The D2C business (“Direct to Consumer”), also known under the term direct sales – has been experiencing a real boom in e-commerce for some time. But this could be a dangerous mistake because D2C in the classic sense does not make sense for every brand. Apple is undoubtedly one of the first companies to discover modern D2C sales and make them usable. Anyone who visits a stationary Apple store will immediately realize how well it has anchored D2C in its sales DNA.
Nevertheless: As long as we are not talking about Apple or comparable brand sizes with a correspondingly high product value, your online shop is not the most sensible solution in the long term. Because, unlike many other brands that are only now looking to get into direct online sales, Apple has grown big with D2C and grown from it. Not only have they perfectly dovetailed their online and offline sales so that the decision-making and buying process feels natural for the customer in both worlds, but they also offer products with high traction.
And if experts are now writing that other brands should jump on this D2C train, everyone should think twice about it. Because online D2C, or rather what most people in this country probably understand, is by no means suitable for every brand. This brings us to the crux of the matter: namely, the question of how we want to define D2C. As is so often the case, there is more than one perspective.
The Disadvantages Of Your Online Shop
The classic variant most people probably have in mind when they hear the buzzword D2C is their online shop. This means that a brand builds up such a shop on its online brand presence, sells its products directly to customers, and does not sell through classic online retailers such as Zalando, Otto, dm, and Co. The advantages are obvious: As a brand, We have complete control over how potential customers perceive our products and are not dependent on the realities and algorithms of a third party.
In addition, the brand receives the data and preferences of its customers first-hand and can continue to improve its shopping experience based on this. But hardly anyone talks about the disadvantages of this variant. The biggest of these lies in building up the entire logistics and operational infrastructure, above all in the customer experience justified. People want to shop online as conveniently as possible. However, it is not convenient to register individually for each brand in the online shop. But that is precisely the logical consequence when everyone suddenly runs their online shop.
As a result, the brands are also in much higher competition for the attention of potential customers and have much higher generation costs to convert prospects into buyers. The average shopping basket must be correspondingly high to cover these costs, which is often an almost impossible task, especially in the low-price segment. Customers typically prefer to use a single login to create shopping carts containing products from multiple different brands. This is precisely what makes the Amazon concept so successful, for example.
Conclusion: It Has To Fit The Sales Strategy
Of course, these platform flagship stores are not a panacea either. But they represent a natural alternative, especially for smaller brands. Nobody should carelessly set up their online shop that is doomed to fail from the start. Instead, think carefully, weigh the options, and choose the path that best fits your sales and channel strategy. The brand can then select the platform that suits it best in its product category. And here, there are also alternatives to the big players in Europe.
To achieve exactly that, we finally need to start rethinking D2C and discussing it differently. Only in this way can brands create customer relationships that lead to long-term economic success.