Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Strategy
Global ecommerce sales are expected to grow to $5.5 trillion this year with the direct-to-customer (DTC) sales itself expected to reach $151.2 billion, with a growth of 16.9% in 2022-2023. Given this trend, most consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are shifting to digital commerce to retain their customer base and capture additional market share. Additionally, consumer shopping habits have changed since the pandemic, causing CPG companies to adopt a DTC strategy to build a direct relationship with consumers, better understand the needs, preferences, open the lines of communication, and serve them well.
In this blog post, we will discuss the success factors for DTC and look at how Infosys Equinox, a long-standing AWS Premier Partner, provides a DTC solution that is tightly integrated with AWS services to expedite this journey for CPGs.
Key Success Factors for DTC
Implementing a successful DTC sales strategy is key to continued growth for many CPG companies, but it takes years of investment in technologies and distribution systems for CPGs to achieve success in this space. However, the path to a robust DTC strategy can be expedited with cloud-based platforms and future-proof solutions that provide agility and flexibility.
As you consider your DTC rollout, here are four components to ensure success:
- Website and marketing—Create multiple digital touchpoints for your consumers including creating a new website for DTC sales or revamping your existing website. CPGs need to deliver an engaging user experience that creates loyal consumers and strengthens brand affinity.
- Customer data—Collecting, maintaining, and securing first-party customer data, or personally identifiable information (PII), like name, address, and phone number, is an important element of DTC sales. Although there’s tremendous benefit to obtaining customer data, CPGs need a strategy to comply with local, state, and country data-management laws.
- Payments and localized sales taxes—DTC sales are very different from wholesaling products to retail partners. You need to put ecommerce payment and accounting systems in place to manage transactions and comply with local sales tax regulations. CPGs also need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to ensure data protection and security for all credit card transactions.
- Fulfillment—CPGs usually ship large quantities of products to a few distributors and wholesalers. With DTC, your fulfillment model will change as you begin shipping much smaller product quantities to many individual consumers.
Infosys Equinox Commerce Platform
Infosys Equinox is an Infosys solution providing digital commerce offerings to customers across multiple industries, including retail, CPG, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Equinox is a headless, cloud-native, microservices-based ecommerce solution that enables enterprises to build and deploy omnichannel commerce solutions rapidly.
As a headless platform, it seamlessly works with multiple digital touchpoints enabling in-store, voice commerce, conversational commerce, social commerce, customer care, IoT, and AR/VR capabilities. Equinox has a microservices-based architecture, which allows businesses to use services as required in a phased manner, providing flexibility without the need to go through a “big bang” re-platform. CPGs can choose to retire existing legacy services and replace them with Equinox Commerce cloud-native microservices. And integration with existing and on-premises systems is easy with an integration layer that supports APIs, flat files, batch feeds, messaging or event notifications.
Equinox Commerce microservices include:
- Cart and checkout—Create carts and check out features.
- Digital catalog—Create and manage rich, transaction-ready, multiple hierarchical catalogs.
- Promotions—Author and deliver targeted offers and pricing incentives.
- Merchandising—Manage the presentation of products on the storefront with the ease of drag and drop tools.
- Pricing—Create and manage multiple pricing lists.
- Inventory—Support multiple fulfillment sources, maintain inventory in different distribution centers, integrate real-time inventory, and fulfill from physical stores.
- Customers—Support the creation and management of online customer profiles.
- Notifications—Inform through SMS, push notifications, and emails.
- Payment gateway—Support multiple payment providers and currencies.
- Recommendations—Personalize merchandise and create product and top seller recommendations.
- List—Create and manage wish lists, favorites, and save-for-later.
- Tax interface—Integration solution with leading online tax providers.
- Loyalty – Create and manage Loyalty Users and ability manage/Consume Loyalty points
- Subscription – Create and Manage Product Subscriptions
Infosys Equinox is a headless platform that can connect with any digital touchpoint.
Infosys Equinox can support multiple implementation types, such as B2B, B2C, B2B2C, marketplaces, digital malls, branded sites, catalog syndications, contactless stores, and endless aisle.
Some key B2B features include contract-based pricing, contract-based catalogs, shared carts, subscriptions/recurring orders, cross-sells/upsells, spending limits, approval workflows, role-based access control, invoicing, account management with reporting and analytics, configure, price, and quote (CPQ) integrations, credit payment, one-click reorder, multiple billing and shipping addresses, and predefined shopping lists.
Some key features for B2C are multi-level catalogs, omnichannel carts, pricing, recurring orders/subscriptions, cross-sells/upsells, buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), reserve-online-pickup-in-store (ROPIS), loyalty engine, multiple payment options, one-click reorder, split shipments, and shopping lists.
