The reality of Direct to Consumer selling: an exercise in brand building and customer experience.

January 25, 2021

Direct to Consumer (DTC) is defined as selling your product directly to your end consumer without middlemen, or a retailer, although you may choose to sell both DTC and through other channels. In this article, we will weigh the pros and cons of selling your goods direct to consumer.

Studies have shown that DTC growth has been trending upward during the last several years.  This trend has been further amplified due to the pandemic.   A clear trend to ecommerce has forced businesses to ensure they are positioned to not only survive but to enhance their brand and their customer’s experience in our new normal.

We are in a digital-first world:  consumers want instant-access to product, a choice of how they wish to shop, a seamless experience across all platforms and channels, and lighting fast order processing and shipping.  Brands and retailers are faced with finding their unique selling proposition and maintaining the loyalty of the end consumer through a seamless customer experience.

For brands who chose to sell through retail channels as well as DTC, they face the challenge of managing both the relationship between the brand and the retailer as well as their relationship with their end consumers.

Historically, when wholesalers relied on retailers to sell their goods, the retailer had the opportunity to gather data, promote the brand, obtain customer loyalty, and provide insights into trends, analytics, and use this to their advantage.

Direct to Consumer (DTC) gives the brand the power to control the marketing strategy, promotions, special events, but it also allows for collaboration with the retail stores. Offering programs like buy online pick up in store, offering the choice to arrange for store fulfillment are two examples where online can drive traffic to the stores.

Direct to consumer managed by the brand should be a win-win situation where the brands and the retailer are both working together to secure the brand loyalty and share the data to improve both channels.

Ensuring you are providing the best consumer experience via DTC while continuing to maintain an excellent retailer relationship is only part of the path to success.

Companies are investing in operational efficiencies as well. The direct-to-consumer platform must be in constant communication with the ERP and ERP fulfillment solutions. Product information, inventory, promotions, order fulfillment processing are all key staples of an efficient operations that enhances the consumer experience. Any breakdowns in the process affect the customer experience, so giving them full transparency to every step of the transaction is key.

It is crucial to tie your back-office systems to your DTC solution as it will solidify that your operation can handle the increased fulfillment requirements. Failure to realize this has led to disastrous results for brands that solely focused on the front facing consumer experience.

Another point in the customer journey that must be addressed is the return process, which is a major element of the DTC consumer experience.  Customers expect returns to be quick, easy, painless, and allow for multiple return channels (in-store, by mail).   Brands that allow for in-store returns benefit from increased store traffic and incremental sales. Keep in mind, the returns process can also be a barrier to entry for purchase. If the process is too complex, you may end up losing customers before they even complete the transaction.

Momentis provides robust ERP connectors utilizing the technology required whether it be EDI or API, that enable our customers to have an efficient and effective ecommerce strategy.

Direct to Consumer solutions such as Shopify and Big Commerce have joined forces with Momentis in providing the consumer a seamless shopping experience.

Beyond the Ecommerce connector, the Momentis ERP fulfillment solution ensures a successful end-user experience is achieved.

Is your company positioned to capitalize on the Direct to Consumer trend? Have you already started?  Momentis is here to help and support your journey to ecommerce automation. Let’s chat



The Momentis Fashion ERP System was developed for fashion, apparel, footwear and accessory brands, wholesalers and distributors.  Momentis automates and streamlines processes from design to delivery – Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Sourcing & Logistics, Inventory Management, Warehouse Management, Order Management and Financials – and integrates seamlessly with leading B2C, 3PL, POS and other 3rd parties using EDI and APIs. The software suite also includes cloud and mobile B2B and B2C apps and Momentis’ Business Intelligence.