Direct-to-Consumer Brands: Listen Up!

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Friday, June 19, 2020

Upon Nike’s switch to direct-to-consumer (DTC) in late 2019, many companies began considering officially making the change to a direct-to-consumer business model.

As we experience new challenges, struggles, and ways of living, there are problems, tips, and tricks for the world of direct-to-consumer businesses that you should know.

Making the Switch

If your company has decided to make the jump to operating as a DTC officially, you should expect a few significant changes. By preparing your resources and minds for these changes, you’ll be ahead of the crowd and better suited to make the switch.

Precondition Your Mind for a Large Decrease In Traffic

No matter how much time and resources your business puts into marketing your company and its change to the DTC model, you should expect a dip in traffic. When you sell your product on a big, well-established site or in a well-known brick-and-mortar store, the heavy lifting of advertising and marketing is done for you. Because the company is already well known, you won’t have to put in as much effort to market your product.

Running a DTC business is much more than just setting up a website and launching your products. As a DTC company, you’ll be required to put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to market your product. However, you’ll have full ownership of your product and an increased level of pride, knowing that you grew your business and portrayed your product in the proper light.

How Do Your Customers Benefit?

What benefits will your customers receive by purchasing from your company directly? In 2019, just forty percent of consumers purchased their items directly from the company’s website. As a business owner, you must brainstorm the reasoning for your customer to purchase directly from your company instead of a third-party provider with faster shipping, more accessible purchasing methods, and higher reviews.

How can you offer original services or new twists on the everyday online shopping experience? As of 2018, 28% of online shoppers purchase from Amazon every month, with 15% making a purchase every week. Amazon is easy, affordable, and offers the fastest shipping available. How can you formulate a plan for your business to become more appealing than your biggest competitor?

Where is Your Audience?

While you and your team are brainstorming, a large sum of your time should be devoted to researching where your target spends the majority of their time. Whether you’re working with social media ambassadors, communicating directly with your consumers via newsletters, or utilizing sales representatives, you must ensure that your company is being as effective as possible in how you market.

While 51% of Americans prefer shopping online, your company will miss out on their business without proper marketing. There are many ways to bring your DTC product to your customers. You may choose to create a viral product demonstration video with a direct link to your website, go back to the basics with door-to-door advertisements, or partner with another well-known company to gain more traction. There is no wrong way to market. You need only ensure that you know where your audience is most likely to see your company.


First, expect to lose some traffic when shifting your business to the DTC model. Prepare for this by developing a clean and visibly appealing website that is well organized and easy to use. Provide simple return procedures and develop original ideas to separate your company from the flood of DTC’s on the market.

You must know your audience—research where your audience spends their time and focus your attention there. Take advantage of polls and online questionnaire forms to better understand your audience. Get your consumers in on the switch and genuinely pay attention to their feedback. Communicate with your team and decide which marketing strategy will gain as much traffic as possible.

Making the switch to operating as a DTC brand is a massive jump for any business, but with the right tools in your business toolbox, you’ll make quick work of it. The most important tip to remember is to ensure that your customer sees more worth in purchasing directly from your company than a third-party provider.

About the Author

Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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