And, by pairing your PIM with a strong syndication solution, you can take your direct-to-consumer experience to the next level to win over even more new customers.
The challenge: Going direct-to-consumer means keeping up with ever-changing consumer tastes and trends. Your team needs to be able to easily and efficiently update catalogs with new products and product information. Manually updating catalogs with new product information can be time-consuming and difficult to accomplish quickly, particularly if you’re not used to marketing your products directly to consumers.
The solution: With a robust PIM solution, your team can get access to tools that allow them to quickly and easily update product assortments by adding or removing products from your catalog, adding new product attributes, and pushing updates to the relevant sales channels. They can also more easily add new attributes, rewrite descriptions in one central system, rapidly populate them to all sales channels in context, and even embrace new offerings like BOPIS (buy-online-pick-up-in-store). That means your team can work more quickly and stay agile, adapting and updating your catalog with ease and accelerating your time-to-market, and helping you get more selling days on your direct-to-consumer platforms.
The challenge: Picking up the pace is all well and good, but if your product information is being bogged down by errors, inconsistencies, or incomplete data, that speed will all be for naught. Your customers, particularly consumers who may not be familiar with your brand, need to feel confident in any potential purchase they may make. If your product data is inaccurate or inconsistent, consumers are far less likely to make a purchase. And, if they do complete a transaction only to find that your faulty product data resulted in them purchasing the wrong product, they’re likely to return the product and go to your competitor for future purchases.
The solution: A good PIM solution will allow you to accelerate your time-to-market and boost team efficiency without sacrificing product data quality with features like automation, a business rules engine, validation control, and more. A robust PIM will also provide you with a way to analyze your product data, identify low-quality pieces of information, and provide suggestions to show you how to improve your product experience and win over shoppers on direct-to-consumer channels.
Solve Direct-to-Consumer challenges with Akeneo PIM
There’s no doubt going direct-to-consumer poses some big benefits — and significant challenges — to B2B brands big and small. The best way to overcome those challenges, in our humble opinion, is with a robust PIM system — like Akeneo PIM!
Akeneo PIM is built to help you conquer direct-to-consumer challenges by helping you take control of your product experience, work more efficiently, accelerate time-to-market, and improve product data quality. So, give your team the tools they need to succeed on direct-to-consumer channels with Akeneo PIM!