5 D2C Trends that are Redefining Consumer and Brand Relationship

By adopting an omnichannel strategy, personalization, and providing a unique user journey and seamless shopping experience, D2C brands are reshaping how consumers and brands interact with each other.
5 D2C Trends that are Redefining Consumer and Brand Relationship

The Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) segment is disrupting how brands engage, interact with and market to customers. With the proliferation of digital modalities and declining profit margin in brick-and-mortar retail, Direct-to-Consumer is emerging as the preferred business model for manufacturers and retailers worldwide. The model encourages greater profit margins for manufacturers and also helps them to deliver better value to customers by creating authentic and very often, customized customer experiences. 

As new-age D2C brands and start-ups redefine the rules of branding and marketing, let's look at some of the trends that are shaping the consumers and brand relationships.

Purpose Driven Brands: Consumers today no longer buy what a brand offers but they are also driven by WHY they offer them; they are intrigued by the stories behind the brands and what problem they are solving. They want to know what brands stand for. When a consumer chooses to interact with or invest in a brand, they do so with brands they connect and resonate with. Therefore, more than what, defining the 'why' has become increasingly important for a brand. It is imperative today to define brands ethos, what it stands for, and the core philosophy. We can see brands today seamlessly blending their core philosophy with their brand positioning and sales pitch. Consumers want to invest in brands that not only solve their functional needs and desires but also resonate with their worldview, their sense of intention, purpose, and lifestyle. 

Omnichannel Strategy: D2C brands are redefining consumers' journeys by engaging and interacting with them via multiple touchpoints across multiple channels from apps, websites, mobile, social media to brick-and-mortar stores simultaneously. Brands can now track the onsite and cross-channel behavior and use this data to cross-sell products across their inventory. Unlike traditional retail, in D2C models, customers today are interacting with brands on multiple platforms, channels, and touchpoints. An omnichannel strategy allows brands to track users' behavior across multiple platforms and channels and understand their demographics, pages browsed, time spent on each page, product categories viewed, etc. to better understand a customer's purchase behaviors and intent. This data can be used to provide relevant product recommendations to customers to cross-sell and upsell, thus increasing the Average Order Value (AOV) per customer.

Personalized Customer Experience: 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide them with relevant information, recommendations, and offers. The key factor driving the growth in the D2C space is the customization which connects products and customers in unique ways. Consumers today not only buy products but an entire experience. Personalization not only helps brands to offer a better customer experience but also enables them access to products, information, and offers tailored to their preference. Since each user's journey is different, the homepage, products shown to them, recommendations, and relevant offers for them are uniquely tailored to their preferences.

Social Commerce: The reason social commerce is gaining traction among consumers and brands is that it connects them on a common platform, allowing them to engage in meaningful ways and giving consumers the thrill of discoverability and the choice to shop seamlessly. The powerful way brands are converting loyal followers to paying customers is via social proof; through influencers marketing, reviews and testimonials. To make shopping seamless with fewer clicks, brands are making quick pay the core of the mobile-first shopping experience. 

The Sustainability Revolution: As the world becomes conscious of an environment at risk, commerce is poised to move towards eco-friendly manufacturing, products, packaging, and adopting conscious consumerism in their marketing and even brand philosophies. This generation of consumers too, are becoming more aware of environmental concerns and adopting more sustainable lifestyles by supporting and opting for organic, sustainable brands and making evolved, aware choices about what they purchase, from where, and why. Conversations are increasing around making sustainability a priority by both brands and consumers which is highlighting a strong shift in consumer buying patterns and indicating that this change is here to stay and grow.

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