Direct to Customer marketing (D2C) has been around for decades. In this marketing strategy, the product is manufactured directly and sold directly to the consumer, removing the need for wholesalers and retailers. It means that the sales process is more tailored to the individual customer and less interrupted. Instead of physical stores, today’s sales are usually conducted via digital commerce websites and social media.
It is important for brands to determine what is the best approach for their company before making the strategic decision to go direct-to-consumer. In this article, discover what D2C marketing is, the advantages and disadvantages of Direct to Customer marketing, and D2C marketing examples of successful D2C brands and key D2C trends in 2022.
What is D2C Marketing?
Direct to Customer (D2C) is when you sell directly to consumers. Sellers bypass any third parties, including retailers, wholesalers, and other middlemen. Direct selling allows companies to build closer relationships with customers and maintain greater control of their products as well as own the brand experience from beginning to end.
Direct to Consumer marketing makes sense for brands to develop an online sales channel since digital commerce is a relatively inexpensive way to launch a new brand. Eight out of ten people now shop online, making it the perfect way for brands to expand their sales.
By directly interacting with consumers from the start, data is improved and intermediaries are not allowed to distort messages. As a result, Direct to Consumer marketing helps brands reach and communicate more effectively with their target audiences. Therefore, D2C companies can enhance their customers’ experiences and increase their affinity with them.
What is D2C (direct-to-consumer) Model
The direct-to-consumer business model is a digital commerce business model that sells directly to customers without relying on wholesalers or platforms like Amazon. The brand itself handles all sales, avoiding distributors and most of the traditional distribution chain.
Benefits of Direct to Consumer Marketing
Direct selling allows businesses to own the end-to-end brand experience, build better relationships with customers, and keep more control over their products. According to them, it enhances customer reach, increases revenue, and improves access to markets. Brands can connect directly with their customers through digital commerce channels, resulting in increased engagement and conversion rates. In contrast to retail sales, online sales increased during the pandemic. Rapid expansion in high-growth markets is possible for brands. The following are some of the benefits of Direct to Consumer Marketing:
- Interact directly with your target audience – D2C marketing allows you to build a trusting relationship with them. As a result, you can improve your brand, enhance trust, build customer loyalty, and much more by listening to their feedback.
- Expanded market reach – Online marketing and selling give you a larger audience than your distributor can reach. When your products are marketed to consumers directly online, you’re not limited by geography or by your distributor’s reach. Increasingly, DTC bands are able to sell to the most desirable customer segments in the fastest-growing markets.
- Take better control of your business – Your brand messaging can be controlled, you can target specific audiences, know your competitors well, you can build your reputation, and can improve customer service. An organization is much more likely to succeed if it has such a framework in place.
- Be more innovative and creative – Try out new products on a smaller scale to see what your target audience responds to first before scaling up. Get ideas from the D2C examples. Additionally, you can gain feedback along the way to help you create a product that meets the needs and wants of your ideal customer!
Advantages Of D2C Marketing
Direct access to customer data – The Direct to Consumer marketing method allows companies to reach their targeted audiences at a more personal level, by knowing their locations, social media profiles, and purchasing preferences. As a result, a brand can create a personalized experience for its customers.
Direct control over your brand presence – The ability to control the brand’s presence directly. Customer service, brand messaging, and reputation are all under the company’s control.
Improved customer relationships – In direct-to-consumer marketing, businesses can engage directly with their target audience, resulting in greater trust and loyalty between them and their business.
Profit margins are higher – Taking out the middlemen is one of the most appealing features of the direct-to-consumer model. By operating a fully centralized sales and distribution system, your company is able to maximize revenue and make more investments in marketing and sales.
Boost customer loyalty and engagement – A Direct to customer brand can run its business however it sees fit, without worrying that a third-party seller might mishandle it. The opportunity to create personalized, quality content that can be shared across your channels, offer special deals, ask for feedback, respond to every new interaction, and more, is a great way to earn your customers’ trust.
Disadvantages Of D2C Marketing
Competition has increased – Direct to Customer marketing has its advantages, but it also has drawbacks. Selling directly to consumers has the potential to involve high competition, as not only small businesses follow this approach, but many large corporations do as well on their online assets; this means that getting your audience’s attention is harder, more expensive, and may take longer to achieve.
Scalability challenges – D2C brands are relatively easy to launch, but if you are starting out as an in-house fulfillment operation with a small staff, rapid scaling in response to increased orders will be challenging to manage independently.
Several skills are required for D2C brands – From marketing, web development, and customer service, to product production and distribution.
Managing complex business operations – Direct to Customer marketing comes with a lot of freedom, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility in the form of managing complex operations.
