They say: “Every cloud has its ray of light.” Well, that certainly was true for Direct Consumers (DTCs), which saw an increase in demand and activity after the pandemic. In the last decade, more than 630 million people in India today have access to the Internet, 130 million of whom are actively contributing to online shopping. To further sweeten this scenario, online spending is likely to grow at a CAGR of 35% or more, from $ 39 billion today to $ 200 billion in the next 5 years. And all of these developments are supported by innovation in Internet and payment infrastructure models.
So with all of these elements put together, you might be wondering where the problem lies. Well, electronic commerce is no longer a novelty for us; it is simply a part of our daily life. As consumers, we are surrounded by information about products, services and countless advertisements from a growing number of online businesses.
So there is already a challenge in starting a DTC business, but making it stand out in a cluttered environment is the true test of strength. But that’s where your marketing strategy shines. It is the best way to create brand awareness and promote loyalty among consumers.
Some of the items you should focus on are:
Marketing is much broader than advertising
The problem with many entrepreneurs is believing that marketing and advertising are the same. While promotion is undoubtedly crucial to scaling a brand, it must go the extra mile to create a monumental impact. Marketing involves careful consideration at every point of contact; be it delivery, price, choice of platform and promotion methods.
While your social media post will help to some extent, the way you package your offering and engage with your consumer will take you to the top. You already have an advantage of campaigns like ‘Vocal For Local’ that support the consumption of your own brands. All you need to do is refine your marketing strategy, so that this perception holds for a long, long time.
Your best bet is to design a marketing strategy that is unique to your brand, and to do that …
Listen to your customers. They know what they want
Today’s consumers are better informed about the brands, products and services they want to choose. They conduct research before buying anything online and have set ideas about what to expect from brands. DTC marketing will excel when you put the customer first and center your marketing strategies and activities around them.
As a DTC company, you have the advantage of collecting customer data on your own. This means purchase history, social media information, demographics, comment forms, and more.
You can use this data to increase marketing efforts at various customer touch points. Some of these include:
Birthday celebration offers
Abandoned cart emails
The data you collect also allows you to know where the customer is facing problems. The best way to approach this is by tackling the problems and promoting the solutions you formulate as much as possible. This will help you meet your growing demand for authenticity and strengthen your relationship with the brand.
Your UI / UX matters more than you think
With nearly a decade of e-commerce experience, digital shopping has become the norm for many consumers across the country, spanning multiple demographics. This is not just limited to the desktop experience; The use of mobile devices has increased significantly and consumers expect brands to keep up with each new technological innovation. The DTC Lenskart brand has made its mark in this regard, offering customers the means to test virtually all products in their store, on their mobile and desktop platforms.
Thus, user experience has become a deal breaker for many, who have multiple replacement brands close at hand and little patience to deal with complicated user travel and delays. Easy navigation, clean design, and fast page loading have become crucial for consumers, making it even more important for you to focus.
The scope of success in the DTC arena expands every day. Done right, it can promise you all the treasures in the world, but even the smallest items can wreak havoc on your operations. Remember, as a DTC entrepreneur, while you have maximum control over your products on the one hand, you also have to bear all the costs. This is why you need to market smarter. You have many avenues of advancement at your disposal. Choose wisely, so you can earn millions, not lose them.
The author is a co-founder of 1702 Digital