It’s never been easier to customize the shopping experience — from product personalization to a myriad of purchasing and delivery options — to meet your specific needs. This shift has many companies adjusting their strategies to capture more e-commerce sales, developing processes to meet the “segment of one” with more personalized products and services. For instance, Walgreens is now offering a ship-to-store service, and even search engine giant Google has entered the home delivery space. Manufacturers are also taking notice; Bear Naked Granola and NIKEiD are just two examples of manufacturers going direct to consumers via e-commerce. And they are not alone.
As noted in the JDA 2016 Consumer Survey, buying direct from manufacturers is an emerging trend. In the last 12 months, nearly 45 percent of respondents say they have made a purchase directly from a product manufacturer rather than going through a third-party retailer. According to the survey results, price is the top key factor when purchasing directly from a manufacturer for 57 percent of respondents. Additionally, availability of the product was a consideration for 20 percent, whereas convenience was a consideration for 14 percent of the consumers surveyed.
As the line between retailer and manufacturer continues to blur, a growing number of manufacturers are recognizing the potential revenue opportunities that e-commerce (and its 24/7 accessibility) presents. However, to ensure that their e-commerce efforts are profitable, manufacturers need to have an always-on supply chain — one that is able to quickly adapt and leverage segmentation strategies to meet customer preferences for price, availability and convenience. As part of that process, closing the gap between maintaining adequate stock and profitably and efficiently fulfilling orders from both retail consumers and e-commerce customers is critical. Manufacturers will need to adopt intelligent fulfillment methods, ranging from allocation to delivery, and develop segmentation strategies across their different sales channels.
Interestingly, it’s not just the B2C space that has exploded. B2B has taken off and is firmly entrenched as a rapidly growing e-commerce model, with similar expectations for a personalized, seamless shopping experience. Whether a business is purchasing the numerous chemicals needed to produce components for cell phones or new furniture for an office space, there is an expectation for personalized service and the ability to quickly purchase and receive what is needed. Success in the B2B environment, as well as the B2C environment, means manufacturers will need an always-on supply chain, supported by technology with predictive/prescriptive analytics and guided decision-making capabilities, to adapt to these changing market conditions and opportunities.
To learn more about how JDA’s Manufacturing Planning solution enables the always-on supply chain, view this video or register for an on-demand webinar for a deeper dive into the latest capabilities available in JDA Manufacturing Planning.