EXCLUSIVE: d&b launches new Direct e-commerce platform

Audio Media International has spoken exclusively to d&b audiotechnik CEO Amnon Harman about the rollout of the loudspeaker giant’s brand new d&b Direct initiative, which will offer customers direct access to the company’s audio solutions.

Available from now to customers in Austria, Germany and the UK, d&b Direct is designed to provide a faster and more efficient way for customers to access the company’s solutions and allow d&b to interact with customers in a more targeted and personalised way. The online platform can present system configuration examples for installation sector buyers and is supported by a streamlined inquiry functionality that connects customers directly with a partner.

Furthermore, the platform offers small, ready-to-ship system bundles for mobile users that will be available to order and purchase directly online.

Here, Harman explains the philosophy behind the new initiative and what it means for the future of the business…

What is d&b Direct?
d&b Direct, is our new e-commerce platform that ensures that d&b system solutions are more accessible than ever before.

How does it work?
Some premium brands profit from being exclusive and unreachable, but that has never been our business model. d&b Direct is designed to offer direct access to our solutions in our pilot markets of Germany, Austria and the UK. For installation buyers in these markets, d&b Direct presents easy-to-use but detailed system configuration examples to help customers find their optimum solution faster. d&b Direct also helps customers connect directly with tech partners to best address their needs. For mobile users in these pilot markets, the platform offers small, ready-to-ship system bundles, available to order and purchase directly online. For these bundles we also offer the possibility to consult a d&b expert.

Does the scheme system work for all d&b customers?
d&b Direct works for installation and mobile customers. We see this being of particular interest to smaller applications, including touring DJs, bands, and small-scale hospitality/entertainment venues.

What are they key benefits for customers?
We’re always listening to our customers and we came to the realisation that many of them are looking to access great advice and premium solutions faster than we’ve been able to offer in the past. We also recognise that some touring users looking for smaller systems find the idea of buying a system package online really appealing.

The platform doesn’t just benefit our customers, we also have our eye on how we could strengthen our position as one the leading business partners in pro audio. The d&b Direct platform is part of that mission, simplifying how partners can interact with potential customers and opening up conversations with new customers.

You may also be interested in:

Why Germany, Austria and the UK?
These are very mature d&b markets. We have great brand appreciation amongst customers and well-established partner networks – these are optimum conditions to try new ideas and approaches.

Will you be looking to roll the platform out into other countries/territories?
Yes, that’s the plan. During the pilot phase, the inquiry and purchase functionality will only be active for Germany, Austria and the UK. Other countries will be added gradually once pilot-phase assessments have begun.

When will d&b Direct be up and running?
d&b Direct is available to access in our pilot markets now.

How is the company dealing with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the live sector?
There is no question that we felt the impact of the initial uncertainty in live events, but the effect was different for each sector of the market and each region. The market has responded quickly and we have seen our systems deployed in new and innovative ways: in sports stadiums to create the crowd effect; in outdoor ceremonies for worship; in safe-distanced lecture halls for education and in socially-distanced concerts around the world, particularly in APAC where restrictions are not as limiting. For our installation partners, we have seen that now is the perfect time to upgrade venues which are closed to the public.

What else does d&b have planned for 2021?
The ever-changing dynamics of the industry bring with it extraordinary challenges, but ones that, at d&b, we are eager to tackle. The pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of our daily lives so we, as an industry, must adjust with these changes. Our team, from the engineers to those in-market are ready to see the sector rebound and recover, and with that will come incredible innovation and experimentation. Over the course of the year, you will see us accelerate our digitalisation efforts to deliver accessibility and flexibility where possible, to both customers and partners. We will continue to monitor changing buying behaviours and we will be addressing that with important new product and service offerings to customers and extensions of our business model.