Ecommerce competition is growing every day. As a store owner, you constantly have to look for ways to stand out.
Many ecom owners are choosing Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing as a strategy. By using the DTC marketing approach, companies can avoid using conventional retail channels and instead directly sell their products to consumers via digital platforms.
DTC marketing provides various benefits, such as enhanced control over the customer experience, improved customer loyalty, and greater conversion rates. In fact, between 2019 and 2022, the percentage of customers worldwide who regularly make direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce purchases from brands has climbed from 49% to 64%.
However, a successful DTC marketing strategy demands a particular approach to marketing and a thorough understanding of the target audience.
\In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about DTC marketing as an e-commerce owner. We'll cover the differences between DTC and B2C, show you some DTC marketing strategies for ecommerce, and inspire you with some successful examples.
Let’s get started!
What is DTC marketing?
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing comprises all the methods that a company communicates to its customers directly. Examples of this include influencer marketing, social media marketing, personalized email messages, etc.
Although direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses have greater control over their interactions with their audience, this also means that they are responsible for the entire (or almost the entire) sales process, including things like delivery and customer support in addition to branding and marketing.
Direct-to-consumer businesses must persuade leads to make a direct purchase from them, so they must be more proactive in their outreach. For example, DTC businesses often use tactics such as email, SMS, and push notifications to get to their customers.
What’s the difference between DTC and B2C marketing?
Businesses that use DTC speak directly to customers, without any marketplaces, retailers, or other channels in between. On the other hand, B2C brands rely on marketplaces and other retailers that help them reach customers easily.
For example, Amazon is a marketplace that brands would use to sell their products, and DTC brands wouldn’t use them.
DTC allows brands to get closer to customers and send them more customized messages. They also get the opportunity to personalize the entire customer experience. In fact, research showed that 60% of customers want to buy directly from brands instead of retailers or marketplaces.
DTC marketing strategies for ecommerce brands
Now, let’s look at some of the best DTC marketing strategies for ecommerce brands.
Publishing long-form posts like articles or case studies, videos, and other forms of content is a great way to directly attract leads by providing valuable information to them.
Content marketing can also be a great tool for brand awareness and positioning yourself as a thought leader in your niche. This will help you build trust with your target audience.
Finally, publishing relevant and optimized content will improve your store’s search engine rankings and increase the discoverability of your products.
Social media posts get a lot of reach when targeted properly and represent a great way to promote products and engage with customers. However, you should do some research to find the right channel for your particular brand.
For example, if your target audience is Gen Z, TikTok is the platform you want to be present on. Research has shown that 50% of Gen-Zers make all their purchasing decisions based on TikTok videos, confirmed by the popularity of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag.
This information is crucial if you want to try DTC, particularly in the categories of fashion, food, and CPG, where it is simple to represent the items visually.
Influencer marketing is a common DTC strategy that businesses can use to leverage the reach and impact of social media influencers to market their goods or services.
This strategy can help companies reach new audiences, increase engagement, and increase conversions while also helping them develop credibility and trust with their target market.
Businesses can leverage their followers' personal connections and market their brand in a more genuine and relatable way by collaborating with the right influencers.
Influencer campaigns can be adjusted to different range of budgets, and this strategy can bring a larger ROI than conventional advertising channels.
Subscription-based models are great to provide a personalized experience to customers, while making sure you have a steady revenue at the same time.
Customers who choose a subscription pay a regular fee in order to access them continuously. Businesses can better plan and budget for the future as a result of the predictable revenue stream.
Another benefit of subscription services is that they may help organizations establish consumer loyalty. By giving customers with a seamless and personalized experience, businesses may develop a deep connection with their audience and drive repeat purchases.
Businesses in highly competitive industries like ecommerce may find particular value in this as it can help them stand out from rivals and keep customers over the long haul.
Customer Referral Programs
Customer referral programs can be a cost-effective way to acquire new customers.
Ecommerce stores can encourage current clients to recommend their friends and family by providing incentives like discounts, free items, or other benefits. If you use it right, this strategy may be more cost effective than traditional advertising.
Customer referral programs also provide the advantage of assisting businesses in establishing credibility and trust with their target market.
When customers refer their friends and family to a business, they are essentially guaranteeing for the quality of the products or services offered. This could be a potent recommendation for the company and aid in gaining the trust and credibility of potential clients.
Successful DTC brands examples
After giving you some ideas about DTC marketing, let’s get you inspired with some concrete examples.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club’s subscription service is a hassle-free personalized experience that delivers razors and grooming products to customers’ doorsteps. This means that customers only have to opt-in once–and they get a regular service each month.
The service is affordable and provides a lot of value to customers. The products are high-quality and not expensive, which helps the brand attract a lot of customers who stay loyal.
Fast-fashion retailer Shein is very popular among Gen-Z customers. In 2021, it surpassed Amazon as the top downloaded e-commerce shopping app. Its affiliate and influencer marketing, which has gained traction on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, can be at least partially credited for its current increase in popularity.
The Black Tux
The Black Tux is an ecommerce brand that sells exclusive suits and tuxedos. They want to make the process of purchasing men’s formal wear simple, so they offer various options for men to get suits, including renting outfits and even showrooms in physical stores.
Thanks to its innovative DTC strategies, they’ve reached a founding amount of $ 70 million in less than a decade.
SmileDirectClub is a direct-to-consumer (DTC) company that offers at-home teeth straightening solutions. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.
SmileDirectClub offers clear aligners that are designed to straighten teeth gradually over a period of several months. Customers can order an impression kit online, which allows them to take molds of their teeth at home. The molds are then used to create a set of custom-fitted clear aligners that are sent directly to the customer.
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway offers a rental service for high-end fashion and accessories, allowing customers to rent designer clothing and accessories for a fraction of the retail cost.
Customers can browse and select items from Rent the Runway's online catalog, which are then shipped directly to their door. Customers can choose to rent items for a set period of time and then return them for free when they're done.
One of the key benefits of Rent the Runway's service is that it allows customers to access high-end fashion and designer brands at a more affordable price point. This can be particularly appealing for customers who may not be able to afford to purchase designer clothing outright or who may only need to wear a particular item once.
DTC marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy for e-commerce businesses looking to build brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, and drive sales. By bypassing traditional retail channels and selling products directly to consumers through digital platforms, DTC companies are able to offer a more personalized and convenient customer experience, often at a more affordable price point.
There are several effective DTC marketing strategies that companies can use, including content marketing, influencer marketing, subscription services, and customer referral programs. These strategies can help companies build brand awareness, attract new customers, and increase customer retention and loyalty.
However, it's important for companies to remember that DTC marketing requires a unique approach and a deep understanding of the target audience. Companies should focus on providing high-quality products and services, creating a strong brand identity, and leveraging data to personalize the customer experience.