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Effective Direct To Consumer Sales: Complete Guide 2021

In the past two decades leading up to 2021, e-commerce has made incredible strides in progress, now becoming a $4.29 trillion industry. Needless to say, it’s huge, and it’s getting bigger. There are many types of e-commerce models we see today. There is direct-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, business-to-business sales, to name a few.

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What is Direct To Consumer Commerce?

So, what does Direct-to-Consumer mean? And what is “direct-to-consumer sales”? Direct to consumer or DTC sales is a form of commerce involving businesses selling their products directly to their consumers. This means that they bypass retailers and other intermediaries and sell their products to the end consumer.

DTC sales are pretty standard now. While many brands opt to have brick-and-mortar stores, more and more brands have social media sites and e-commerce websites of their own where they can interact with and sell to their customers directly. Now, you might ask, why? Why have brands abandoned retailers and taken it upon themselves to market and sell their products?

Many factors contributed to this shift, and we’ve broken them down for you right here!

Here are some of the primary factors that make direct-to-consumer commerce so compelling for brands.

Why Brands Choose Direct To Consumer Sales

1. Direct To Consumer Sales Give You More Control

DTC advertising and sales give your brand more control. When you do away with the middlemen involved in your business, you have more control and freedom over what you do with your brand. This means you have complete creative control over your brand image, marketing campaigns, pricing, and engagements with your consumers.

So with DTC advertising, you can pick the tone and direction of your campaigns without worrying about it clashing with the retailer’s aesthetic.

Retailers are often very picky when it comes to choosing the brands they want to sell at their stores; if you don’t pass their test, you’re out. But with a retailer out of the picture altogether, you have greater control over what happens with your brand and what narrative you want to build around it.

Before the internet became the global phenomenon that it is today, retailers were your best shot at getting noticed by your customers. Getting your products displayed in their store windows and racks was like getting a shoutout from a popular Instagram account.

However, due to the advent of social media, you no longer have to rely on retailers to boost your brand awareness. Brands have taken it upon themselves to promote their products through social media channels and other forms of marketing that directly engage with their target audience.

2. Better Pricing

Typically in an indirect distribution model, retailers, wholesalers, and other intermediaries take a cut from your profit. To get a bigger profit margin that suits every party involved, brands must price their products accordingly, often making them expensive.

Without having a retailer in the mix, your brand doesn’t have to consider pricing a product to get a higher profit margin. This means you can make your products as affordable as possible while still making a profit. With smaller brands that are just starting in their fields, this means a higher return on investment which can make or break their business.

pricing

Better pricing is one of the most significant advantages of DTC sales models and a contributing factor to businesses making the switch. Customers also tend to find DTC more compelling. Statistics showed that up to 40% of Americans opted for DTC over retailers in the past year.

3. The Customer Journey

Having more control over the entire process of manufacturing and selling lets you keep an eye on your customers and their customer journey. When you’re able to see what your customers are doing, how they’re responding to your marketing efforts, what is clicking with them, and what isn’t, you can better understand and improve your business and marketing strategies.

In contrast, if your products had passed through a retailer, you would not necessarily have this kind of insight into customer behavior. You can collect valuable insights and data from your consumers and use them to your advantage. You can test your websites, landing pages, and ads using A/B split testing.

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You can use Google Analytics, website traffic estimator tools, social media analytics, and engagement to collect user data.  With your collected data, you can cater more effectively to your consumers’ wants and needs and create more effective marketing campaigns.

4. The Pandemic

The pandemic caused millions of brick-and-mortar stores to close down to comply with safety violations. This caused a significant boom in the e-commerce industry consumers had to rely on online stores for their purchases.

Many old-school retailers that still primarily functioned offline, such as Macy’s, closed down their brick and mortar stores and switched to online marketplaces.

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This gave DTC marketers and sellers a profitable window to gain an edge over the bigwigs in the business. Since most of them operated online, DTC sellers could have a headstart with their business and grow their brands by filling in a gap for their consumers.

This motivated other brands to switch to or incorporate DTC initiatives in their sales models to match thriving e-commerce businesses.

DTC sales have tons of benefits that make them a compelling sales strategy for brands globally. You’re probably intrigued and thinking; sounds great! Where do we sign up?

Before you jump the gun and revamp your entire sales model, there are a few things you need to know. We’ve compiled a list of the best tips you can use to create an effective direct-to-consumer strategy and effectively drive leads and boost sales!

Top Four Tips for Effective Direct To Consumer Sales

Here are our top picks for the best strategies you can use to drive direct-to-consumer sales effectively!

1. Establish a Niche

Creating and establishing a niche for your brand is essential to make considerable headway in the DTC sales industry. Consumers are not simply on the hunt for objects to purchase. They’re looking for things that add value to their lives. It’s vital that you know your brand’s niche and what value your products or services add to your consumers’ shopping experience.

Your brand needs to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by pricing your products lower than others, providing high-quality products for affordable prices. A great way to stand out is to take an everyday essential and make it as affordable as possible.

Since you have the liberty to get creative and interact with consumers directly, use consumer data to curate an engaging brand experience that offers more than products to your audience.

2. Prioritize Customer Experience and Satisfaction

Customer experience and customer satisfaction should be at the forefront of your business. These things often get lost in the mix when it comes to more prominent brands and retailers.

Especially if you’re a small business, you can use your direct interactions with your customers to ensure their satisfaction and gain insight on how best to tailor their customer experience.

customer

If your brand operates online on an e-commerce platform, you can achieve this by creating a seamless purchasing experience. This includes creating a well-functioning website and a responsive customer assistance team.

3. Create a Brand Personality

Carefully curating a brand personality is an excellent strategy, no matter what your sales model looks like.

However, for DTC businesses, especially if they run online, it’s vital. People are growing more and more socially conscious, looking for brand values that align with theirs. You can use the data you acquire from your consumers to curate a personality for your brand on social media.

Harness the power of social media to keep your customers engaged and boost their interaction with your brand. This means looking at your brand as an experience rather than a simple buying and selling of goods. Look into what factors into your consumers’ purchasing decisions and become the ideal brand for them.

4. Broaden Your Audience Reach

It is incredibly important for you to try and reach your audience from every angle. Since you’re in charge of marketing, you can get as creative as you like. Create email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, use direct mail marketing, etc., to ensure that your consumers see what your brand has to offer everywhere they look.

The internet is a great place to broaden your audience reach, make a killer brand website that attracts consumers to the brand experience you curated for them.

To Sum Up

Direct to consumer sales have the ability to be a game-changer for brands online and offline. The added advantage of having a direct connection with your audience gives you endless opportunities to gather valuable consumer insights and connect with your audience better.

Some excellent ways to optimize your DTC sales model are to establish a niche for your brand and its products, prioritize customer experience, create an interactive brand personality, and approach your audience from every angle possible.

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