“Manufacturer Direct”! It certainly has a nice ring to it, right?
As a manufacturer looking to diversify, many exciting options exist for you to consider.
Especially when it comes to selling direct to end-users or consumers.
However, today we are going to discuss a couple of options to NOT consider.
As an eCommerce evangelist, let’s take a look at two paths to avoid. At all costs.
Related Article: 3 Step Approach To Scaling eCommerce for Manufacturers
Options for Selling “Manufacturer Direct” (NOT!)
Prior to the internet or eCommerce, a manufacturer wanting to sell direct to end-users required heavy investment in a printed catalog strategy. Otherwise, they needed to open physical retail locations. Yes, brick & mortar.
Hmmm…print or brick & mortar?
Either option sounds about as appealing as…..A root canal without novocaine…Bamboo shoots under fingernails…Swimming with piranhas…Dipped in honey and jumping into a mound of fire ants…..Replaying the scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with tarantulas crawling on your back…..
Ok, I think you get the point.
Seriously, why am I even typing about this?
Let’s not spend our time discussing all of the negatives surrounding a print catalog strategy such as the enormous cost of printing, postage fees, finding addresses of actual buyers, as well as all of the trees killed in the process.
Therefore, I promise not to belabor the point to death on the colossal waste of time, money, energy, and resources involved in printing catalogs.
Additionally, find a mistake after the final print of a catalog? Tough. You will have to wait until the next run.
I definitely will not mention the fact that eventually, 100% of the printed catalogs find themselves in the garbage. In fact, 99%, find their way to the garbage without a single reading.
Also, can you imagine calling a vendor who you eagerly want to place an order with, and the response goes “we just dropped a catalog in the mail. Give us a call next week when it arrives to place an order.” WHAT?!?!
In conclusion, you have my word that I absolutely promise not to continue on and on and on about why printing catalogs belongs in a conversation at least 30 years ago.
The Retail Apocalypse
So with that, you also have my promise not to hammer the list of reasons why opening a retail store for manufacturers seems like a poor investment as well.
As retail stores continue to close by the dozens or even hundreds, opening a retail store certainly looks as an unwise business strategy.
Ok, who are we kidding? It’s a horrible idea!
Especially since the “Retail Apocalypse” is upon us.
An expected 75,000 retail stores will close by 2026 according to a report by investment firm UBS.
Opening a retail store requires heavy overhead with vast capital investment. Staffing issues. Inventory management. Additional utility expenses. Crazy retail hours. High rent. Theft and shoplifters. Store fixtures. Fees, licenses, and permits. Additional business insurance for liability (what if someone slips on your slippery floor). Lastly, lots of expensive marketing and advertising to attract human beings with credit cards in hand to walk through the door.
I also promise not to mention the crazy seasonal demands during peak seasons and holidays.
Finally, you have my word that I will not go on and on over what a colossal waste of resources, time, money, and energy that opening a retail store requires.
eCommerce Comfort Zone
Phew! Thankfully that rant is behind me and I am back in my eCommerce comfort zone.
Next week we will explore all of the tremendous benefits that “Manufacturer Direct” with eCommerce offers for you and your customers.
Wrapping It Up
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