10-Step Guide To Build A Consumer-Centric Strategy For Your D2C Brand

To differentiate your brand and lead the D2C space, you will require a sustainable and comprehensive business strategy

Adopting a customised and consumer-centric approach that best fits the brand will fetch desired results and help your D2C brand succeed

Read to understand the basics of building a D2C strategy that will make your startup stand out

India’s ecommerce market is booming. With the ecommerce market growing at an estimated CAGR of 18.9%, it is estimated to reach a market size of $400 Bn by 2030. There are over 5,217 ecommerce startups active in India. With this massive competition, standing out can be quite a challenging task.

To differentiate your brand and lead the D2C space, you will require a sustainable and comprehensive business strategy. Adopting a customised and consumer-centric approach that best fits the brand will fetch desired results and help your D2C brand succeed. Read to understand the basics of building a D2C strategy that will make your startup stand out.

Identify The Absolute Essential Customer Needs 

55% of customers prefer to buy directly from D2C brands rather than multi-brand retailers. The challenging part of this approach is grabbing the customer’s attention in an oversaturated marketplace. Here is where customer data comes in. This data can help identify customer needs and drive deep insights. This way, founders can learn about customer behaviour and personally reach out to those customers. 

You will have complete control over how the customers perceive your brand and what kind of customer experience you would like to provide. As a result, engaging and nurturing the customers should be the top priority for your D2C brand. According to Inc.com, 51% of customers say businesses should be available 24/7 and 42% of consumers like using the live chat feature because they don’t want to wait on hold. On the other hand, 51% of consumers prefer live chat for multitasking purposes, and 21% prefer live chat to shop while they work. 

Analyse The Company’s Market Budget

Create a budget plan for the startup and analyse it to understand how to grow your D2C brand. Analysing the budget helps achieve goals and cut down resource wastage, which will help grow the company. The budget analysis will help assess and figure out your business’s cash flow. It allows your brand to be on track, avoid overspending and underspending, and find loopholes. You should also find variances, check the budget against the forecast, and make necessary changes (if needed).

Focus On Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

D2C brands can lead the path of growth in 2022 and beyond by accessing their CLTVs. This value acts as a crucial indicator to measure the success of a customer experience strategy. Moreover, it helps D2C brands calculate the value imparted by the customer throughout the entire customer journey and evaluate existing customers and retain them. 

CLTVs also help reduce the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), the money brands spend on resources acquiring customers. This metric also enables D2C brands to maintain and improve their profits, calculate customer relationships with the business, predict customer churn, and figure out the areas that need improvement. 

Focusing on personalised customer experience is the key to improving CLTV. According to a Zendesk report, quality customer service is a driving force for generating sales, as 90% of customers spend more with companies that offer personalised service. 73% of business leaders say there is a direct link between customer service and a company’s performance.

Stay Ahead With Resources And Investment

Efficient use of resources and advanced technology enables businesses to grow and be successful. Resources are the building blocks of a company, and they help achieve set targets by planning and taking control. Hence, investing in the most crucial resources beforehand is essential. 

Startups should also invest with a mindset of long-term returns and a prime focus on consumer satisfaction. It is important to plan and allocate investments sensibly to be ahead of the curve and take a more significant chunk of the market share. Businesses should adopt creative ways of utilising resources, making sound investments, and adopting strategic moves ahead of their competitors.

Attract And Retain Digital Talent

D2C brands have to face fierce competition to attract and retain digital talent to accelerate their growth and performance. Implementing and ensuring flexibility, empathy, and a friendly environment in the organisation will help D2C companies flourish. According to Gartner, 74% of HR leaders say adopting more work flexibility options is critical, 44% say enhancing people development opportunities is essential, and 41% agree with upskilling managers in career and retention conversations. 

D2C brands can adopt different strategies in hiring top talent and let it not become a hurdle in their growth. They can promote and rotate people in different roles depending on their skills. They can also get on board and take responsibility for a new position without delay. Hiring talent from other organisations into leadership roles will also prove beneficial as it improves the credibility of the company. 

Additionally, these brands can even adopt a strategy called ‘acquihire’ also known as talent acquisition, to recruit people. It is the process of acquiring a company to recruit its employees. It is a smart approach that helps in saving time and money and rapidly hiring the best talent in the industry.

Have An Influencer Strategy

Influencer campaigns play a vital role in the growth of D2C brands, helping cover and successfully target a massive customer base. Companies can use internet penetration, the affinity of customers towards social media platforms, and mobile shopping convenience to engage with customers and provide a personalised experience. 

The D2C strategies should also match with customers’ evolving online purchase behaviour. Influencers’ deep and personal connection with their audiences will help brands reach a more comprehensive customer range, boost customer loyalty, and achieve the brand’s goals. According to Statista, the global influencer marketing market value has doubled since 2019 and reached around $13.8 Bn as of 2021.

Choose The Right Fulfilment Vendors

To be a successful D2C brand in 2022 and beyond, companies must have a complete fulfilment solution which offers cataloguing, inventory management, logistics, and more. For achieving sustainable growth and customer satisfaction, brands should have an efficient, streamlined, technologically advanced, and cost-effective system to deliver their products to the end consumer. Its omnichannel services will help connect brands with one single line of agile operations for faster growth and premium customer service.

Such an omnichannel management platform will ensure that a company never faces the need to run from pillar to post for different vendors with everything in one place. The key is to find an ideal and scalable fulfilment partner that will help brands save time and money, enhance customer experience, and help generate higher profits.

Create A Robust Marketing Plan

In the increasingly competitive market, having a robust marketing plan will help businesses get an edge over others. Having a powerful online presence is paramount to making a mark in the market. A great marketing strategy plays a vital role in bringing the brand to the limelight, providing a seamless and premium customer experience, and building a loyal customer base. 

D2C brands can leverage data to understand customer behaviour and chalk out result-oriented marketing strategies. Social media platforms will help in gathering real-time insights and increase engagement. Great quality products with purpose-driven marketing campaigns will also increase targeted customer reach and generate more revenue. Moreover, focusing on organic traffic is imperative in the long run, for which SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is essential.  The best SEO practices will improve companies’ online presence, help them rank higher on the search engines, drive organic traffic to their websites, improve conversions, and help achieve higher ROI (Return On Investment).

Include Customer Service As An Essential Form Of Branding

Customers today do not appreciate aggressive or pushy marketing strategies. Brands have to address this and shift their perspective to customer service as a form of branding for a solid brand image. Branding is mapping every step of a customer’s journey — from purchasing a product to availing of the post-purchase services. The brand value increases with personalised and enhanced customer service. 

A customer-centric D2C model will help build a sustainable brand image and attract loyal customers. Remember that having one bad experience is all it takes to lose a customer for life. That’s the reason brand aligning customer service across communication channels is vital.

Training Talent To Meet D2C Goals 

Setting up SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bond) goals that align with the company’s needs and preparing the team to meet these goals is vital in achieving success. The team members should have expertise in a wide range of business processes and not be limited to just one process. A multidisciplinary or cross-functional team can work together to achieve a common goal set by the company.  

Your D2C strategy is a puzzle that can be solved if you follow the right steps to figure it out. To stand out in a highly competitive market, you have to ensure that your consumers get a highly personalised experience. Use these 10 steps to understand how to provide a unique consumer experience and build a bulletproof strategy for your D2C brand.

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