E-commerce goes D2C: the trend towards direct sales

Stefano Viani


07 May 2021 e-Commerce Digitisation

Covid-19 had an impact on just about every area of society and unexpectedly made 2020 a record year for online retail. What developments will shape e-commerce in 2021?

One of the big buzzwords in the current year is D2C - Direct to Customer. It describes a development that some major brands initiated years ago: More and more well-known manufacturers are skipping the retail trade and marketing their products directly to fans and friends of their goods.

Große Marken sind Vorreiter bei der D2C-Vermarktung

By foregoing the intermediate step of traditional retail, brands willingly take on an additional expense in terms of marketing, sales and logistics that should not be underestimated. The margin that retailers would otherwise be able to book as a profit is not the only benefit that large companies derive from this marketing strategy.

Effective brand loyalty through direct contact

One of the best-known and most successful examples of how a company can build up its own exclusive sales force, bypassing traditional retail channels, is the sporting goods manufacturer Nike. With its offering around Nike By You (originally introduced as NikeID), it offers the unique opportunity to purchase individualized shoe models directly from the manufacturer.

This offering sets the brand apart from all other distribution channels in D2C sales, which could never do the same. Customers are already much closer to the brand during the purchasing process and experience a much stronger brand loyalty: The possibility of adding an individual touch to a shoe that exists in millions of copies worldwide and making it the only one of its kind cleverly serves customers' need to visibly present themselves as an individual with a very specific lifestyle.

Exclusive editions are used by clothing, electronics and food companies in particular not only to successfully bind customers and actively strengthen their brand image, but also to circumvent the price war that is taking place in stationary and online retail. D2C, the price becomes an additional commitment to the brand.

Buying online does not exclude proximity

Empty pedestrian zones and stores that will be closed for the foreseeable future mean that offline retail is steadily losing importance. Market your products and services yourself and also benefit from the effects of direct customer loyalty. No matter if you want to start in online retail or if you want to expand it professionally, we advise you around strategy, marketing and technology that will make you a successful D2C marketer.

About the Author

As Executive Director of Blackbit digital Commerce GmbH, Stefano Viani manages all areas of the agency in the offices in Göttingen, Hamburg, Berlin and Kiev. His passion is the development of marketing strategies and their implementation in concrete measures.

In his free time, Stefano is passionate about riding his motorbike or working out in the gym.