48% say DTC growth has led them to hire more technically skilled staff. A new report outlines their investment priorities in DTC fulfilment.

LONDON, UK – 6 March 2024 – More than four out of ten commerce and supply chain leaders across Europe say that they have needed to implement new technology including warehouse management systems (WMS) and order management systems (OMS) to help manage DTC fulfilment in response to growth over the past 12 months, while nearly 48% say they have needed to hire more technically skilled staff to fulfil orders.

These were among the key findings of recent DTC market research commissioned by cloud-based omnichannel fulfilment software provider, Deposco, which polled the views and opinions of 200 senior decision-makers from leading commerce and supply chain organisations across Europe. Download the full European Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) market report here.

Organisations are using the potent combination of talent and technology to engage more closely with their customers and understand them better. In line with this, 42% of respondents say ‘focusing on building strong relationships directly with customers’ is among the top reasons that DTC fulfilment is a priority for their organisation, while 38% want to gain a better understanding of customers’ spending behaviours.

38% of those businesses surveyed are able to offer Click & Collect services for DTC customers, and 37% report that they can easily combine several orders for delivery at the same time. This is a capability that Amazon and the third-party sellers on its platform have successfully demonstrated through the Prime offering, whereby customers can order multiple different items and have them delivered together. 

Will Lovatt, general manager and vice president of Deposco Europe, said: “Consumers are increasingly combining orders for the reduced environmental impact, appreciating the fewer vehicles on the road and the subsequent decrease in emissions. Additionally, they find it convenient to have a single combined order, eliminating the need to be at the delivery address multiple times for sporadic arrivals of separate packages.”

Leveraging multiple inventory points to achieve customer fulfilment, 38% can split orders to satisfy customer demand from more than one location.

According to Lovatt, “The most successful businesses will be those that invest in technologies that enable them to deliver products in the dynamic way consumers need. For example, many prefer to take items back to the store if they buy them online.

“They want to try before they buy in-store and then buy online, having the item delivered to their house. Businesses will need cost-saving fulfilment technologies, like WMS and OMS software, that make these options a reality if they want to be successful.”

By building direct relationships and understanding consumer behaviour, businesses can enhance control over customer relationships including the capacity to deliver personalisation and the ability to foster trust and loyalty.

Other priorities are supporting product range expansion (34%) and making business operations more environmentally friendly (33%). It is clear that across Europe, in particular, the maturation of the ESG movement and growing emphasis on the quality and diversity of products are increasingly coming into play.

Lovatt added: “The emergence of ‘Zero Consumers,’ who alternate between economising and luxury spending without brand loyalty, emphasises the need for businesses to build a deep understanding of their customers to reduce churn. Their preference for online research and sustainable delivery highlights the importance of direct-to-consumer fulfilment and sustainable practices in retail today.”

Download the European DTC market report or the DTC market report for North America.

About Deposco

Deposco’s Bright Suite of omnichannel fulfilment supply chain applications enables fast-growing companies to rapidly scale their warehouse management and order management operations. Bright Suite helps Deposco customers see what inventory they’ve got, where it is, and where to position it to fulfil demand when It’s Grow Time™. It’s the only solution that provides this much actionable insight into both your supply chain and the broader marketplace. Deposco makes supply chain fulfilment simple, fast, and always forward. Visit www.deposco.com