What is the difference between a direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce business model and a traditional retailer business model?

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D2C e-commerce refers to when a manufacturer or producer sells directly to customers through their website. A more typical retailer business strategy involves going from the manufacturer/producer to a wholesaler, then to a distributor, then to retailers, and eventually to the customer.

The direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce model literally “cuts out” the middlemen. According to research, 55 percent of consumers prefer to shop directly with the brand maker rather than through retailers.

Because the typical retailer business model is based on bulk purchases, a manufacturer would have to start selling individual items if they wanted to sell directly to consumers. Because their whole business rests around selling products in bulk, most manufacturers have yet to switch to a D2C strategy.

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