…and how EDI can help your brand capture a slice of this lucrative market.

More and more brands are discovering that direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales channels and Millennials are a match made in heaven. Millennials (born between the early 1980s and 2000s) are famous for shunning big, established retailers and brands.

Instead they prefer to hunt for brands that speak to their priorities: convenience, premium product without premium price, authenticity, personalisation and a seamless shopping experiences. It’s no coincidence successful brands with a strong direct-to-consumer strategy, and who leverage electronic data interchange (EDI), also tick all of these boxes.

The fact that most D2C brands are eCommerce focused and offer seamless and convenient omnichannel experiences also holds huge appeal for a generation that makes more than half of its purchases online.

Find out more: What is direct-to-consumer?

EDI solutions can strengthen your D2C strategy

Brands looking to break into or consolidate their presence in this segment must have a firm grip on their supply chains, online order fulfilment and aftersales service if they are to be successful. This is where smart digital infrastructure, such as direct-to-consumer EDI, can significantly strengthen your D2C strategy.

One of the biggest attractions for Millennials is that D2C offers premium products without the premium price tag. D2C brands are able to achieve this by eliminating intermediaries, cutting distribution costs and investing budget elsewhere so they gain greater control over their profit margins.

But that doesn’t mean the challenge of distributing products from factory to consumer disappears overnight. Instead, these challenges become the responsibility of the brand. This is where the huge value of EDI solutions become clear.

Find out more about the Pros and Cons of Direct to Consumer.

How much could you save with Transalis eDI™?

EDI ROI Calculator

Recommended Bundle *Illustrated ROI based on recommended formula provided by Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply - CIPS

Use the ROI calculator to find out how much money you could save by using EDI to process your documents.

Select the number of Trading Network you trade with, followed by the number of Orders, Advanced Shipping Notes (ASNs) and other transaction documents you process monthly.

Based on the input we will show an indicative saving and recommend an EDI solution that fits your requirements.

Get the basics right with Cloud-based EDI

When a brand’s enterprise resource planning system (ERP) is integrated with a cloud-based EDI software, key information (customer names, addresses, products and quantity) can be automatically shared without the risk of human input error. Market-leading supply chain EDI solutions also include address verification, ensuring that orders are sent to the right address first time, every time. Brands and manufacturers of all sizes know the importance of getting the basics right at scale if they are to protect customer lifetime value.

These EDI benefits are worth their weight in gold at a time when swift, high-volume order fulfilment is the backbone of any D2C brand’s operation. EDI solutions not only ensure fulfilment is efficient, they can also deliver real-time supply chain visibility so brands can identify trading spikes as they happen and ensure stock is available to satisfy increased demand.

If the worst should happen, and a supplier is unable to fulfil an order, cloud-based EDI ensures that alternative suppliers can be on-boarded swiftly and efficiently to plug the gap.

Find out more: What is EDI?

Personalised experiences are essential

Another big attraction for Millennials are health and beauty, apparel and technology brands that speak to them directly. This demographic values high levels of personalisation (personalised products and customer experiences) and they also interrogate brands’ values before they make a purchase.

This helps to explain Millennials’ warm embrace of D2C brands such as Casper, the mattress pureplay, which is currently valued at $1.1 billion. Beyond profitability, Casper prioritises radical data-based personalised experiences, customer satisfaction and social responsibility. Not only does it offer a Millennial-pleasing 100-night trial of its mattresses, it also recycles or donates unwanted products.

Another great example of D2C personalisation is loungewear start-up MeUndies, which allows its customers to select unique underwear prints, styles, and matching sets with their subscription model.

The direct line of communication with consumers ultimately allows for an improved customer experience. In traditional B2C models, the manufacturer would just supply the product, and the retailer would control the customer experience without giving the producer direct visibility into customer insights.

The power of real-time EDI visibility

Dealing directly with the customer in this way puts the D2C brand in full control of the customer experience and unlocks a treasure trove of data. Rather than focusing solely on price, brands like Casper and MeUndies can start building emotional and value-added reasons to buy. This is possible thanks to access to a wealth of real-time insights, including new customer behaviours, sales trends and new markets.

Without the kind of real-time supply-chain visibility and control delivered by cloud-based EDI, however, these insights can go to waste. That’s because brands and manufacturers relying on outdated paper, email and Excel processes don’t necessarily have the supply chain data confidence and agility to take action before an opportunity passes.

The rationale for D2C brands targeting Millennials is strong. The demographic is already the most frequent D2C buyer (42% of Millennials purchase D2C products regularly). They’re also the most loyal and committed to D2C brands, with 49% purchasing D2C products via subscription services such as razor brand Harry’s and makeup pureplay Birchbox.

It’s not easy breaking the D2C market, however, especially in an age when customer ratings, reviews and social media validation rule the roost. EDI solutions, however, which inject supply chains and trading partner networks with greater real-time visibility, agility, accuracy and efficiency can be instrumental in success.

Find out more about the Benefits of EDI

If you feel you would benefit from cloud-based EDI from Transalis, why not talk to us? You can reach us on 0845 123 3476 or +44 1978 369 343 (for international callers), or email sales@transalis.com.

View our EDI Product Bundles