Purely existing in this new retail landscape will get a brand a one-way ticket to a “closing soon everything must go” sign out front the window. Even e-commerce isn’t safe. Repeat: NOTHING IS SAFE. Consumers have more power than ever and has given way to the new business model: C2B.
B2C is like the grandparents of the retail world, traditional but in need of modernization. It is an antiquated method in the evolution of consumerism. It is 2017 and everything is changing. Therefore, it is not surprising the tables have turned and B2B has turned into C2B. Consumer to business is the way in which customers are taking the reigns and choosing what products to buy instead of being told to. In fact, they are even naming their own prices. Sourcing Journal Online explains, “The industry knows now that the ‘build it and they will come mentality’ is defunct—it’s more like “let’s find out what they want before we build anything, and then give them that thing.”
Two ways in which to keep up with the new Industry is drop shipping and on-demand manufacturing. Customers will demand a certain kind of product and it will be the successful ones that make it available to them. Drop shipping allows companies to jump aboard a trend quickly without the risk of having money tied up in a large stock of am item. In addition, on-demand manufacturing will enable companies to make an item once it is ordered, almost completely negating risk as long as the customer does not make a return. All things considered, this may be the direction that apparel in particular will go. Amazon has already gone that route investing in building and patenting their own manufacturing system. This system creates garments on demand when an order is placed and prints textiles, cuts the fabric and then goes through an assembly line where the garments are finished. They may be the first but they certainly won’t be the last.
C2B now is an industry disruptor, but it soon will be the norm. The traditional ways of retail such as B2C and even C2C are going to have to learn how to innovate with this new modernization of retail. This will happen more and more rapidly as customers take charge with their buying power.