What is Direct-to-Consumer Software?
When it comes to picking software for your product delivery services, navigating the different options available can be hard. Many delivery services are hosted through a third-party marketplace app and allow merchants little to no control over what takes place when a customer orders a product.
This is where direct-to-consumer software offers radically different benefits. This type of software allows for improved interaction between customers and merchants while ensuring a seamless delivery process.
For those looking to purchase an end-to-end ordering solution, this style of software might be the ideal fit. Read on to learn more about what direct-to-consumer software is and the benefits it provides.
A Connection Between Merchants and Customers
At its core, the goal of direct-to-consumer software is to create a connection between merchants and customers. This is a direct connection, which differs from many alternative platforms.
For example, when a customer orders food from a restaurant using one of the popular third-party apps, the marketplace and the customer create a relationship. But there is no direct connection between the merchant and the customer.
Instead, the platform acts as a middleman, keeping the entire customer interaction within its own application. From here, information is only provided to the merchant on a limited level, allowing them to see what order was placed, but nothing more.
Instead, direct-to-consumer software allows merchants to build an ordering solution that hosts these interactions. Here, merchants are actually able to interact with customers and build a relationship directly with customers.
Merchant Ownership of Data
Another key differentiator between direct-to-consumer software and third-party marketplace apps is in who owns the customer’s data. In the case of a third-party marketplace, the organization managing and running the application owns all of the data gathered.
In the case of a direct-to-consumer platform, the merchant owns 100% of this data.
This is a huge benefit for most merchants as this data allows the company to make informed business decisions.
For example, as a merchant, if you know that the majority of your customers fall within the age range of 20-30 years old, you can adjust your digital marketing efforts to target this specific demographic. However, if you were to use a third-party marketplace platform, you’d be in the dark, not being able to access key data on those who are most likely to order your products via a delivery app.
Ownership of your data also means that you have a better ability to protect your customers. When multiple third parties own your customer data instead, it can be difficult to ensure that their information is kept private and secure. When a security breach happens, you can’t respond, as you are not the one hosting that data. Long-term, this can make building trust between you and your customers difficult.
The Ability to Grow Your Own Brand
Whether you are a new restaurant or an established business, growing your brand recognition in the community is key. When you use a third-party app for deliveries of your products, you are growing that marketplace’s brand image, not your own.
Direct-to-consumer software offers a white-label experience, which means that you can brand the platform to match your branding guidelines. Each time a customer reaches out to place an order, they will be greeted with your logo, slogan, and business information, which helps establish your brand with these customers, growing your brand organically over time.
Also, any marketing dollar you spend on driving customers to place online orders will provide you with a greater return. Rather than just helping you increase immediate revenue, it will help you build a long-term customer base that remembers your brand and comes back again down the road.
Control Over the Customer Experience
There is nothing more frustrating as a business than to realize that your customers are unhappy because of a poor customer experience that you had zero control over. When customers place delivery orders over a third-party marketplace app, you have absolutely no insight into what happens. If the delivery is not on time, the driver doesn’t pick up the right order, or the customer has a complaint, you are left in the dark.
This can weaken your brand image and makes it nearly impossible to tackle issues as they arise.
With direct-to-consumer software, you have full control over the customer experience. If a customer is unhappy with an order, you will be able to handle issue resolution. You can track what happens when orders are placed and interact with your customers to ensure 100% satisfaction.
You will also notice any issues on your end. Maybe your front-of-the-house staff needs a little more training on packaging deliveries, or maybe your back-of-the-house staff needs to pay better attention to orders placed online. Regardless, a direct-to-consumer platform allows you to make those adjustments and take back the customer experience.
100% Revenue Retainment
The odds are good that your business operates with a tight margin of profit. And, recently, that margin might have become even tighter.
This can make it challenging when a third-party app retains a chunk of your revenue for every order fulfilled. You are left with two options: either increase your cost for online orders or operate at a loss for those orders.
With a direct-to-consumer solution, you get to keep 100% of your revenue. As a result, accepting online delivery orders is more appealing for you and the customer. You don’t need to pass on higher costs to the customer, but you also don’t need to worry about profit losses every time you have a delivery order.
Increased Benefits for Your Customer
Not only is direct-to-consumer software a huge win for merchants, but it also allows consumers to get rewarded for interacting with merchants sans a middleman. By placing an order directly with a merchant, customers can save money, build a connection, and join loyalty programs.
This increase in benefits helps to reinforce your brand in the minds of your customers. Instead of flipping through a third-party app, debating between choices, they can turn back to their favorite order with you and quickly place it.
Not only that, but delivery drivers also get to keep 100% of their tips and money earned from making deliveries, which helps create a positive relationship between customers and drivers. The end result is that everyone involved in the interaction walks away happier.
Learn More About Direct-to-Consumer Delivery Software
If you are looking to improve your ability to find customers online, take orders, connect with delivery drivers, and manage payments without the necessity of using a third-party marketplace app, consider making the switch to direct-to-consumer software.
With Ally’s full suite of enterprise-grade software, you can manage your customer interactions without ever paying a penny in commissions.
Unlike third-party marketplace solutions, Ally gives you the necessary tools to take control of your business and take back your customers. The end result is that you create long-term relationships with your customers, build a better understanding of who your customer is, and increase your online reach. Learn more and join the Ally network today.