In our first direct-to-consumer strategy blog, we explored the common trends we’re seeing as consumers shift their purchasing habits and buy more online. Now, let’s consider a few best practices for adopting a DTC strategy for your business.

Personalization at Scale: Easier Said Than Done

There is a myriad of benefits to going DTC—from owning the customer relationship and experience to getting access to a wealth of customer data and increasing brand loyalty. But DTC also brings its own set of challenges for brands to navigate. Here are some best practices to keep you on the path to success.

1. Rethink the customer experience

According to Gartner, 89% of companies now compete primarily based on customer experience. Customers expect brands to anticipate their needs and offer a personalized experience that provides value. And that personalized experience that consumers expect is much more than a name in an email subject line or a well-timed product recommendation. It’s about tailoring the experience they have with your brand to their specific needs at a specific time.

How to put it into action

Engagement and sharing are essential, and a direct line to the customer means that feedback is instant. Access to first-party data makes it easier to create a more relevant customer experience. But the customer experience is about more than marketing and messaging. Start by understanding how and where your customers are engaging with your brand, and the entire path-to-purchase in detail (not just the point of conversion). Use that information to refine and fine-tune the experience you are delivering.

2. Have a plan for the data

3 Trends Driving Direct-to-Consumer Growth

A DTC engine allows brands to collect insights directly, giving them access to a rich trove of data. Deeper data enables brands to stay closer to their customers than traditional retailers often can. The data is critical to keeping a brand agile and responsive to customer needs and wants.

How to put it into action

First, you need to implement the right CRM and data analysis tools to collect data about your customer interactions and provide a holistic view of the customer journey. But access to data isn’t enough. You need a plan to activate it. That means documenting how to use the data you collect about your customers’ buying behavior to glean insights. Those insights will inform the decisions you make about how to improve your products, align promotions, and produce an even better experience for your customers.

3. Implement the right infrastructure

Technology is an integral component in your ability to build a successful DTC channel. And it’s about more than having an easy-to-use ecommerce site. From selecting an ecommerce platform to optimizing for mobile and integrating with a plethora of potential third-party automation partners—CRM, ERP, EDI, shipping, and more—selecting the right technologies is critical for supporting your DTC offering.

How to put it into action

A DTC approach requires you to act as your distributor. And that means having the infrastructure in place to manage inventory and logistics, among other requirements. Operationalization is one of the biggest challenges that brands face with a DTC strategy. Implementing a system that connects your front and back ends is the foundation for success.

Lessons Learned from the Digital Evolution in Luxury

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Gain more insights into adopting a DTC strategy for your business by downloading a free copy of our DTC strategy guide.

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