Direct to consumer (DTC) business models have exploded onto the eCommerce scene, particularly since the pandemic. LoyaltyLion reported that eCommerce is expected to make up over 6 percent of all consumer-packaged goods with DTC models accounting for 40 percent of the growth in the market.
This trend isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon…
Not only does DTC provide an extra revenue stream, it’s also an opportunity for brands to experiment with their audience engagement. By using this direct relationship to form better customer experiences and interactions, it becomes easier to retain customers and build a loyal following.
In this blog, you’ll find out…
- Why customer data is so important to DTC and loyalty
- Different ways to increase customer loyalty using a DTC model
DTC and the importance of customer data
Shoppers’ expectations have changed. Once upon a time, it was simply the lowest price that mattered most to customers. While this is often still important, consumers today seek authentic connections with brands they genuinely like. Individuals have become more selective about where and what they spend their money on.
As a business, customer data can be used to create these authentic connections. Data enables you to personalise the customer experience, building solid relationships, trust and loyalty with your shoppers. By placing data-driven customer experiences at the centre of your business model, you can expect to see impressive growth.
Building these effective DTC relationships depends on how you leverage that customer data to make better decisions, create convenient options and personalised shopping experiences tailored to your customers’ needs and preferences. By gathering data on your customer behaviour, you can use these insights to align experiences with their values. By doing so, you’re able to:
- Serve customers better and create deeper relationships
- Differentiate from other brands in the market
- Fine tune what you do from product development to marketing efforts
5 ways to increase customer loyalty with DTC
There are many benefits to taking your brand DTC – improved margins, increased control and the freedom to innovate to name just a few. But one of the most valuable benefits to taking a DTC route is the ability to build loyal customers.
With first-party data to hand, you can put customers at the centre of your business and engage with them more effectively across each touchpoint.
Here are five ways you can use data-driven insights gleaned from your DTC relationships to build exceptional customer experiences:
1) Meet your customers’ expectations
First and foremost, a DTC model will help you meet your customers’ expectations. And we all know that happy customers play a big role in long-term success. But it’s important to live up to what you promise.
Whatever acquisition messaging you offer to draw customers in such as ‘10% off your first order’ or ‘Sign up for exclusive access to our new range’, you need to deliver on it. Not providing what your customers expect is one way to quickly ruin trust.
2) Be consistent with your brand
With a DTC model, you’re in control of every step of the customer journey allowing you to take learnings from every interaction. The foundation to a winning customer experience strategy is the ability to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience from the first touchpoint to the last.
During every stage of your customer’s engagement with you, the way your brand looks, feels and sounds needs to be consistent. A unified experience leads to greater awareness, heightened trust and ultimately, more sales.
3) Optimise for mobile shopping
In 2020 alone, 67 percent of UK shoppers switched to mobile commerce. Ensuring your DTC website is well-optimised for mobile shopping is critical to your commercial success.
Companies with a desktop-only or a poor mobile experience are at risk of losing out to fast-growing channels such as mobile and social media. Your DTC experience needs to consider all digital channels – especially mobile shopping – to maximise your sales, return and turn those one-time customers into long-term loyal shoppers.
4) Streamline your checkout
Research shows that 23 percent of shoppers who abandoned their carts did so due to a long and complicated checkout process. Streamlining your checkout can therefore be a powerful improvement.
Using direct customer insight, you could also make the checkout experience that little bit more personal. Find out what delivery and return methods they prefer, what options they would like for collecting products and the different payment methods they expect to see.
5) Evolve your omnichannel offering
It may sound counter-intuitive, but some of the most effective DTC brands are tying their online offering together with their brick-and-mortar stores.
Building an offline presence can be done by leveraging the valuable eCommerce data you’ve collated from your DTC model to inform various considerations, from location choice to the in-store experience.
If you want to know more about creating an omnichannel experience, we have a whole blog on the topic.
Consumer trust is paramount to success
A DTC model can be a big helping hand in creating loyal customers, allowing you to foster deeper relationships with your audience, improve your personalisation and provide full control over your brand.
Data-driven experiences are key to ensuring you can consistently provide a personal interaction and meet the needs and values of your customers. By leveraging social listening and direct customer-experience data insights, you can develop strong DTC relationships and improve your offering in a way that truly resonates with the customer.
DTC can not only work well today but also into the future as you commit to getting to know your customers and what they want better. To find out more about going DTC and if this model could be right for you, get in touch with Team Pinpoint. We’ve got plenty of experience working with brands to help them overcome their DTC challenges. Just take a look at what we did for Casio: Project Debrief: How We Helped Casio Solve Their DTC eCommerce Challenges.