Brands are ditching direct-to-consumer ecommerce model

Brands are migrating investment in site direct-to-consumer e-commerce features to merchandising efforts on major retailer platforms such as Amazon or Best Buy, a new research has found.

According to the newly-released L2 Inc consumer electronics report, over the last three years, 13 percent of L2 Index brands have removed direct-to-consumer e-commerce functionality from their brand sites.

Most notably, legacy brands Toshiba and Sony have discontinued their on-site e-commerce platforms. In the US, Toshiba now exclusively sells its products through CDW, an educational and government supply retailer, while Sony’s product pages link to a list of online retailers with product stock and price information.

Additionally, L2 observed declines in both account and live chat features on consumer electronics brand websites. These declines are likely the result of the success of Amazon’s best-in-class Prime membership program and Best Buy’s investment in unparalleled customer service delivered by the retailer’s teams of blue shirts.


As direct-to-consumer brands look toward the future of online sales, they must weigh
the substantial investment required to compete with retailers against the possibility of using their websites as nimble merchandising platforms—conduits for third-party sales, a new report suggests.

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