Five ways DTC brands can adapt to uncharted territory — Retail Technology Innovation Hub - Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Summary

By Shimona Mehta, Shopify EMEA Managing Director

Times are changing. No company is safe now. Even the most satisfied customers can take their custom elsewhere.

By Shimona Mehta, Shopify EMEA Managing Director

Times are changing. No company is safe now. Even the most satisfied customers can take their custom elsewhere.

The market is never ‘cornered.’’ It is fluid and dynamic. In these challenging circumstances, businesses must respond with creativity and adaptability – like true entrepreneurs.

During lockdown, direct to consumer (DTC) business models were successful in giving end users access to products and services directly over the internet, cutting out the middleman and making the buyer-seller relationship more affordable.

Three fifths of us bought from at least one DTC brand in 2021 alone.

But even the most successful DTC models cannot afford to stay still if they are to retain their increasingly discerning customers.

As we come out of lockdown and adjust to today’s economic turbulence, it is essential that retailers innovate to deepen connection with their customers, no matter where they spend their time.

Here are five ways DTC retail brands can transform their approach to grow in this new era of commerce.

Think longer term, think C2C

For brands to ride out the looming recession, the answer is to think longer term, and create a total experience for customers that engages them locally, and globally, online and off.

It’s a business model we’ve taken to calling Connect To Consumer (C2C), which shifts the focus from the online, transactional relationship of DTC to something more meaningful and longer term, engaging with potential customers wherever they are.

If DTC is one pathway, C2C is many; as the line between content and transacting, between shopping and entertainment blurs, it is the customer to customer experience that will lead the way to exciting new markets.

And that experience should be a relationship that creates advocates and keeps shoppers coming back again and again, wherever they are.

Start selling multi-surface

From an online store or an app to social networks and a physical presence on the high street, you must be able to to interact with, and sell to your customers across every surface.

You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘omnichannel retail’, but this concept doesn’t acknowledge all the different retail experiences within that.

For instance, you can sell direct to consumers online not just through your website, but directly through social media platforms like TikTok.

A bricks and mortar store, meanwhile,might not just act as a shop, but a showroom to consumers who later order online, or vice versa.

In the case of DTC sportswear giant Gymshark, it’s recently taken the form of a London barbershop with mental health trained barbers, aimed at starting a conversation and creating a community, not just selling.

Having a one point of sale platform will tie all these touchpoints together will make multi-surface selling easier, more bespoke, and more efficient.

Five ways DTC brands can adapt to uncharted territory — Retail Technology Innovation Hub - Retail Technology Innovation Hub
Photo Credit: Retail Technology Innovation Hub

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