MRO Magazine

Significant Number of European Adults Shopping Direct with Manufacturers – But Can They Keep up with Customers’ Expectations?

December 2, 2015
By Business Wire News


More than two-fifths (42%) of European adults have bought products directly from a manufacturer in the last 12 months, according to the JDA Manufacturing Pulse Report, which surveyed 6,146 adults online across the UK, Germany, France and Sweden (tweet this). However, 43% of respondents said that a lack of delivery or collection options that suited their needs would stop them from shopping directly with a manufacturer, while a further 43% stated they were frustrated when manufacturers did not have their desired items in stock (tweet this). Despite these concerns, of those European adults who had bought directly from a manufacturer in the last 12 months, 40% said the experience was better than that encountered when shopping with a non-manufacturer (tweet this).

When asked about their shopping habits, nearly a third (30%) stated they had bought more products directly from a manufacturer now, compared to five years ago (tweet this). The research also highlighted that European adults are shopping directly via a number of channels; of those adults online who had bought products directly from a manufacturer in the last 12 months, 68% had shopped in-store and 53% had done so online (tweet this). While many manufacturers have an online presence, this illustrates that many still don’t offer consumers the ability to buy directly from their websites.

“The huge boom in omni-channel commerce is now also really starting to impact the manufacturing sector. Consumer goods manufacturers are at a crossroads when it comes to selling directly to consumers. To date, many have dipped their toes into direct selling and in the main have found it an unprofitable exercise. The question now facing the majority of manufacturers, is how do I make my online channel profitable?” said Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner, VP Manufacturing Industry Strategy EMEA, at JDA. “We have already seen the retail industry grapple with the same challenges. Today’s manufacturing supply chains must be reshaped to handle more fulfilment locations and increased singles picking for customer orders, while at the same time offering choice and convenience. With the potential costs of fulfilling orders high, manufacturers must protect themselves now against any impact on their bottom line.”

Getting closer to the customer

The online research found that there is still considerable room for improvement when it comes to how manufacturers are using customer data. Indeed, only 38% of European adults who had shopped online with a manufacturer in the last 12 months thought that manufacturers had made good use of their customer data. When it came to social media and online reviews, 32% of respondents said that reviews shared online and via social media had influenced their purchasing decisions over the last 12 months (tweet this).

After price, choice and availability seen as reasons to go direct

Perhaps unsurprisingly, price (62%) was cited as the biggest reason for why respondents would ever shop directly with a manufacturer; followed by product availability (39%), product warranty (32%), product choice (31%) and product knowledge/experience (24%) (tweet this). Certain sectors lead the way when it came to the type of products that respondents had purchased directly from manufacturers in the last 12 months. Of these people, just under half (46%) had purchased furniture for the home, followed by clothing or footwear (35%) and electrical equipment (33%) (tweet this). Further broken down by gender, the figures reveal that across all countries surveyed, more men online (38%) purchased electrical equipment directly from a manufacturer in the last 12 months than women (28%), and more women (51%) purchased home furniture than men (40%); more women (36%) also purchased clothing or footwear than men online (34%).

Getting personal

Personalisation has the potential to become a significant differentiator for manufacturers in the future, yet its impact on supply chains could be considerable. Currently, 9% of European adults online said they had items personalised by manufacturers in the last 12 months. However, over a quarter (28%) of respondents said that personalisation would make them more likely to buy products from a manufacturer (tweet this).

“In order to meet the demands of today’s digital consumer, manufacturers need a digital supply chain. Digital capabilities in planning, manufacturing and fulfillment will allow physical supply chains to be configured in a way that can support both manufacturers’ traditional and direct channels. If manufacturers ignore or take only a piecemeal approach to their direct channel, it will prove unprofitable and may damage brand reputation. Those that invest in it, supported with the necessary supply chain planning and execution capabilities, have the opportunity to improve profitability and create positive customer experiences,” added Hans-Georg Kaltenbrunner.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6,146 adults (UK, 2,083; Germany, 2,025; France, 1,029; Sweden, 1,009). Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th-15th October 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in the UK, Germany, France and Sweden.

Access the JDA Manufacturing Pulse Report 2015 here.

Tweet This: #JDASurvey Finds European Adults Are Shopping Direct w Manufacturers But Can They Keep Up w Customers’ Expectations?

About JDA Software Group, Inc.

At JDA, we’re fearless leaders. We’re the leading provider of end-to-end, integrated retail, omni-channel and supply chain planning and execution solutions for more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Our unique solutions empower our clients to reduce costs, increase profitability and improve collaboration so they can deliver on their customer promises every time. Using JDA, you can plan to deliver.

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“JDA” is a trademark or registered trademark of JDA Software Group, Inc. Any trade, product or service name referenced in this document using the name “JDA” is a trademark and/or property of JDA Software Group, Inc.

JDA Software Group, Inc.
Mette Krogh, +45 20 827 825
Senior Marketing Director, EMEA
JDA Public Relations Contact:
Jolene Peixoto, +1 978-475-0524
Director, Corporate Communications