Winning with D2C Online Selling
Historically, CPG brands relied exclusively on retailers to reach new customers and build brand awareness. Although 72% of shoppers still rely on brick-and-mortar stores as their primary source of purchase, this traditional model of selling is steadily being displaced by online shopping.
Within the mix of ecommerce sales, direct-to-consumer (D2C) online shopping is playing an ever-increasing role, and like the rest of the digital world, received a big boost from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Shopify, D2C is expected to account for 1 of every 7 ecommerce dollars in 2022 and anticipated to exceed $200 billion by 2024. Moreover, two-thirds of online shoppers report having purchased products directly from ecommerce sites owned and operated by specific brands in the past 3 months.
It’s all about the customer
Embracing the digital movement toward D2C selling is essential for brand growth and sustainability in today’s marketplace. However, merely building a beautiful ecommerce website and expecting they will come is not enough. Brands must invest in strategic social media campaigns designed to drive traffic directly to the ecommerce site through relevant messaging and visuals that pique interest and give reason to ‘click’ to learn more.
Once the shopper is at the site, brands must then provide the seamless experience consumers seek and expect, along with emotional and functional payouts that engage them and turn them into brand loyalists. This requires effectively conveying what makes your brand unique, sharing your values, reflecting lifestyle imagery customers can relate to, and flawlessly managing the customer experience start to finish – essentials for connecting with shoppers.
As evidence, nearly two-thirds of online shoppers claim preferring to buy products directly from brand D2C sites vs. through a third-party site because they believe dealing directly with the brand provides a more personalized experience and lends ability to better understand the principles of the individual brands. In fact, 70% prefer to buy from brands aligned with their personal values and/or that have an interesting backstory…and even more of these consumers are willing to pay a higher price from brands that engage in sustainable or environmentally friendly practices.
All said, the cornerstone to building a successful D2C online selling platform clearly rests with having a solid understanding of your customer and knowing what is important to them so they feel ‘at home’ on your site and want to return time and time again.
D2C is much more than a profit center
Without question, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) online selling channel is here to stay. However, as brands plan and strategize around their ecommerce platforms, it is important to recognize that D2C is much more than just a channel for driving sales. It’s also a resource for learning – enabling shoppers to become more familiar with your brand and informing you how to better reach and market to them.
That said, brand marketers should strive to make the most of the D2C opportunity and actively:
- Assess the performance of messaging and products being sold on their ecommerce site for future planning and sales optimization purposes
- Personalize the shopping experience through product suggestions and inquiring about shoppers’ favorite items, flavors, etc. for future use in connecting with them
- Diversify with premium, custom, or new offerings like bundles to avoid competing directly with sites like Amazon
- Use customer data (emails) to extend customer-tailored rewards
- Take learnings about customer actions to share with retail partners
- Make consumers aware of where they can shop beyond the site – because it is equally important to keep an eye on building your brick-and-mortar driven sales
- Build a roadmap to collect behavior data from loyal customers for future product suggestions and communication
- Thank customers for their business by extending personalized offers
- Be accessible by making customer support a priority – a highly important element given that nearly 60% claim re-purchasing from a D2C site because of excellent past customer service
The world of engaging and connecting with consumers has never been more expansive, nor so competitive. By leveraging good strategy and keeping consumer needs in mind, D2C online selling can lead to meaningful, lasting relationships that benefit both brands and consumers.
Looking to drive consumer traffic to your D2C site and convert shoppers into loyal customers? Click here to schedule a no-obligation e-meeting with us to embrace what’s possible!
To learn more about D2C selling and how Ignite2X can put spark into your D2C strategy and success, click here.