Disruption was the 2020 trend for us all and there was no exemption for manufacturers. The pandemic and the economy pressured companies to turn to digital platforms and find new ways to engage consumers quickly. Not shockingly, there are plenty of those modifications here to remain.
The new focus on digital buying and increasing preferences of consumers for digital experience give manufacturers some opportunities to increase sales and create consumer loyalty. Here are five CX patterns that manufacturers should remember for 2021.
Invest in D2C
Brands were steadily shifting toward more direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales before 2020. Today due to pandemic effects, brands are seeing their retail channel partners fail and go out of business. Hence, the importance of a direct link to customers is even more immediate.
Consumers are too adopting D2C that 40 percent of US customers said they had made direct-to-consumer transactions at the end of 2019. Costs and free shipping were their top factors.
Some high-profile consumer brands, including Amazon and other retailers, have sent compelling messages to the marketplace that they are pulling back from selling through their platforms in favor of selling directly to customers. One big fitness brand recently predicted that in the next few years, 50 percent of its overall sales would come from digital platforms.
Brands are worried in some instances about the impact D2C could have on their relationships with existing suppliers. Create exclusive D2C products to avoid competing with retail partners.
Give The Right Products
While for many manufacturers, D2C may make sense, the marketplace model could lose its appeal to others. Using the marketplace to sell their surplus and older inventory that does not clash with their retail and D2C products is one potential choice for brands, while also inviting other vendors to generate revenue from third-party transactions.
This strategy is not for all, but it could be a viable choice for companies with surplus goods on hand and a broad enough consumer segment that shops on markets.
Solutions With Value
There are more channels for consumers to shop. As a consequence, both B2C and B2B manufacturers face the risk of commoditizing their goods. This trend will drive brands to compete for value rather than price. Through bundling services with goods, one approach is to add value.
This strategy involves information created by internet-of-things technology, such as sensors tracking motor vibrations to let manufacturers know when service is required for a piece of equipment. Because of equipment issues, this will decrease customer downtime and encourage clients to schedule maintenance at the least disruptive time of day.
As recently as 2018, only one in 12 businesses monetized their data. However, according to CMS Wire, we will probably see more and more organizations wrapping up ongoing services around their products in this way, generating revenue and creating more valuable relationships with their clients.
CX and Personalization
Customer experience can also be tailored by the knowledge that suppliers gather and utilize to benefit clients. B2C commerce has led the way in identifying consumers and developing individualized interactions using data to engage customers along their journeys. Today, the same degree of personalization is increasingly anticipated by B2B consumers, and they will be more loyal to the brands they offer.
Because of the pandemic and some other developments to be seen in 2021, it has increased the need for personalization. This is particularly true for B2B manufacturers who deal digitally with prospects and customers instead of face-to-face in the field. More B2B customers have been coming to the websites of suppliers this year and finding that the experience did not meet their standards.
Improvements in loyalty and personalization are only one way to appeal to consumers in the year ahead. Reaching them through direct channels with unique deals, likely selling surplus stock on markets, bundling services with goods, and offering data as a commodity will help you generate more revenue while meeting the changing demands of customers for online shopping.