Selling direct to consumers could be worth £642m to manufacturers, says Barclays
MANUFACTURING firms in the north could gain an extra £642 million in revenue in the next five years if they sell direct to consumers, a new report from Barclays has claimed.
Research by the bank suggests that 88 per cent of firms in Northern Ireland already cut out the middle man by selling goods direct to consumers.
The compares with the UK average of 73 per cent of businesses.
But Barclays' corporate banking division still says that firms here could benefit to the tune of £642m over the next five years by adopting direct sales.
The new manufacturing report found that direct to consumer sales in the north have increased by 60 per cent in the past five years. The research is based on the responses from 500 manufacturing firms.
Graeme MacLaughlin from Barclays said: “The rise in businesses selling direct to customers is one of the biggest changes the manufacturing industry has seen in generations.
“As companies go it alone, bypassing wholesalers and retailers, they are increasingly embracing social media and digital channels to advertise and sell their products direct from the factory, and then managing the sales, distribution and after-care themselves.
“It's a massive shift and the rewards are potentially huge, with nearly half of companies selling DTC reporting an increase in revenues as a result, along with a bigger customer base and the ability to personalise products.”