Infosys Equinox Architecture on AWS
Infosys Equinox is built on an open-source framework providing the flexibility to integrate with other platforms and solutions. Some of the open-source tool options include:
- Orchestration—Apache Camel, Spring boot
- Service discovery—Kubernetes
- Messaging—Apache Kafka, RabbitMQ
- Data store—MySQL, mongoDB
- Microservices—Apache Camel, Spring boot, Hibernate
- Search—Apache Solr
- Data processing—Apache Spark, Spring Batch
- Distributed cache—Redis, Memchached
- Configuration management—Apache ZooKeeper
- Container management—Kubernetes
- Content management—Apache JackRabbit
- DevOps—Jenkins, ReadyAPI, SonarQube, Liquibase
Infosys Equinox has been running on AWS since inception and leverages many of the core AWS services to provide an agile, flexible, and scalable architecture. The current generation of Equinox microservices run on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) clusters with AWS CloudFront as CDN and Amazon Aurora as data stores, leveraging the benefits of a serverless database. Open-source technologies, including RabbitMQ, Apache Solr, and Apache Zookeeper, run on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) clusters. Equinox leverages Amazon API Gateway, AWS Advanced Shield, and AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) for end-point security with secrets stored with AWS Secret Manager. The backend is supported by Amazon Aurora and AWS Managed Atlas MongoDB, with AWS Elastic Cache Redis providing the cache layer. Business and operational reporting is powered by AWS s3, AWS Athena, AWS Quick Sight.
DTC with Infosys Equinox and AWS
Infosys Equinox provides a comprehensive set of microservices, and, when integrated with AWS services, it can provide CPGs with an end-to-end DTC solution. Some of the services that provide additional capabilities for CPG companies include:
- Amazon Connect—Boost consumer engagement with a cloud-based contact center that seamlessly integrates with Equinox and other AWS services.
- Amazon Pay—Utilize an online payment service that makes payment and checkout fast and secure for your consumers around the world.
- Amazon Fraud Detector—Leverage machine learning (ML) and Amazon’s 20+ years of fraud detection expertise to identify potentially fraudulent activity and reduce risk.
- Amazon Pinpoint—Utilize flexible and scalable outbound and inbound marketing communications over channels like email, SMS, push, or voice.
- Amazon Multi-channel Fulfillment (MCF)—Leverage the world’s largest fulfillment network for reliable, CPG-oriented fulfillment capabilities for branded ecommerce sales channels.
- Amazon Personalize—Use an out-of-the-box, ML-based personalized recommendation engine for consumers.
- AWS IoT—Monitor and track consumer behaviors with smart store edge devices.
Infosys Equinox DTC reference architecture
If your company wants to implement a DTC sales strategy, this end-to-end solution powered by Infosys Equinox on AWS will help you launch your digital commerce initiatives quickly, with less risk and lower cost. To request a demo, visit Infosys Equinox or contact your AWS account team today to get started.
Ashish Udas, CISO and Head of Production Engineering, Infosys Equinox
Ashish Udas is CISO and Head of Production Engineering, Infosys Equinox, and works closely with AWS to manage large cloud, digital, and operations transformations for Fortune 500 clients through innovative architecture and implementation frameworks.
Kunal Puri, Vice President and Head of Customer Success, Infosys Equinox
Kunal Puri is Vice President and Head of Customer Success, Infosys Equinox, and works closely with clients to ensure they realize business value from their investments in the Infosys Equinox ecosystem and with the Infosys Equinox leadership team to prioritize the platform roadmap and the strategic growth of Infosys Equinox. He also engages proactively with the analyst community to identify trends and white spaces that can help drive disruption and exponential business growth. Kunal has led digital transformation initiatives for multiple Global 2000 enterprises across B2C, B2B, B2B2C as well as marketplaces for retail, CPG, high-tech, manufacturing, telecommunications, and media companies.
Vijay Prasanna, Global Partner Solutions Architect, AWS
Vijay Prasanna is the Global Partner Solutions Architect at AWS and works closely with Infosys to build solutions & platforms on AWS. His responsibility includes solution architecture and providing technical guidance & best practices to build cloud-native solutions. He joined AWS in 2020 with over 20 years of industry experience building applications and supporting large scale cloud & digital transformation journeys. He has enabled several enterprise customers with their cloud strategy, adoption & roadmap across multiple industries including FSI, Retail, CPG, Manufacturing & Healthcare.
Danny (Yen-Lin) Yin, Global Technical Lead - AWS Partners in the CPG industry
Danny (Yen-Lin) Yin is the Global Technical Lead for AWS Partners in the CPG industry. He joined AWS in 2018 with 18 years of experience in ecommerce application development and operations. Danny helps CPG companies enhance the consumer digital user experience and gain operational efficiency across different lines of business. Danny is also responsible for solutions architecture and technical guidance for CPG technology and consulting partners on AWS. Before he joined AWS, Danny was Director of Digital Engineering at Toys“R”Us, where he successfully migrated the world’s largest toy webstore from an outsourced application to an in-house hybrid cloud application on AWS.
Jignesh Desai,Global Migration Partner Solutions Architect, AWS
Jignesh Desai is a Global Migration Partner Solutions Architect at AWS working with global systems integrators. He works with AWS’ partners and customers to help them with cloud adoption and operating models at scale. He leads the GSI Partner’s cloud migration and adoption initiatives. He is responsible for growing relationships across the globe, as well as building strategies, architectures, and solutions for large-scale enterprises so that they can accelerate digital transformations and application modernization. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and trekking.