A number of major manufacturers, including Mars, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser has joined a new British digital platform that will enable them to sell directly to the consumer.
Technology firm INS has developed the new platform, which will be trialed next year in the United Kingdom. The company claims products will be up to 30 % cheaper because supermarkets are taken out of the equation.
Manufacturers will have complete freedom to set the pricing, in contrast with the negotiations with supermarkets. Prices could therefore be a lot lower, but manufacturers could also simply choose to increase their profit margins and keep the difference with supermarket pricing as low as possible.
The platform will collaborate with a network of warehouses and couriers to deliver the online orders. Consumers will therefore be charged a “logistical fee” to pay for the products’ transportation and storage.
Not only will manufacturers get straight access to consumers, it will also yield an enormous amount of data for companies like Unilever. The new platform will use blockchain technology, automatically storing all types of information about the consumer and his purchases.
Unilever and Nestlé had aready revealed this summer that it would collaborate with American IBM to integrate blockchain technology. This should help get a better overview of their entire logistical chain.