Updated: Jul 7
The writing is on the wall.
eCommerce has changed, and it is continuing to evolve. Foot traffic in brick and mortar has continued to diminish and customers are buying goods online more than ever. Products being purchased in traditional physical retailers continues to decline as society evolves to a technology-based economy.
With this societal change, direct to consumer has become more popular. Merchants everywhere, no matter what they are selling, are making the move to DTC (direct to consumer).
According to IAB’s popular new study, The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy, the future of retail growth comes from direct consumer relationships. However, the challenge for many large corporations is that they do not know what to do or how to even start.
For your brand to succeed using the direct to consumer method, you need to expertly fulfill the modern expectations of customer who place orders.
Buying Directly from the Brand
You have seen the ads and read the articles about retail darlings like Harry’s, Casper, Blue Apron, Bonobos, Barkbox, and Warby Parker. Customers have come to expect, and demand, buying directly from a brand, no matter what they sell. Especially, if their products have a unique selling proposition.
Customers no longer want to rely on stores to place goods on shelves or for local sales representatives to have product knowledge. Consumers seek the convenience and peace of mind they get when purchasing a product directly from a brand.
One of the major upsides of going direct to consumer is the ability to take ownership of the most important asset: the customers.
Currently, someone might be a customer of Target, but not a customer of your brand. This means your brand is unable to communicate with those individuals and thus, you are not in control of that relationship at all. Ultimately, the lack of control is a huge loss for any organization.
The Big Question
Here is the big question: what entices customers to buy from websites versus traditional retailers?
For starters, customers connect to more products, whereas some retailers will not always have every item in stock. Next, direct to consumer takes advantage of impulse buys.
Stores can use this leverage to their advantage because a consumer has the chance to connect with the brand whenever they want and on their terms. This gives brands the opportunity to proactively connect with customers through email, push notifications, and so on.
From a financial perspective, now the store can hold less inventory. You can cut costs and keep the same margin. Also, the customer sees this opportunity from a time and convenience perspective because they have the ability to order something from their couch or desk, which saves them the hassle of having to physical go to the physical location.
Don’t Get Left Behind
While it is great for emerging eCommerce shops, this trend hurts legacy brands whose primary channel of selling products has been through stores like Bloomingdales and Macy’s. These iconic department stores have been struggling which is demonstrated through bankruptcy filings and the closing of stores around the country. You do not want your brand to get left behind as society makes the push towards eCommerce. Now is the time to sell your products direct to consumer and reach a whole new target market.
Contact ShopIt Ventures today to learn how we can help take your business direct to consumer. Be sure to continue reading the next blog in our DTC series.