Top Examples Of D2C Brands
Many Indian new-age brands have gone Direct-to-Consumer by eliminating the middlemen in the past few years. Here’s a list of these new-age D2C marketing examples that made the biggest impact in this space. Following are the top D2C marketing examples we will discuss:
Country Delight – In Indian culture, getting fresh milk is deeply ingrained. Yet the quality of milk delivered to homes is drastically lower than we expect. As a D2C example, Country Delight delivers a great customer experience. It pays premium prices to the farmers. The company invests in cold chain and quality testing infrastructure to ensure ethical procurement practices. Country Delight has so far sourced milk from 500 farmers within 150-200 kilometres. It delivers more than 8 Bn orders every month across 11 states in the country.
Lenskart – Lenskart is one of the top eCommerce portals for eyewear in India. The company’s omnichannel approach has revolutionized the eyewear industry in the country. A company originally specialising in contact lenses, Lenskart has expanded its products to include prescriptions and sunglasses. It offers customers over 5,000 frames and 45 different types of lenses. In an inventory-driven model, Lenskart passes its designs on to manufacturers and keeps product costs down by having an efficient supply chain. Customers benefit from the lower costs because there is no middleman involved.
Mamaearth – Mamaearth is developing innovative products to solve a common Indian parenting problem. It began with just six products and has since grown to over 100. They are also available on eCommerce sites such as Flipkart, Nykaa, and Amazon. Most of Mamaearth’s sales come from e-commerce platforms. On social media platforms, Mamaearth collaborates with mom bloggers and pitches their audience. There are devoted followers of influencers who take their advice seriously.
BoAt – BoAt is a well-known electronic lifestyle brand that provides stylish, high-quality electronic devices at an affordable price. Products from BoAt are available on Amazon and Flipkart, as well as other e-commerce websites. Over 20 million Indians use the company’s products daily. It sells over 10,000 products a day. The boAt is a successful D2C example.
Licious – Licious is a unique meat and seafood D2C example that provides absolutely clean fish, eggs, and meat. It offers its customers the highest quality and freshest meat and seafood via a farm-to-fork model. Over 3500 employees work at Licious, which receives millions of orders monthly. With more than a million customers, it has a large customer base.
Key D2C Trends in 2022
AI Marketing – Artificial intelligence (AI) works by analysing a large number of data and identifying patterns that are most likely to work in a particular area. Every marketer who knows how to apply AI can use it to serve many purposes. It is highly effective, cost-effective, and precise. Every team must implement artificial intelligence into their arsenal of tools since so many companies have adopted these tools.
Omnichannel Marketing Strategy – A business may use omnichannel marketing strategies to represent its brand or business in multiple ways. There has been a tremendous increase in the need for personalised products, and also a rise in the popularity of browsing and purchasing products online. AI and big data play a huge role in this area by helping brands understand their consumers’ behaviours and create products that are tailored to them.
Personalised Customer Experience – A brand’s growth depends heavily on its ability to solve customers’ problems. It is true that each customer might be searching for a product that addresses their particular problem. Therefore, it is important to tailor the overall customer experience in online retail.
M-Commerce (or Mobile Commerce) – In mobile commerce, people use their mobile devices to buy and sell products and services. Since mCommerce is location-agnostic, Indian consumers have responded strongly to it. As mobile phones are more widely used, many business owners have shifted to mobile-first strategies to succeed. With mobile commerce, you can reach a larger customer base and boost customer lifetime value.
First-Party Data – A brand can use first-party data for ad targeting purposes if it receives information customers willingly share. Some brands only need to ask for this data, but for others, a little creativity would do the trick. With the help of personalised quizzes, the DTC makeup brand can gather relevant information about customers that they can use to recommend suitable products.
Take Advantage of Sekel Tech’s D2C Marketing
When it comes to reaching a potential audience and building the market reach, brands have two popular options: listing their products on a digital commerce platform such as Sekel Tech or listing them on a marketplace (like Amazon).
While Sekel Tech’s all-in-one D2C marketing platform offers several benefits (such as controlling the entire purchase and delivery process, acquiring customers, and ensuring customer satisfaction), brands will not only save on listing expenses on third-party marketplaces but also have direct access to their customers and can drive conversion. Sekel Tech helps D2C brands to have access to first-party data by being closer to their target audience. In contrast, marketplace listings incur the listing cost. The main thing is in this option you don’t have access to first-party data that can be useful for your marketing campaign.
Sekel Tech gives your business real-time inventory management and seamless integration to deliver a flawless end-to-end customer experience. It helps increase visibility and revenue, improve conversion rates, and streamline, resulting in higher profit margins.