The push by consumer-goods suppliers to reach shoppers directly is opening a new market for supply-chain technology providers, says The Wall Street Journal.
Companies including Manhattan Associates and Blue Yonder are among the software specialists that say the direct-to-consumer trend is bringing them new customers. The companies are finding opportunities in the blurring lines between manufacturers and retailers as suppliers of everything from footwear and apparel to electronics makers seek digital paths to bypass retail storefronts.
E-commerce capabilities helped launch the trend, but it has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers have sought alternatives to brick-and-mortar stores.
The logistics of direct-to-consumer sales can be very different from the operations to supply retail stores, requiring separate inventory management tailored to individual items rather than wholesale consignments. Shipping operations are also different, as companies look to track and deliver goods to residences rather than to loading docks.
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