The difference between business-to-consumer (B2C) and direct-to-consumer (D2C) is the middleman. B2C sales generally require a retailer to distribute products and goods from manufacturers to consumers, whereas in D2C the retailer is taken out of the equation. So, why do manufacturers sell directly to consumers? With D2C, brands can take the reins and have full control over their commercial tactics, customer service, marketing, and messaging. Brands born and bred in the digital age understand that users expect everything to be instantaneous. With D2C, brands can streamline the customer experience making it easy to interact with their target audience. In this blog post, we’ll explore why direct to consumer is becoming an important retail channel and how your manufacturing brand can shift to D2C.
Why Direct to Consumer Is Becoming an Important
Direct to consumer is becoming an important retail chain because this system is becoming more favorable for consumers—there’s less muddling in-between and more one-on-one action. Steep prices and lack of digital presence have given eCommerce start-ups and brands the upper hand in an era where users expect justified prices and efficiency.
If you’re asking yourself, “what is direct to consumer brands,” they are digitally born and bred brands like Casper, Target, and Bass Pro Shop. What else is responsible for the uptick in direct to consumer?
- Affordable Pricing– As stated above, affordable pricing is one of the biggest allures to consumers. D2C sales mean that some businesses like fast-fashion stores that can offer their products at extremely low prices. This means users are heading over to their digital storefront in droves looking for the best deals on outfits for their perfectly curated Instagram feeds.
- Relationships – Good business owners understand that their brand’s relationship with their customer is With D2C, brands have more control of how their content appears to users and how their brand relates to users through their eCommerce content marketing strategy. They can control the story their brand tells, their overall message, and the medium with which users view their content.
- Sales – While affordable pricing is a huge plus for users and businesses alike, direct sales mean that users can collect data on their target audience; they can observe customer behavior on their site and their user’s buying habits.
- User Experience – D2C is also becoming an important part of the retail chain because digitally savvy companies can provide users with a seamless, omnichannel experience.
Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Strategies
Now that you understand why D2C is important in the retail chain, I’m sure you’re wondering what is a strategy for a direct to consumer model. Well, D2C is the ability for brands to bypass traditional retailers to resell your products and focus on selling directly to consumers. That means you and your team members are in control of everything. Rewinding a bit, let’s take a look at some strategies you can make use of:
- Interact directly with your audience through social media– Social media is a great way to build your D2C brand because you’re interacting and engaging directly with your target audience on a platform that is familiar to them. In some cases, it also means you can directly sell to them too. For example, Instagram and Facebook allow businesses to sell directly from their platform.
- Earn brand recognition through specialization with SEO Campaigns– D2C brands have made their name through specialization. When it comes to your D2C SEO campaigns, choose the one thing about your brand that truly defines it, whether it’s quality mattresses, sustainably made clothing, or pet-friendly soap, and target keywords related to it.
- Offer a reordering model to increase retention– With the ability to re-order, the best benefit businesses get comes in the form of retention. For instance, think about that gym you’re still signed up to but never go. Offering a subscription model means that your consumers don’t have to think twice; they’re saving time and effort and still have access to your brand’s products and services. This strategy will help you keep your customers coming back.
- Increase brand awareness with influencers – Influencers are the clickbait word of the year. While they may have their clichés, the right influencer can significantly increase awareness of your brand and drive sales. Take Justin Beiber and Calvin Klein, for example. Justin helped take #MyCalvins to a whole new level. Melisa Goldie, Calvin Klein’s Chief Marketing Officer said, “The goal is always to sell the product… relevance is the driver of commerce.” She believes that “to be a relevant brand means that everyone needs to be talking about you and there has to be a conversation. Sales are 100 percent as important as is driving a relevant conversation.” Choosing your influencers can be tricky so make sure you vet each one. Research their follower base and if that foundation matches up with your target audience.