DJI passes dealers and now sells Enterprise drones through its own webshop
Until recently, business customers of drones and accessories from the Enterprise series of DJI could only contact specialized dealers. But since last Friday, DJI has also been selling all Enterprise equipment through its own webshop. Dealers have little understanding of this DJI decision and emphasize the importance of purchasing advice and service provision.
Consumer and Enterprise
Dronemaker DJI has been focusing on three market segments for a few years: recreational drone flyers, creators and business users of drones. The latter segment is operated from DJI Enterprise, a separate business unit in which products such as the Matrix series drones and associated payloads are developed. This specialist equipment was not sold directly by DJI, but was only available for sale from specialized Enterprise dealers.
But since last Friday, the Enterprise products are also just for sale in the DJI webshop. From Phantom 4 RTK to Matrice 300 RTK and associated payloads: everything can simply be clicked and ordered online in the DJI Store. This means that DJI will compete with its own retailers from the Enterprise network. Worldwide, there are a few hundred dealers. In the Netherlands, it concerns companies such as DroneLand, DroneStars and Skytools.
By selling directly to end users, DJI can pocket sales margins. DJI can also approach customers directly in the future with information about new products. So higher margins, and more customer data. Previously, DJI did the same trick with consumer drones: they were initially only available through dealers, until DJI started selling the drones a few years ago via its own webshop and focused all marketing on its own sales channel.
DJI’s decision to deliver directly to business customers raises a lot of misunderstanding at home and abroad. “Business users have different needs than consumers. They don’t want to purchase a system of thousands of euros through a webshop. Many organizations want to be helped with the use of drones on their way. They need help and advice from expert sellers in this process. You need a network of retailers for that,” writes Romeo Durscher — formerly employed at DJI Enterprise himself — on Twitter.
Vincent van Schijndel (DroneLand) endorses this response. “For consumers and simple repairs, the basic process that DJI has stood is fine. But business customers just need a lot more. If you order for tens of thousands of euros of stuff then you don’t want to pay with your credit card, receive the shipment 1-2 weeks later with DHL from China and a few days have to wait for an answer if you have a question. Then, as a customer, you want personal contact, drop by if there are problems and are immediately helped. That is why we continue to do what we already did: advise, support and, where necessary, help with repairs, support and solutions.”
Elise van Essen (Skytools) also questions DJI’s decision to serve Enterprise customers themselves. “At Skytools, we are surprised by this DJI decision. We are currently mapping out what this will mean for us. In any case, we have service of paramount importance. Our customers can come to us now and in the future for independent advice, demonstrations, training and service.”
Focus on service
David Benowitz (DroneAnalyst) also endorses that there are still opportunities for retailers in the field of service provision. “DJI has insufficient staff in many regions to support customers after a purchase. In addition, resellers can make the purchase of drones through their channel more interesting by bundling additional services.”
Finally, Durscher, who announced his departure from DJI a few weeks ago, shows himself a little more firmly. “Dealers have spent a lot of time and money building trust, expertise and service, from the name of the manufacturer. This decision is a slap in the face for them. I want to let the retail network know that I have always resisted this!”
Meanwhile, DJI has issued a short statement about the decision to sell Enterprise products directly. In it, the company emphasizes the added value of the dealer network in terms of support, but at the same time says it will also offer support to business customers themselves:
“Our existing DJI Enterprise dealer network has built a strong global reputation as solution partners by offering services, advice and consultancy on every drone they sell. Their expertise is invaluable not only to new customers who are just entering the drone era, but also for experienced operators who have built close relationships with their dealers. DJI offers Enterprise products online with no discounts, at the same price recommended for dealer sales — allowing them to negotiate prices directly with customers and respond to tenders. We will provide top quality pre and after-sales support for Enterprise customers, just as for hobbyists and professional customers.”