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In recent years, it has become increasingly common for companies to manufacture, promote, sell, and ship their own products directly to customers. This direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach lets businesses reach more customers and achieve greater revenue.
According to the 2022 State of Direct-to-Consumer Industry, D2C brands constitute 13% of all eCommerce companies in the US, with over 70% having a gross merchandise value between $1M and $5M.
D2C marketing eliminates the need for third-party retailers, who often market your brand alongside competitors. Keep in mind, however, that your success in D2C marketing largely depends on being able to outperform competitors on your own.
If done correctly, successful D2C marketing can get you increased profits, greater control over your product's advertising, and stronger customer loyalty.
In this article, you’ll find out about D2C marketing, the different strategies you need to ensure success for your brand and five examples you can learn from.
D2C Marketing: Common Challenges Impacting D2C ROI
The following are challenges that plague companies that engage in D2C marketing:
- Cost of customer acquisition: D2C companies face rising customer acquisition costs. It can be very challenging to acquire new customers and convert them into sales. With so many competing brands and choices available, you need to be strategic and creative in the way you market your product. An effective way to decrease acquisition costs is to ensure that consumers have a positive onboarding experience with your brand. By doing so, you're making it easier for them to become loyal customers.
- Inadequate data-driven decisions and solutions: One of the best ways for a brand to stay competitive is to gather and analyze customer data to drive business decisions. This data is crucial to personalizing customer experiences, offering recommendations, and improving your products. If you can’t do this as a D2C brand, you’ll find it hard to identify and provide solutions to customer pain points or understand their preferences.
- Slow and limited technologies: Relying on obsolete technologies is a sure fire way to put your marketing at risk and can lead to slow website performance. Customers visiting your website expect a smooth, efficient shopping experience and will likely leave for an alternative brand if they can’t get it. As a D2C brand, ensure you have a fast-loading, highly intuitive website that satisfies your customers.
- Poor omnichannel marketing: By failing to prioritize marketing on all channels, you risk coming up short in customer acquisition and engagement. Omnichannel marketing is vital for maintaining consistency and engaging with customers across different channels, such as the web, mobile apps, emails, social media, and VR/AR.
Strategies to Learn from Successful D2C Companies
- Leverage omnichannel and in-store marketing operations: In a 2022 Global Consumer Insights Pulse survey by PwC, over 80% of respondents made purchases across three or more channels within the last six months. This shows the rising importance of omnichannel marketing as a great way to drive customers into your funnel.
- Create a memorable and consistent brand identity: Consumers prefer buying directly from brands. This coincides with their desire for a positive and personalized shopping experience. Direct-to-Consumer brands need to deliver authentic and consistent messaging and user experience across all channels.
- Personalized customer experience is key: According to a 2022 Segment State of Personalization Report, almost 50% of all customers will become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience. You can personalize your website content or products, offer recommendations, and leverage a product configurator to improve customer experience and increase customer loyalty. You can learn more about the true ROI of customized ecommerce experiences.
- Track key metrics and gain unique insights: A D2C brand should know how to gather and track customer data and feedback across its many channels. To gain deeper customer insight and boost the success of your D2C brand, you should track key metrics, such as cart abandonment rate, profit margin, repeat customer rate, and time spent on pages.
- Build a holistic customer database: Customers are responsible for the success of any D2C brand. With that in mind, make sure you know each customer's preferences, and build a database around them. This should involve documenting and tracking customer journeys across all channels, leveraging a data analytics tool, and using this to make informed decisions.
5 Unique D2C Marketing Brands to Learn From
1. SCUF Gaming
SCUF Gaming is a D2C company that sells top-notch gaming consoles. One differentiating factor between SCUF Gaming and others is its product configurator. With this configurator, customers can customize their gaming console to suit their taste before making a purchase.
On top of that, it sets them up to offer more engaging experiences in the future through a 3D product configurator environment.
Glossier is a skincare and beauty product company with a D2C marketing strategy. Unlike other beauty product companies, Glossier uses impressive visuals of products to distinguish it from other competing brands.
The product images are stylistic and top-quality, giving you a quick view feature that lets you see the product up close. Aside from that, they have a user-friendly website that’s easy to navigate despite their vast catalog of products.
3. Away Luggage
Away luggage sells various bags, suitcases, and other accessories. Over the years, they have become a top marketplace to shop for duffel bags and suitcases. Their marketing strategy, much like their products, focuses on modern and adventurous folk. They write about great camping sites, fly fishing spots, and city breaks. This forward-thinking approach is also evident in the way they present their products on their product pages—with a product configurator. Besides, customers can take advantage of a product configurator to select a custom size, color, and material for their products.
Casper is a brand that manufactures and sells luxurious beds and accessories. Despite being a necessity in this modern age, shopping for a bed has never been all that fun—but Casper made it so. Casper focused on providing an engaging buying experience with custom bed design options for everyone.
Customers can easily make direct purchases on their website and get them delivered, making Casper the go-to brand for shopping for beds online.
5. KILO Furniture
Kilo furniture specializes in high-quality home and office furniture. After leveraging the Salsita 3D configurator, Kilo furniture now boasts a 3D product configurator for customers to personalize and build custom furniture to taste, get pricing and make orders directly from the site.
What’s even more impressive is their detailed assembling instruction that enables customers to set up the furniture on their own with minimal help. Numerous customer reviews attest to the ease of assembling the furniture.
How Salsita 3D Configurator Helps D2C Brands Market Better
D2C brands face numerous challenges they must address to succeed and maintain a competitive edge. To entice and retain customers, they have to adopt the best tools and strategies.
A product configurator is a key marketing tool for any D2C brand that wants to stay on top of its customer’s minds. These brands can offer customers autonomy over the design of their custom products, setting the color, width, size, texture, height, and range of elements in a particular product.
Aside from that, they can cut down on production and delivery time for the made-to-order products cycle through a dynamic real-time pricing engine, integration with manufacturing processes, and automated document generation.
For SCUF Gaming, the marketing benefits of a product configurator were a key driving force. This enabled them to pursue new market opportunities for customized and complex controller designs. The end-product was a user-friendly, high-performant, and responsive configurator, making SCUF Gaming the go-to brand for custom consoles.
Want to know how a 3D product configurator can benefit your D2C custom product manufacturing brand? Read this article.