India is the fastest-growing market for e-commerce business, according to global reports. Coupled with the advantage of technological support, apps and online selling tools are helping small businesses and start-ups, to introduce their D2C brands.
The pandemic has only increased the number of online shoppers, with consumers choosing safety and convenience. As per reports, in the year 2020 alone, India had approximately 330 million digital buyers, a base that can dwarf many large economies worldwide. The key however lies in being able to unlock this revenue.
Besides getting the opportunity to earn higher margins as compared to sales via aggregators and online marketplace, the D2C model has always provided a host of advantages for businesses to leverage. Fighting against the disruption that the retail industry has seen during the pandemic, D2C is becoming even more popular with extended lockdowns and an increase in traffic on online marketplaces.
So, if you are a D2C brand that is looking to scale its business online, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Understanding Consumer Needs: The D2C model provides greater control over consumer data, which can be analyzed further to understand consumer behavior, deal with customer churn and also create acquisition strategies. While scaling up a D2C brand, customer churn always becomes an issue that is difficult to manage. With the increased interaction with consumers via chats, emails, SMS, reviews, etc., it sometimes might get difficult for a brand to allocate and manage resources to collect, structure, and process all the insights gained from the data. Taking proactive actions and tackling consumer pain points are essential while scaling up. Using the right tools, it becomes critical for brands to understand what are the needs of the consumers that they are targeting and how to deliver to the expected standards.
Creating Personalized Experiences: Personalization can become a key metric for successful customer-brand interactions that can help in boosting bottom-line growth. With the diverse demands in terms of products and seasonal and geographical basis, the customers must be segmented and then targeted accordingly to strengthen that relationship. For a D2Cbrand that is scaling, targeting new and diverse consumer groups with the help of its marketing campaigns and strategies helps in driving market penetration as well.
Competitor Analysis: The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, with more and more brands taking their business online especially during the pandemic. A number of these brands will be D2C in nature and have been building themselves up with best-in-class customer acquisition and retention strategies. Competitor analysis thus becomes vital for a D2C brand that is looking to scale up. With the help of the insights garnered, you can understand your strengths and your shortcomings. Apart from this, you will also be able to gain a holistic view of your risk points and opportunities concerning traditional and non-traditional competitors out there in the market.
Streamlining of Fulfilment Process: Over the years, consumer focus has shifted from legacy retailers to smaller and more nuanced D2C businesses. The proliferation of online shopping, a decline in retail footfall, disruption in brand loyalty company and the added effects that the pandemic has had on the retail industry, has only ended up strengthening that shift.
Scaling a D2C business means an increased number of orders that need to be shipped out as fast as possible to customers. Introducing tools that can help in reducing administrative overhead can help in saving time and money so that you can focus on business development as opposed to fulfillment. With speed being directly proportional to consumer satisfaction and retention here, partnering with the right players for fulfillment can help in spot cost reduction as well as customer service improvement opportunities ahead of your competition.
With the world of e-commerce seeing gradual evolution, brands are looking to opt for the D2C approach quickly. This, of course, adds new challenges at the stage of market entry as well as maturity which means that businesses will now need new tools and techniques to survive and thrive. The market is rife with many tools being introduced for various business sizes with each tool promising distinct features that can be leveraged as per use case. Keeping in mind the points mentioned above along with the right set of tools at hand, a D2C brand can surely stay ahead of its competition and excel at the market at both the entry stage as well as while scaling up.