As they say ‘Change is the only constant,’ the traditional authoritative system of brand dictating consumers’ purchases by continually refreshing designs is slowly giving way to a new concept, the ‘Consumer to Manufacturer’ (C2M) model. With two variations at the moment, the C2M model is likely to be the new driver of luxury re-commerce growth across the world. As data from Chinese research company iResearch notes, China recorded 420 million C2M-related bookings and sales during its largest shopping festival in 2019. Currently worth over $2.5 billion, the C2M market in China is likely to reach $6 billion by 2022 as it enables brands to better address issues of inventory, supply chain efficiency, and demand.
Applications and uses of C2M
Different retail platforms in China are developing the C2M model. Retail platform Pinduoduo explores the model by allowing users to tap into the power of social media to create products that reach manufac turers’ required levels. Similarly, JD.com has tested this model since 2017. The company also launched fashion technology research institute in 2018 to explore the application of advanced technologies like AI, VR/AR, big data, and smart supply chains. Meanwhile Alibaba creates C2M products through a new app called ‘Special Offers’. By launching this app on TaoBao, the company aims to help 1,000 industries build ‘super-factories’ over the next three years. The app is being used by manufacturing brands like Anta and Bosideng Group to open online stores.
Besides launching new products, the C2M model also helps brands to integrate their in-store activities and customize online products with the help of new technologies. Eyewear company 3DNA uses this model to offer customers preprogrammed styles in a variety of materials to create bespoke eyewear. According to the brand’s founder, Dennis G Zelazowski, C2M adds value to the online retail experience by creating a highly sentimental limited-edition of their products. The technology lets them deliver their white-glove service digitally after the scanning experience.
A boon for luxury fashion companies
Though the C2M model can help luxury brands address consumer demand, improve supply chain efficiency and tighten inventories, they need to be agile enough to respond to collected data. Also, this model might make it difficult for brands to maintain consistency in the quality of their products. Another challenge lies with supply-chain ownership because few factories can produce this model directly. However, e-commerce platforms are helping to ease this situation down the line
Currently, the C2M model is being used to make low-price goods in China. The model works in China because of its vast size and the nature of its e-commerce market. However, luxury companies in other countries can also use this model to identify consumer demands and create collections accordingly.