What Is D2C Ecommerce? Direct-to-Consumer Brands Explained

Ecommerce trends
7mid read January 8, 2024
Ecommerce trends
What Is D2C Ecommerce? Direct-to-Consumer Brands Explaine

Once, putting your products on a physical shelf was the only way to sell. Then, social media came and changed how you conduct your business entirely. Now, selling personally to your customers takes it one step further. 

D2C ecommerce is revolutionizing how your brand interacts with clients. Using the direct-to-consumer model, companies offer products directly to shoppers through the channels they possess. This model enables innovative brands to win over passionate fans, get insights, and boost profits to drive revenue and build loyalty.  

D2C websites saw significant growth in 2023 as a channel for online purchases. Market overview shows that only major marketplaces and supermarket sites surpassed the D2C sites’ consumer traffic. Several factors influence global digital consumers to make purchases straight from companies. Chief among these, supported by 49% of shoppers, is more appealing prices. It is closely followed by the convenience of free or rapid delivery (47%). D2C ecommerce brands meet the needs of online consumers looking for both cost-savings and ease of purchase.

In this article, we’ll discover the key advantages of the direct-to-customer ecommerce model and uncover some must-follow trends that help businesses benefit from it.

What is D2C ecommerce?

Direct-to-consumer ecommerce refers to a business model where companies sell their products firsthand to customers without relying on retailers or any third-party intermediaries. Instead of wholesaling to distributors or stores, companies build websites and mobile apps and sell goods directly to consumers. 

Brands are turning to D2C commerce for opportunities to forge meaningful relationships with their customers and build a long-term profitable business. Digital plays a crucial role in enabling direct-to-customer ecommerce for brands. By leveraging the right technologies and optimizing the digital experience, you can achieve higher lifetime value, and ensure the sustainability of your business in the long run.   

Although the initial shift can require time and resources, the advantages to brand image can be substantial. The D2C model may be your logical next step if you want to strengthen your customer loyalty, curtail costs, and profit from multiple other benefits. 

The world around us is changing and it would be irresponsible to deny it. The pandemic showed that in a world without barriers, disruption of the network organization leads to collapse. Businesses must dynamically adapt to where and how they meet their customers, constantly looking for new points of contact, new bridges over emerging barriers, and new adaptations to customer behavior.


Customer relationships

Because your D2C ecommerce channels allow you to orchestrate customer interactions from start to finish, it enables personalized communications at every touchpoint. You build loyalty by personalizing emails, content, products, packaging, and promos based on clients’ preferences. Your customers feel an authentic connection that makes them want to return repeatedly.

Cost savings

Selling personally to consumers allows you to avoid paying commissions and markup fees to retailers and distributors. As a D2C ecommerce brand, you have more control over pricing, inventory, and delivery options. This can translate into significantly higher profit margins than traditional retail while customers enjoy lower prices.

Painless entry

D2C ecommerce has a lower entry barrier to the market than conventional selling methods. Launching a direct-to-customer brand can be done without the capital investment in space and inventory necessary for traditional retail. It launches online and scales as demand increases. It allows emerging brands to compete with known and more established companies.

Greater flexibility

Constant feedback from customers fuels innovation. As a D2C ecommerce brand, you can quickly update services, products, or business plans to satisfy shoppers’ expectations. You can also test new products efficiently and pivot faster than traditional brands. This positions D2C companies to drive their industries with cutting-edge products and services.

Multiple opportunities

The direct-to-customer model integrated with online marketplaces, physical retail, and social commerce opens up more opportunities to reach and engage your clients. An omnichannel D2C approach provides ultra convenience, allowing customers to shop and buy anywhere using their preferred channels.

More on that a bit further below. There is but one thing we should note on top of all that.
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Trends and Future Outlook

The D2C ecommerce model is gaining mainstream popularity, especially among younger generations who prefer buying directly from authentic brands. Companies that lay the foundation of D2C presence now will be poised to capture further growth expected in this channel over the next several years. 

Let us explore trends shaping the sector’s future and how integrating them can drive growth and success. 

Livestreams amass greater popularity

Livestreamed product reviews and demonstrations on platforms like TikTok or Instagram are working their way up. They engage audiences more compellingly than static blog posts through try-ons, functionality tests, and comparisons. They allow viewers to assess quality and get a true sense of what each item looks and works like. 

Reviewers may create this type of content independently or be sponsored by brands. However, choosing influencers strategically and understanding each channel’s audience remains essential. Researching the right creator and format for the desired messaging is as crucial as any other advertising initiative. 

By partnering with influencers, D2C ecommerce brands can raise their profile and potentially attract more customers who trust recommendations from individuals they follow online. 

Subscription approach is forging ahead

Many direct-to-consumer companies are adopting a subscription-based approach. Business models like periodic shipments of curated items or replenishments of consumable goods provide personalized plans for their clients and a predictable income stream for companies. Along with fostering stable cash flow, offering products or services on an ongoing basis strengthens bonds between shoppers and sellers through regular, anticipated interactions. It benefits both parties over an extended time horizon.

Logistic chain resilience is becoming paramount for D2C success

Supply chain adaptability for a D2C ecommerce brand is critical to ensuring consistent product availability. Chain disruptions from events like COVID-19 can significantly impact your business if you are unprepared. 

To strengthen the resilience of your production and distribution system:

  • Identify and vet alternative suppliers in case your primary supplier faces disruptions. 
  • Maintain higher inventory levels of key products and materials – it provides a buffer in case of disruptions. 
  • Implement tech solutions that provide transparency in your supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished goods. For example, supply chain management software gives you insights into potential risks, choke points, and inefficiencies in your supply chain.
  • Do not rely solely on one shipping carrier or method. Having relationships and contracts with multiple shipping partners gives you options to pivot quickly to avoid disruptions.

The direct-to-customer model is rapidly transforming the retail industry. If you are considering capitalizing on this opportunity, partnering with a proficient D2C ecommerce agency puts your business in the best position. An agency’s expertise and full-service approach will allow you to launch a D2C store quickly and confidently on major ecommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and others and set it up for thriving. 

Do you see the opportunity to build a meaningful connection with your customers by selling personally to them? Do you have an innovative product and want to shake up your industry? Have you sought a robust D2C ecommerce solution? Whatever stage you are at, Elogic is ready to share its know-how and experience to bring your aspiration to life.

Let us know your ambition and discuss how we can help you.

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What are the benefits of the D2C ecommerce model?

The model provides several advantages over traditional retail:

  • It allows brands to bypass wholesalers and build a direct relationship with customers.
  • It has a lower barrier to start – D2C ecommerce brands can launch online and scale step by step.
  • The brands generally use higher margins and flexibility to invest in marketing, product development, and customer service.

How to start a D2C ecommerce business?

Establishing a direct-to-customer ecommerce business involves several steps:

  • Research your market, find a niche, and develop a business plan.
  • Create your product line.
  • Set up your ecommerce website.
  • Drive traffic to your site.
  • Focus on customer experience.
  • Continue optimizing and building your brand.

Should I hire a D2C ecommerce agency?

For brands looking to adopt a direct-to-customer model, the support of an agency that specializes in this channel can be invaluable. The agency has the competence to help brands navigate the complexities of selling directly to consumers.

You can rely on it for:

  • Development of the D2C ecommerce software
  • Determining the optimal tech stack and integrating platforms
  • Helping automate and streamline processes and operations as your D2C brand grows
  • Optimizing the customer journey, improving conversion rates, increasing average order value, and more
  • Supporting you with international expansion

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