Did you know that 40% of US internet users expect D2C brands to account for at least 40% of their purchases within the next five years.
What does direct to consumer mean?
It means selling your product directly to the consumer instead of using middlemen like retailers. This gives brands the opportunity to have more control over the sale and direct communication with their customers. Being DTC puts the customer experience fully in your hands giving you the opportunity to make it perfect for your target.
How do you get started?
Know Your Target
The best part about selling directly to consumers is that you have immediate access to their data and habits. It is important to use this advantage to help you create buyer personas and understand your target. Creating a buyer persona will help you understand what type of person will be buying your product and can influence how you market your product/service. Although who they are and what they buy is important to know you also want to dig deeper and understand why they make their purchases. Understanding what needs your target customer has will help you create the solution giving your product or service more value.
Direct brands often have a distinct offering or story that makes you stand out from your competitors. It is important to stress these differences in order to differentiate yourself from products that are on the shelf. Consumers like to have choices when it comes to making purchases and often make their choices based on the brand and their values, not just the product itself. Knowing your target and figuring out your niche is the first step to making your brand stand out.
Brands like Casper and Harry’s are ding really well because they figured out what was lacking in the market. They looked at it through a customer’s point of view and created a product and customer experience that solved negative touch-points. For example, Casper knew that people were frustrated with the mattress market because of the confusing options and hassle of getting it into their house. Casper solved the problem by creating one mattress type and folded it into a box that gets shipped directly to your door.
Optimize Your Website
Your website is the face of your company so it’s important you put thought into every part of it. Because you have direct access to your customers you will want to add a form to collect email addresses to get you started on your email marketing. It is also important you add your contact information so that your customers can have direct access to you. D2C is your chance to make your customer’s experience special and a great way to do that is to add personalization to your site. Glossier created an online skin tone matcher on its website before checkout to allow its customers to see which tone matches best.
SEO is a great way to get ahead of your competition especially when they are more well known then your brand. When you are #1 on Google it gives you more eyes on your site and more authority. Casper created search-specific landing pages making sure there was a customized landing page for every keyword someone would use when searching for a bed.
Big-name brands have a financial advantage so why fight them with money when you can beat them with creative ideas? When it comes to marketing your direct to consumer brand you will want to think outside the box. Instead of going for the traditional advertisements use micro-influencers and native ads.
Glossier used micro-influencers and customer’s content on Instagram to build their brand. Glossier’s CEO realized that most of their business came from word of mouth and began leveraging that. They encouraged influencers and customers to post their own content and re-shared some on their own account. Other brands like The Honest Company started writing blogs about which household products can be dangerous. These informational articles became lead generators for the Honest Company’s line of natural products. Soon The Honest Company became a resource for concerned parents and now drives thousands of visitors to their site every month.Although direct to consumer brands have a lot of advantages they come with many obstacles. It is important you approach D2C marketing differently than you would an ordinary brand in order to get the best results.