Direct-to-Consumer E-Commerce: Making the Breakthrough




Oct 16, 2022


8 min read

Direct-to-Consumer E-Commerce Source: Pexels

D2C (Direct-2-Customer) brands have a unique position in the market where they bring their product or service directly to the customer, often at the doorstep.

D2C e-commerce has become prevalent in recent years. Just take a look at the performance of the D2C market in the United States in recent years.

D2C market

Also, note that there is a sharp increase in projected sales in the D2C market.

Why D2C Brands?

As per data collected by Statista, the top reasons given by customers for opting for D2C brands are:

D2C Brands

Lower Prices

How are D2C brands able to provide better prices than their competitors?

It’s simple. By owning the delivery chain and eliminating the middleman, they are able to provide similar products at a lower price. Often, they can do so in a way that enhances the customer’s experience as well, for example, via doorstep delivery.

Dollar Shave Club offers a convenient option for male grooming at lower prices. Their products do not sacrifice quality to do so. They have merely opted for a streamlined and minimalistic approach that, when combined with owning their supply chain, lets them be able to provide customers with high-quality products at a cheaper price.

Incredible Customer Experience

Speaking of convenience, free returns are also a defining factor for customers opting for D2C brands. Free returns provide the customer with a sense of security and trust. In return, D2C brands that do so come across as trustable and get a chance to gain loyal customers.

One of the best examples of this strategy is David Kind, an eyewear brand that provides an incredible shopping experience at the home of the customer. David Kind allows the customer to pick multiple frames and try them at home with no obligation to buy and with no delivery charges.

Innovative Ideas to Spark the Growth of Your D2C Brand

Show That Your Supply Chain is Trustable

Why should a customer opt for your brand instead of a brand that may have existed for longer?

Providing free try-out options like David Kinid does, without any obligation to buy, is an excellent way of providing exactly such an option.

D2C brands must also assure the customer that nothing wrong would happen during delivery and that if it did happen, the matter would be resolved quickly and without hassle. One could also provide compensation in cases where the supply chain does provide inconvenience to the customer.

The modern customer values convenience highly. False promises on that end might come to bite brands back in the future in the form of negative reviews which may ruin an incredible number of sales.

Provide Your Product as a (Subscription) Service

While a new idea, it’s not entirely uncommon to now provide a product as a subscription service.

For example, Sleepy Owl is a D2C brand that provides subscription-based coffee deliveries.

One can today find subscription services ranging from groceries to sports equipment and facilities. The writer of this article is personally engaged in the latter and has had a fantastic experience.

When one returns to the data collected by Stastia regarding the top reason people opt for D2C brands, one finds that the common theme is great customer experience.

Create a Loyalty Program

Providing farm-fresh dairy to customers? Why not provide every 7th glass of milk free? The loyalty of a customer is worth far more than the occasional cost of a free item.

Take the example of Adore Me, an women’s intimate apparel brand that runs a loyalty program rewarding customers after every five purchases.

Go Digital to Become Even Cheaper

Physical store locations cost a lot of money.

A vast majority of sales of D2C brand occurs digitally anyways. For example, 83% of boAt’s sales come from online marketplaces. D2C brands might do away with physical stores completely.

A brand that has embraced this idea is DSTLD. It does not have any physical locations and sells luxury apparel using “ethically sourced” materials.

You may also opt to become semi-digital. Cloud restaurants are popular in many cities now. They only pay for the kitchen space and sell their delivery-only food digitally.

Create an Authentic Communication Channel With Your Customers

The customer sees the same logo on the delivery person that they do when scrolling through the e-store of a D2C brand. Customers expect authenticity and accountability at the end of D2C brands.

To uphold this expectation, D2C brands must ensure that an authentic communication channel is established with the customers.

Consider customer service as important as any other facet of your business. While automating customer service is helpful, do not overdo it. Integrate a chatbot but also ensure that human assistance is readily and easily available if the customer chooses to opt for it.

