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The Best Marketing Strategies for D2C Brands

Article • January 26, 2023 • Written by: Diane Keng

In 2022, direct-to-consumer e-commerce accounted for $155.7 billion in sales in the United States. That number is slated to increase by 37% in the next two years. With the introduction of independent marketing and retailing tools like TikTok and Shopify, D2C businesses are in a golden era of accessibility and big brands are expanding their D2C capabilities rapidly. 

Your product and brand marketing can get much more personal when you cut out the middleman (wholesale retailers). But an issue that arises in this age of DIY businesses is that if everyone’s doing it, then no one stands out. Direct-to-consumer marketing has to really wow online shoppers and browsers if you want to make a sale and become a trusted brand that your customer turns to every time. Here are a few key strategies that can expand your D2C business.

Relevant and timely communication

Ninety-one percent of all US consumers still use email daily, and the rate at which emails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher. So why have D2C companies dropped the ball when it comes to personalizing emails to fit the habits and preferences of the consumer?

Behavioral and contextual data can help you to identify important insights that can  enable personalized offers that entice your email reader and improve your CTR. Smart automation can also optimize the content, send time, and subject lines based on historical performance to maximize ROI.

This advice also applies to brands that have an app with e-commerce features. Relevant and timely notifications can increase your user engagement and positively impact sales and conversions. The D2C marketer’s dilemma is: how do you make sure your communications rise to the top of your consumer’s consciousness, without annoying them enough to disable push notifications?

Push notification personalization improves reaction rates by up to 400%. Historical engagement data can clue you into when is the best time to send a notification, and behavioral data can illuminate the best path forward for enticing each customer. Providing your app users with the right recommendations at exactly the right time ensures that your direct-to-consumer marketing strategy rises above the noise to create a personalized experience for your customers.

Personalized product recommendations

Another important facet of a D2C marketing strategy is product recommendations. An Accenture report suggests that personalized recommendations increase the chances of conversion by 75%. Analyzing and acting on contextual data can be a good way to personalize your offerings for every visitor. If your inventory is up-to-date on your website, you can push your customer to ‘buy online, pickup in store’ instead of waiting for delivery.

To optimize your direct-to-consumer marketing efforts, you should also use past behavioral patterns to understand your customer better, and offer product recommendations that fit their pattern of purchasing. Noticing that your customer only buys red wine, for example, can help you to recommend products and pricing  that are relevant and appealing to them. 

Lastly, with the help of robust consumer data, you can also make personalized upselling recommendations when your customer is about to check out. According to data from NetCore, up to 25% of customers who click on these recommendations actually order the item.

AI-driven tools to improve marketing ROI

The underlying theme so far has been analyzing and acting on consumer data to deliver personalized recommendations, communication, and shopping experiences. The last D2C marketing strategy to discuss is artificial intelligence: the most efficient and effective way to collect, analyze, and act on consumer data.

Using an AI tool to power your communication and recommendations ensures that each customer gets a personalized experience that is most likely to engage them on an individual level. Every D2C business should, if they haven’t already, invest in a tool that helps them understand and act on consumer insights to provide personalization at scale.

In 2022, 64% of consumers worldwide regularly bought directly from a brand, up 15 percentage points from 2019. The demand for direct-to-consumer businesses is definitely increasing, but so is the amount of competition. Make sure your brand rises to the top of mind by investing in the right communication and optimization tools for your D2C business.

Ready to transform your digital personalization with incredible speed?

Diane Keng

CEO & Co-Founder @ Breinify
Forbes 30 Under 30 for Enterprise Technology