Direct To Consumer Guide: Shipping for DTC Retailers
With the ability to set up a business from your computer now, the direct-to-consumer online market has grown exponentially. The DTC market is looking to be worth £114 billion by the end of 2022. In order for DTC businesses to stay competitive in the busy online market, eCommerce businesses must offer a streamlined and reliable fulfilment service, which involves sourcing a fast and inexpensive shipping strategy to meet customers expectations.
What does Direct-To-Consumer Shipping Mean?
DTC Shipping is the method of direct to consumers businesses shipping orders directly to the end user, the customer, rather than going through a third-party retailer or wholesaler.
The DTC Shipping Process
As DTC businesses sell direct to the consumer, the shipping process can be not only quicker but also more economical as it can cut out the middleman. In order to create a seamless shipping process, DTC businesses will need a suitable shipping strategy along with the correct technology and warehousing, which fulfilment companies like UK Fulfilment can provide.
Once a customer places an order on one of your sales channels like Amazon, Ebay or your website, an automated order will be received and then sent to a fulfilment centre, like UK Fulfilment, to process, pick, pack, and dispatch.
Whilst some smaller DTC brands will process their fulfilment in-house, other larger brands and businesses will use a fulfilment centre to pick, pack and ship their items, as it may be difficult to maintain in-house fulfilment once scaling your business. Fulfilment centres like UK Fulfilment can assist in offering packaging assistance to help reduce costs by suggesting the right sizing and materials for each of your brands products.
When it comes to shipping, if using a fulfilment partner like UK Fulfilment, your brand will be able to chose from a variety of shipping carriers such as Royal Mail, DPD and DHL etc, along with the types of shipping methods you want to offer. With UK Fulfilment you will be able to customise your shipping options for your business and offer as many options to your customers as you would like.
Everyday Challenges of DTC Shipping:
Although the direct-to-consumer model skips out the middleman, it still encompasses complicated logistics that can be timely and difficult to manage.
Keeping in Line with Order Volume & Inventory Management
With increased demand of your DTC brand’s products, comes scaling your business’s logistical operations. Keeping up with higher order volumes can create more challenges managing inventory levels and keeping on top on stock. In-house fulfilment can be a very time costly process, and if your brand only has small order volumes shipping can be expensive per unit. Most growing and established DTC brands will outsource their fulfilment to a specialist, like UK Fulfilment, to obtain a streamlined scalable logistics operation and can provide full transparency of when each of your products has been picked, packed and dispatched.
Slow Delivery Times
In today’s world everyone expects not only accurate and reliable shipping, but also fast delivery services such as next day options. As your DTC business scales, fulfilling your orders can become more and more difficult to get to your growing customer base on time. Slower delivery times are now considered unacceptable for customers who shop online, and can lead to poor customer experiences along with bad reviews and a loss in repeat business. Utilising a specialist fulfilment provider like UK Fulfilment can alleviate any of these shipment worries, and allow you to offer a much quicker and reliable fulfilment service.
How UK Fulfilment Can Help DTC Brands
Inventory management with full live transparency for your business
Rules and Regulations for Direct-To-Consumer Brands Shipping Alcohol
When it comes to shipping alcohol there are a number of complex rules and regulations businesses, and brands have to adhere to in order to be able to sell alcohol in the UK. If your DTC business would like to sell alcohol online and ship it to customers, you will need both a personal licence along with a premises licence in order to do this legally. Obtaining these licences can take a very long time and be a costly process, but if you outsource your fulfilment to UK Fulfilment, you will not need to obtain these licences as UK Fulfilment has a full licence to warehouse and ship alcoholic products on your business’s behalf.