A new financial year is ringing in with fresh packages, errr, we mean promises in India’s robust D2C or direct-to-consumer segment. Valued at $ 45 billion, this market is rapidly increasing and is expected to be valued at $ 100 billion by 2025. (1) Sales is an understandably critical part of any company to match such growth expectations. The question is, what can you do to tighten up how your company works and how your company is perceived by its customers? We went knocking around & reading and coming up with some answers from experts (a real one, not ChatGPT). Let’s get started with the insights:
1. The cost & convenience matrix
Typically, D2C companies resolve to bring high-quality products right to your doorstep. To cover their expansive marketing, logistical, and arguably even higher unit production costs, these products are understandably priced at the northern end of their spectrum. Indian customers, however, expect the moon at such prices. Our robust service industry allows us to assume a degree of convenience that may not be feasible for a business without scale to provide. We’re still getting used to the idea of paying delivery charges, and we’re less happy when doing it for medium to large basket sizes. Customers can expect to keep seeking differentiation in improving, streamlining, or absorbing logistical costs. It’s a problem area with immense potential for disruption.
2. Earn brand love & its value will follow
Do you really love any of the brands you use? Your soap? The app you use for groceries or food delivery? Your watch or smartwatch or phone? The one that made your Supima cotton tee? Any brand that comes to your mind as an answer has your loyalty. You will think of that brand first each time you want to purchase in that category, and looking at urban lifestyles, you’re unlikely to want to look at another option when you’ve found your one true love for a product. Businesses that come to mind with brands as a serious competitive advantage are MarchTee, Epigamia, and The Whole Truth. So many of their customers love talking about them. Building and creating this brand love takes a certain focus and investment. Won’t happen overnight, but while any D2C business focuses on bottom lines and margins, here’s some food for thought. Do you think brand love can add longevity to the margins you create? We believe, yes!
3. Break product category barriers
A lot of pre-existing products can maintain their place in the market because the assumptions of their makers and customers are still valid. New products come in with fresh insights or by breaking those assumptions. Like toothpaste. First, it was Colgate, Pepsodent and Sensodyne. Then we went local with Patanjali. Now, we have Perfora. All of them co-exist in their niches within the toothpaste market. For a clear path to sales, the simplest way is to differentiate your product enough to break barriers.
4. Think about your people more than mediums
Brands live in people, not online or offline. Your perception and the communication that create it, and the places where such communication is seen should have a holistic and integrated approach. While it is easier to get going online to reap the benefits of scale, any great company or FMCG brand has to find its place at storefronts. It is still how most Indians shop. So when crafting communication for your goal of brand love, don’t think about wanting to appear online only since eventually you will want to be at storefronts. If that means drafting communication that needs expertise, then it may be worthwhile to outsource it to content experts. After all, a brand can be all about consumer perception.
5. Simplify your checkout
Abandoned carts are a count of your “almost” customers. The simplicity of this stage of your website is critical to converting them. Streamline the checkout stage for it to be the most straightforward thing imaginable. Have clear instructions and copy. Communicate clearly with your customers that they’ll be quick and get them the products with price, value, goodies, or speed, whatever you choose to enrich their lives with in addition to your product.
That’s our two cents from our experience of working with the D2C brands and talking to experts. It is a pleasure to watch these brands being built and help them in their journey of brand communication with our content. This new year, let’s aim for stars!
If you have any insights to add to the above, we look forward to them in the comments!