D2C Trends for Growth in 2024
D2C (Direct to Consumer) is a marketing, sales and customer relationship approach in which brands serve customers directly without using intermediaries such as distributors and retailers. Though the D2C approach has been around for a very long time, it has accelerated with online sales and customers seeking ways to shop anywhere and get goods delivered anywhere that it is convenient for them. According to recent industry reports, the expected addressable market in India is likely to be around $100 billion by 2025.The retail ecommerce globally is expected to reach $7.4 trillion by 2025.
There are several reasons why Direct to Consumer model is popular with brands and consumers since they offer the following:
- Convenience: D2C models offer convenience to the consumer by offering products that provide value and leverage subscription models for those products that are used regularly. An example of this is products like Dollar Shave Club.
- Personalized experience: D2C brands understand their consumers better and offer them relevant products in upsell and cross sell opportunities.
- Purpose: Consumers are placing less importance in terms of brand name and more on value. An example of this is Warby Parker revolutionizing the eye wear market dominated by Luxottica by providing value. Another brand, Body Shop, is known for its ethical business practices and sustainable sourcing.
- Engagement: D2C brands offer seamless and consistent engagement of customers in multiple modes that include the online website, chat messaging, telephone, in-person, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Businesses prefer the D2C model since this allows them to get to market faster, obtain firsthand information of customer preferences and habits while purchasing, control the customer experience, and improve their profit margins.
To succeed as a D2C brand in 2024, brands must:
● Build Omnichannel capabilities: Increasingly, a customer demands seamless interactions in all the channels they shop and return goods. Building omnichannel capabilities so that product purchases and returns are facilitated in multiple ways that include online returns, returns in stores, and drop boxes while ensuring that customer interactions are seamless. Visibility of inventory across all the warehouse and store locations is key to optimizing the inventory levels and ensuring that procurement is done in line with the demand.
● Allow creation of Shopping Catalog: Allow a customer an easy method to build a catalog of their preferred products and offer the ability to pick and choose from their catalog along with a list of their favorite items. Based on past purchases and running analytics on them, the brand must personalize all interactions including promotions in popular social media platforms.
● Use Marketing Technologies: A D2C brand must invest in the following technologies for customer engagement and brand awareness.
- search engine optimization: It helps with customer conversion and brand awareness.
- search engine marketing: increases the visibility of the brand website in search engine pages.
- Social media marketing: facilitates better brand recognition to improve customer loyalty and acquire new customers.
- Referral: enables customer referral of a good experience to their inner circle to enable the brand to acquire new customers. This encourages word of mouth advertising, grows a target audience and acts as social proof for future buyers to make their decisions.
- Influencer marketing strategies: using social media influencers to endorse our brand can be priceless in building brand awareness and reaching new customers.
- Affiliate marketing: engages new and existing customers through popular blogs and media websites by advertising special offers and discounts builds brand awareness and increases sales.
- Performance marketing: a D2C brand may outsource the marketing to a specialized marketing firm that is paid according to business objectives delivered.
● Run operations efficiently: Fulfillment is typically done in one of three ways that include having their own warehouse and logistics, own warehouse plus a preferred logistics partner and serving with an external fulfillment partner. Having real time visibility into their inventory is essential to running the operations smoothly and aligning the inventory levels with demand and procuring appropriately can help with controlling operations costs.
● Build an agile technical infrastructure: Ensuring a technical infrastructure that allows changes to be made quickly so that business models experiments can be done quickly and efficiently. For example, a brand may focus on serving existing customers or building a new customer base domestically first before building a new customer base internationally. Technology must be adaptable to serve different markets and different languages.
By doing these things, a brand can engage and retain customers better, reach new customers and ensure that they reach profitability faster.
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