Direct to consumer marketing (D2C) is a marketing approach in which a firm advertises and sells a product or service directly to customers, bypassing any intermediaries.
The number of enterprises that produce, advertise, sell, and ship their products is expanding, and the increasing popularity of this strategy is swiftly transforming the business environment as a whole.
Customer expectations are evolving, with desires for more streamlined buying experiences, maximum convenience, and an authentic brand experience when millennials are at the forefront of pushing change in the economy.
Companies that use direct-to-consumer marketing have risen to the occasion.
What Is Direct To Consumer Marketing?
D2C varies from standard B2C (business to consumer) in which manufacturers sell directly to consumers via D2C, whereas B2C often involves a store acting as a middleman between a manufacturer and customers.
In normal B2C setups, intermediate merchants offer items from many producers. Customers have several alternatives; therefore, an individual producer has little control over whether their product is picked over a competitor's.
This loss of control extends to the total consumer experience, engagement, and brand positioning, which merchants handle instead.
Direct marketing to consumers is not a novel notion. Businesses would send customers a brochure listing things they may buy directly from a certain vendor for postal delivery.
D2C marketing is simply a revamped mail-order catalog. In most situations, consumers purchase directly from online suppliers and receive their items in the mail, avoiding visiting a physical store.
Because suppliers retain control over the whole process, direct-to-consumer marketing enables them to create an end-to-end brand experience.
The corporation is in charge of creating a successful product, effectively attracting and promoting it to Industries - Qualify & Apply Online consumers, providing the product or service, and owning customer communication and experience.
This direct engagement with consumers from start to end allows suppliers to collect customer data and handle issues without relying on an intermediary store to distort communications.
Direct to consumer brands typically emerge as online retailers since they reach the market directly rather than through a third-party provider.
Direct to consumer marketing has proven disruptive across several industries, changing how we acquire a wide range of items, from razors to contact lenses, beds, and home goods.
Why Are Millennials Interested In D2C?
Direct to consumer marketing is far more appealing to millennials than traditional B2C marketing.
Millennials have no trouble choosing businesses that speak to their priorities: convenience, low cost, authenticity, and a smooth shopping experience over massive traditional stores.
Companies that specialize in direct-to-consumer marketing do just that. Most D2C firms are e-commerce focused, which adds to their attractiveness for a generation that makes more than half of their purchases online.
D2C brands, as online-first businesses, provide the most streamlined, convenient, and straightforward buying experience, making them an appealing alternative to visiting a physical location.
Though Gen Y customers often value product pricing over product quality, direct-to-consumer companies stand out because they can easily provide both.
Traditionally, wholesalers and retailers mark up product prices after purchasing them from manufacturers; but, when suppliers advertise directly to consumers, they make the same profit while saving their customers money much like Casper.
D2C businesses actively reinvent their goods to produce a stand-out product that outperforms other market offers, so quality is not harmed in the process.
D2C marketing also enables businesses to quickly acquire client data and adjust their services to solve customer pain points.
Before making a purchase, over 70% of millennials consider business values, compared to 52% of all US adults.
With 60% of millennials inclined to make purchases that reflect their personality, direct-to-consumer firms may adjust their marketing and goods to meet client preferences.
A direct connection channel with customers eventually leads to a better customer experience. In classic B2C models, the manufacturer would deliver the goods, while the retailer would handle the customer experience without providing the manufacturer with direct access to consumer information.
Should D2C Marketing Strategy Be Implemented?
D2C marketing is undeniably appealing, but before committing to this method, thoroughly weigh the benefits and drawbacks of direct-to-consumer marketing.
The Benefits Of Direct-To-Consumer Marketing
- More command. D2C businesses have complete control over their products, reputations, brand message, and customer support
- It is simpler to develop customer relationships. Because direct-to-consumer marketers directly communicate with the people who buy their products, businesses may enhance their offers based on customer input, thus increasing customer loyalty
- Customer Data Access Direct to consumer marketing facilitates customer data collection to gain a comprehensive picture of buyer behavior and increase conversions while providing unique, tailored experiences
The Drawbacks of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
- Supply Chain issues can be difficult to manage. Brands that employ direct-to-consumer marketing might have issues in maintaining their supply chain
- Conversions can be difficult. Direct to consumer brands frequently distinguish themselves by offering extremely low prices and free trials. Though free trials attract potential customers, D2C businesses have challenges with customers typically quitting after the trial or paying for only a few months of service
- Expertise in a variety of fields is required. D2C businesses must worry about generating a product and acquiring consumers, understanding shipping logistics, and devoting more time and resources to activities you could otherwise outsource to intermediaries
How To Win At Direct To Consumer Marketing
Given that millennials will be the largest generation in 2019 and are major trendsetters for other consumer age groups, company owners have excellent cause to explore a direct-to-consumer marketing approach to stay relevant.
D2C is simple for first-time business owners to deploy since there are low barriers to entry and a possible high ROI.
If you're wondering how to implement direct-to-consumer marketing, have a look at our infographic for tips from leading D2C firms.