According to reports, the D2C market segment could reach $100 billion by 2025. In this approach, companies manufacture products, make an e-commerce website, sell, and ship their products, without intermediaries. D2C companies aim to be agile with a deep understanding of their business segment to create a successful model. You can bypass traditional retailers and take your products directly to customers with D2C channels using an online store.
What exactly is the D2C business model?
Today, customer-centric models such as B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer), D2C (direct-to-consumer), and B2E (business-to-employee) are the approach. Among these, D2C is emerging as a top choice.
D2C’s e-commerce business model lets manufacturers sell their products directly to consumers, eliminating intermediaries such as wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. D2C brands produce, market, conclude a sale, and ship their products independently.
According to research, more than 55% of shoppers prefer to shop directly from manufacturers instead of retailers to get cost-effective deals. Businesses can leverage this opportunity and move to the D2C business model with an excellent e-commerce website.
Importance of D2C websites
The D2C business model is helping entrepreneurs build multimillion-dollar companies. So, how does this happen? What helps manufacturers connect directly with consumers? No doubt, a website. Selling through D2C websites offers the following benefits:
Get increased control
You control your brand messaging and consumer engagement. The traditional manufacturer-retailer relationship provides little room for manufacturers in brand control. The sole control may be in the packaging and other marketing activities.
Once the product reaches retailers, manufacturers can no longer influence sales, build customer relationships, or collect data. Manufacturers spend on advertising, but it is the retailers who present the product to the consumer.
Direct access to customers and their data
A D2C website allows you direct contact with customers through each step of the purchase process including after sales, collection of their email addresses, locations, social media profiles, shopping preferences, etc.
Learning consumer buying behavior helps manufacturers adapt existing products and, possibly, even create new product lines. This is otherwise not possible without the exact information.
Get more margin
With D2C, manufacturers achieve higher margins by removing middlemen from the entire operation. An intermediary selling your products means making a profit on the markup from initial cost to gross sales.
Having a D2C website in a business strategy allows brands to sell products at the same price as retailers, thus positively influencing the goals of more sales and increased revenue.
Strong brand loyalty
With D2C, manufacturers have the freedom to provide better service and support to their customers. They can leverage their relationships with consumers to build stronger relationships and boost retention through targeted marketing campaigns.
Your loyal clients mean your long-term customers. A website helps a lot in gaining customers who may purchase regularly. Plus, new customers and prospects may want to know about your business history, and your expertise.
Expanded market opportunities
Manufacturers need not face any geographical restrictions when selling D2C. They can go global by selling to the right customer segments, in the right market.
Unlike a local brick-and-mortar establishment, a business website broadcasts your business profile around the world, increasing exposure and sales due to its wide demographic reach.
More opportunities for innovation
Normally, retailers follow a routine while selling and shy away from selling new products. Therefore, manufacturers are restricted to producing what retailers want. But the D2C model allows them to launch new products, test with selected demographics, and collect feedback.
New business developments can be updated on your website. Sites with fresh information attract more users. Manufacturers can know what their customers want, produce what sells, and make necessary improvements if any.
How to get started with your D2C website?
The D2C model lets companies reach consumers directly. For maximum outreach, a D2C website is important. Your website needs to contain useful elements for success in the long run.
Find your niche
Suppose, you are planning to enter the market for sports shoes. With research and analysis, find out what your competitors have to offer in runners, flat shoes, regular wear shoes with soft soles, and more. You may find that there isn’t a brand selling shoes that offer support when lifting heavy weight — that’s your niche.
To find a niche, you must identify gaps in the market, and exploit those gaps to launch a unique segment. Even without advertising, it attracts more customers.
Unique domain name
The domain name reflects your brand. It will be recognizable on search engines if it is unique as well as keyword-driven. Your domain name represents your business and it should be crisp and concise for long-term results.
A domain name should be short and include words that are easy to pronounce. Some suggestions include avoiding the use of unfamiliar words. You can use descriptive words. However, avoid using hyphens, numbers, and misspelled words.
Easily navigable website
You need to deliver customer satisfaction and an excellent shopping experience when consumers engage directly with your brand. This is possible with an easily navigable, mobile-friendly, and visually appealing website. An excellent user interface is important.
Product descriptions and creative images help create a real product feel. Product discovery should be easy and the payment process should be smooth. Your website should encourage your customers to visit again.
Aesthetically displayed products
Dull images do not impress customers. You need a vibrant product image to keep customers engaged. A buyer’s perspective is important. Features, reviews and ratings also matter. Tell them your product is the best.
Good design aesthetics increases people’s confidence in a product and enhances product value. In addition, design aesthetics is a potential source that improves sales.
Strategic shipping policy
Set up a clear shipping policy and upload it to your website for your customers to place an order. An important thing to include is reporting the number of days it will take for the product to reach the customer.
Regarding product delivery, the sooner it reaches the customers, the higher the customer satisfaction. Tie up with a shipping service provider that excels in providing the best services.
Privacy and return policy
These policies significantly influence the buying decisions of your customers. This is what shoppers seek before making a purchase online. When disclosing important information like address and card details, buyers want absolute protection of their privacy.
Return policies should be simple and allow buyers to establish product suitability with free returns, home pickup, and quick refunds. With all these, the chances of conversion become higher.
Buyers appreciate prompt addressing of complaints. Therefore, a strong customer support system is essential. It comprises a team of customer support executives who provide quick resolution against the issue raised.
Quick answering of calls, taking up the matter quickly, diving into the details of the issue, etc. are responsibilities of a helpful and reliable customer support team. A Q&A section on the website also helps with customer support.
Testing your website before launch
Run a test for your website before launch. All processes from signup to checkout should be smooth. Make sure call-to-action works properly, product descriptions are complete, and high-definition images and videos are used. Check website speed.
Also, pay attention to the uniformity of font, theme and color across all pages of the website. Adding testimonials about authentic customer experiences gives the website an upper edge.
Get experts to help you achieve your goals
UX, content creation and optimization, D2C banner and site imagery creation, etc., harness the power of D2C brands. The right technical solutions ensure that your D2C plan is successful in the long run.
You are the vision behind your e-commerce website. But your idea needs the support of experts who have proficiency and experience. You can consider seeking professional help.
Over to you
If companies focus on building online stores with their brand image and serving customers directly, the D2C business model can help them scale their business in the right direction.
More brands are entering the fast-growing D2C space. Creating a business model and an approach best suited to your brand’s requirements is essential for your brand’s survival amidst the fierce competition.
It is important to take a customer-centric approach to building a website. Partnering with a trusted e-commerce fulfillment provider will ensure stability and business success in the long run.