With a $100 BN+ addressable market size for D2C brands, 500Mn+ active social media users and 200Mn+ online shoppers expected to be added in the next 5 years (as per the report by Avendus), the D2C ecosystem in India is certainly poised to grow exponentially. Catering to the demands of the millennial consumers, D2C brands have successfully addressed their needs for a convenient, cost-effective, authentic and seamless shopping experience, every time. While consumers are now adept at making lifestyle purchases online, ranging from beauty & personal care products, consumer electronics, home décor, fashion and accessories, increasingly they are doing so directly from a brand’s website. For brand-loyal consumers in particular, it reduces the hassle of researching, browsing and choosing from too many options.
Since the discerning consumers demand flawless relationships and experiences with brands, it becomes very important to take control of their website, as it is where the final transactions take place. Infact75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a brand’s credibility based on their website, which has gone beyond just being an e-commerce store. Over 1/3 of consumers were reported to have directly bought from a manufacturer’s website in 2020.
For early stage D2C brands,the most important thing is to get the basics right – time to load, customer friendly UI/UX, minimal steps to checkout, getting customers to sign up, how to use videos, etc. Growth stage D2C brands on the other hand should be looking at influencers marketing, community building, email marketing, podcasts and engaging contests etc.
Let’s deep dive into how brands can make the most out of their websites! Here are some tried and tested marketing guidelines which have benefited both early stage & growth stage D2C brands in India like Body Shop, Springtek and Timex.
To begin with, a brand should ensure that their ecommerce site has the best-in-class functionality and is continually updated to reflect both product portfolio as well as ecommerce innovations. By keeping it feature rich, responsive and personalized, they will not only be able to attract new users, but also encourage repeat purchases. Tailoring the website to help shoppers easily navigate for items by product type, product range and offers, etc. along with having a repository of all product-related information that the customers may wish to further know goes a long way towards providing a satisfactory customer experience.83% of consumers say that a seamless website experience across all devices is very important.
The Body Shop India for example, is leveraging machine learning from big data that traverses its users’ transactional and behavioural data to offer a more personalized browsing experience to them. Additionally, the brand is exploring other avenues like Whatsapp Menu Integration to help them stay connected with them. Such implementations not only helped them in up-selling, but even cross selling with almost 18% increase in the online revenue.
Adoption of some additional equally critical elements plays a pivotal role in compelling users to spend more time on a website. In the current business landscape, a brand website ought to be mobile-friendly, loading pages at a fast speed, and offering guest login etc.
Springtek, one of the leading D2C mattress brandsoptimized its website speed on 4G Networks from 4 seconds to 2.3 seconds for a flawless user experience and lessened the bounce off and exits during the first interaction. The brand not only optimized the XML Sitemap as it plays a crucial role in running Shopping and Catalog campaigns but also focused on content optimizations like product reviews and product blogs to drive the decision making for a user- which together helped the brand scale up its business by 20-30% month on month.
Lastly, with the help of their website coupled with better control over brand messaging and personalized customer engagement, brands now have the power to deep dive into their consumer’s buying behaviors- which can be leveraged to create new product lines as well as optimize existing products. Timex India focused on showcasing its Best Sellers on the homepage and optimization of Product Titles, in addition to leveraging emailers like Welcome Emails, Abandoned Cart Email, Exit Intent Email, Browse Abandonment Email to nurture past customers and new prospects. Within six months, the brand observed its ROI improving from 3X to 5X, 2X rise in its subscriber base and 30% revenue increase.
Brands now have the power to even go global, engage with their target customers, and provide them a more intimate personalized experience and support via this model. Thus, for D2C Brands, it is clearly a time when they should not ignore their website. With steadily increasing internet and smartphone penetration in India, the E-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of 2017. With more brands seizing the opportunity to reach users through D2C, its future looks quite bright.
This article is Co-authored by Shreyansh Bhandari, Chief Operating Officer and Shikha Abrol, Media Strategist at Lyxel&Flamingo