Direct-to-consumer sales worth £96bn this year as over half of shoppers cut out retail middleman

Direct-to-consumer sales grew to be worth £96 billion in 2020, providing a major boost for manufacturers cutting out the middleman.

According to new research from Barclays Corporate Banking, 57 per cent of consumers are now choosing to buy directly from manufacturers, enabling them to bypass traditional supply chains and retailers.

This is expected to provide a massive boost for the manufacturing industry, seeing D2C sales grow to £120 billion by 2023.

Furthermore, this could have a positive knock-on effect for logistics companies, with an estimated 85 million packages sent D2C by manufacturers this year alone.

In what has been a tough year for the sector, seeing earning fall by over a quarter, consumers are increasingly making the conscious decision to buy D2C to support the manufacturing industry.

Over a third (36 per cent) believe they will get a better price buying D2C, while 23 per cent believe they get a better service than when buying from a retailer.

READ MORE: Could the direct-to-consumer boom kill retail?

The pandemic-driven online boom has encouraged D2C growth, but Barclays research suggests shoppers expect 29 per cent of their home deliveries to come via D2C by 2023, up from 20 per cent this year.

“2020 has been a turbulent year for all industries, and the manufacturing sector is no different,” Barclays’ head of manufacturing, transport and logistics Lee Collinson said.

“However, the increasing demand to procure goods direct from the companies that make them is providing growth opportunities and confidence for manufacturers of all sizes.

“D2C sales will help manufacturing firms increase their earnings and protect and create jobs in the next three years: that’s a welcome shot in the arm not only for the industry, but also for the wider UK economy.”

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