Over the past two decades, there has been a steady rise in online traffic caused by consumers turning to the internet and social media to shop for everyday essentials, rather than brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Warby Parker (eyeglasses), Casper (mattresses), and Wayfair (furniture) marked the dawning of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) era. These DTC brands understood the changing retail landscape, the evolving consumer habits and preferences, and rose to prominence by employing strategies that were still relatively new at the time, such as direct distribution, web-only retail, and social media marketing.
Fast forward to today. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing many consumers to stay home, online traffic and e-commerce sales have grown substantially. Even those who prefer in-store shopping have had to consider digital alternatives. Mid-pandemic, digital sales were up 77.8% year over year to $82.5 billion, tracking higher than holiday shopping levels on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to data from Adobe.
For help accommodating this sudden surge in direct-to-consumer sales, and navigating the transition from physical to digital stores, businesses are turning to sophisticated supply-chain technologies. At the same time, established players are looking for ways to use supply-chain and logistics technology to bypass regional distribution centers and get their products in the hands of consumers faster.
Adapting to the DTC lifestyle
Even as lockdowns lift and states begin to reopen, companies should avoid depending solely on the reopening of their physical storefronts and instead shift focus to DTC strategies.
Here are three ways organizations can implement and embrace their own DTC pipeline:
The rise of e-commerce is not surprising, but COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation of retail and triggered other unexpected disruptions throughout the industry. To keep up with these changes, organizations large and small need to reevaluate their supply chain models and develop strategies that are strong enough to support this new wave of DTC, yet flexible enough to support whatever comes next.
Senior Vice President & Sector Head – Consumer and Life Sciences, Wipro Limited.
Srini is passionate about helping companies reimagine their business: he has been delivering transformation to global clients in CPG, Retail, Manufacturing, and Finance over the last 25 years.
Srini has served in key leadership roles at Wipro for over a decade, gaining extensive experience in strategy, client engagement, global delivery, shared services build and execution, and effective team building. In his current role, he holds end-to-end P&L responsibility including Delivery, Sales, Solutions, and New Markets for Consumer and Life Sciences industries at Wipro. These industries cover Life Sciences and Pharma, Biotech, Food, Beverage, Retail Apparel & Footwear, Home and Personal Care, and Agriculture across all service lines in Wipro.
Srini works closely with advisors and industry analysts as a thought leader to design solutions to key business problems. He has presented in several industry forums and Wipro strategy events on the challenges organizations face in their digital, technology and operations spaces.
Srini is based in the Greater NY region.