Encourage feedback on your products. Launch social media campaigns that encourage the active involvement of your followers.

Provide a Quality Supply Chain Experience to Create Loyal Customers

One of the biggest fears of customers while ordering from a D2C brand for the first time is potential problems in delivery.

Create a system that provides the customers with regular updates on the status of their delivery. Make it easy for them to ask questions about their delivery.

  • Include an interactive and easy-to-navigate FAQ section
  • Make it easy for customers to ask for human assistance

A good experience in this area would not only create a recurring customer but also one who suggests your brand to others via word-of-mouth.

Update the UX/UI of Your E-Store

Did you know that you only have 50 milliseconds to make a good impression on the visitor of your e-store?

The Giant Hummingbird takes longer than that to flap its wings once.

A lot of sales happen subconsciously. That is exactly the level of mind that brands should aim to impact with the design of their websites and collaterals.

It’s really about how your brand makes the customer feel rather than how they think.

How does one go implement these ideas and more in their marketing strategy?

Effective Digital Marketing for the D2C Brand of the Future

Social Media Marketing for Attracting the Modern Consumer

It is incredible how platforms such as Facebook have not hit a peak and begun to decline. According to Statista, the number of monthly active users of Facebook continues to grow.

Digital Marketing

Consider now that Facebook is beaten in growth by platforms such as Tik Tok and Twitch, which are far more popular with younger audiences.

Essentially, your brand needs to find where your niche audience feels most at home. The numbers do not matter in social media marketing as much as the relevancy of those numbers.

For example, take a statistical analysis of a hypothetical LinkedIn post by a sports-apparel company named Abibas (it has a peculiar logo containing 4 stripes). The analysis tells that the audience being reached is medical professionals of both genders aged 60+.

Abibas must market to audiences in the age range of 13-30 to make the most impact.

Ensure that your social media marketing strategy is highly relevant and effective. Social media is not only effective in being the top funnel of your marketing strategy, but it is also essential in engaging existing customers and boosting customer loyalty.

Audit Your Website For SEO

Ensuring that every single area of your website is SEO friendly is one of the most important things you can do for your brand’s visibility.

Combine this with content marketing to successfully promote your brand to a niche audience.

Marketing to Younger Audiences

Here are a few ideas that would help you market to younger audiences better.

  • Opt for social media websites that star short videos for marketing. The younger generation prefers shorter forms of content that are featured on websites such as Tik Tok and Twitter.
  • You can turn to the polar opposite as well to market to the same audience: long-form live streaming or video/audio podcasting. Younger audiences tend to leave live streams on Twitch or podcasts on platforms such as iTunes open while they go through the day.

Marketing on platforms like Tik Tok, Twitter, and Twitch is powerful because it comes across as authentic and delivers your brand’s communication in a way that is most relatable to young audiences.

Use Paid Marketing to Gain an Edge

At the lower end of the funnel, paid marketing is one of the most effective ways for your brand to generate sales.

It is very important to ensure that your paid marketing campaign is highly cost-effective and yields results of tremendous proportions. The best ways of doing this are:

  • Using effective keywords
  • Bidding intelligently
  • Writing a highly enticing call-to-action
Leverage Word-of-Mouth Reviews

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon

D2C brands stand in a unique position where they serve a brilliant customer experience compared to their rivals. They must promote word-of-mouth reviews consistently. After all, it is a highly effective way of marketing that 92% of consumers feel is important.

Referrals are a good way of promoting the same. You may opt to provide people with discount codes or cashback on a wallet in your e-store upon referrals, for example.

This is an incredible time for D2C brands to push for more. The modern consumer prefers the authenticity presented by D2C brands and the convenience presented in their services to traditional businesses. The best way to create this growth is by experimenting with innovative ideas, such as providing free try-on options at the homes of potential customers and marketing on platforms such as Tik Tok and Twitch. These ideas are effective in not only gaining new audiences but also in establishing trust to gain their loyalty.

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