Clicking with consumers: gaining the D2C advantage to connect the end-to-end retail experience

Clicking with consumers: gaining the D2C advantage to connect the end-to-end retail experience

2020 fast-tracked the digital plans of many brands; forcing businesses of all shapes and sizes to embark on rapid digital transformation journeys to weather the storm of the global pandemic. One year on, many consumers remain confined to the four walls of their homes under social restrictions and business models have been upended in ways we never could have predicted would happen so quickly. It’s changed the way we live, work and – perhaps - shop forever.

The rapid growth of e-commerce has turned the world of retailing on its head. Shoppers are turning to their computer screens and smart devices in their homes, in their pocket or even on their wrist, to buy in a way that offers simplicity, convenience and speed. As a result, retail’s monumental shift throughout the pandemic has seen brands and retailers putting the customer front and centre of the shopping experience. And with the scale of rapid change over the past year, brands which once relied on traditional retail channels were faced with new challenges and limited selling potential, catapulting many into the world of direct-to-consumer (D2C).

To shine a spotlight on how brands can gain the D2C advantage and unlock new opportunities in this new shopping reality, The Drum and ChannelAdvisor have teamed up to produce a new white paper looking at how the D2C landscape is shaping up in 2021, the role of marketplaces, and the wider impact on the retail industry.

It includes qualitative brand interviews with Jean-Philippe Nier, Head of e-Commerce UK & Ireland, Kraft Heinz; Michael Benson, Marketing Director, Church & Dwight UK; Andreas Antrup, Managing Director of Zalando Marketing Services (ZMS); Victoria Billings, Director of Marketing, Worcester Bosch; Andy Boddy, Commercial Director, eve sleep; and Arlando Velho, Strategic Account Director for Brands, EMEA, ChannelAdvisor – all of whom share the opportunities and challenges faced over the last 12 months and how their brands have had to adapt.

It is clear that not only are consumers making more purchases online, they are also researching new products and seeking out inspiration that they once might have found in-store, giving brands an opportunity to step up and guide them through their entire shopping journey. By providing them with relevant content and advice from the moment of inspiration, right through to the point of purchase, brands can connect the dots of the end-to-end retail experience.

The white paper takes readers through key elements in the D2C shopping journey, with insights and advice on why 2020 was a pivotal moment for retail in driving the shift from bricks to clicks; how to unlock the D2C opportunity, including an in-depth interview with Kraft Heinz’s e-Commerce lead, who set up the heritage brand’s D2C initiative in just three weeks. In addition, the white-paper offers actionable insights and advice on what a good D2C strategy looks like, along with five top tips to boost your D2C offering.

“If you’re not selling D2C in 2021, you haven’t missed the boat, but the boat is already on its way out of the dock,” said Arlando Velho, Strategic Account Director for Brands, EMEA, ChannelAdvisor. “You’ve really got to be thinking, as a business, why are we not selling D2C? It’s an education piece that has to happen internally to understand what the opportunities are.”

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