Direct sales market grows

Social media putting squeeze on retailers and wholesalers

Nike is growing its direct sales channel (pic: Nike)

Retailers and wholesalers are coming under increasing pressure as manufacturers turn to social media and websites to sell their products direct to consumers (DTC).

Technology has been a key driver in the adoption of DTC with nearly all manufacturers (96%) now selling directly through their own websites.

Social media is also of increasing importance to manufacturers with more than three-quarters (79%) currently using or planning to sell via Facebook and nearly three-quarters (72%) currently using or planning to sell via Instagram.

This comes as over half of manufacturers (58%) plan to digitalise their distribution processes in the next five years. 

Four out of five Scottish companies now sell direct to consumers (82%) and over the last five years, Scotland’s direct to consumer sales have soared by 62%.

DTC now accounts for 16% of all manufacturing sales in the UK.

The findings emerge in a new Barclays Corporate Banking Manufacturing report, Going direct: Is direct to consumer selling set to revolutionise the manufacturing sector?

Manufacturers who have invested in a DTC sales strategy said they had benefited from increased revenue (45%), growth in their customer base (38%) and increased speed to market (32%). Manufacturers across the UK are expected to see a £13bn boost from DTC and more than £1bn in Scotland.

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