D2C brands also make the complete purchase cycle simpler, by offering easy returns, cashback and more without burning a hole in the pocket. This encourages consumers to try out new brands and niche segments without too much hesitation.
The world of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands is not new to us. It’s been growing steadily for the past decade. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has given it a magnum-sized push. The market for D2C brands has exploded over the past two years, as consumers have shifted their shopping behaviour from offline to online.
From offline to online: the pandemic effect
The pandemic forced people into their homes and on to the internet for literally everything. Even those used to the comfort and familiarity of shopping at local, brick-and-mortar stores turned to online purchases for their most basic needs. From daily groceries to apparel to service providers, the convenience and choice offered by D2C brands had the opportunity to outstrip offline stores effortlessly.
This put a healthy pressure on D2C brands to rise above the expected and push the envelope – a trend that made online shopping more rewarding than ever before. Factors like the absence of middlemen, personalised curation and experiences, as well as complete transparency and control over the purchase process have made D2C brands a hot favourite amongst consumers. Emergence of new and niche markets coupled with influencer marketing have also drawn in and engaged consumers across the board. And of course, the unparalleled reach of the digital medium has given consumers direct and easy access to brands, irrespective of where they are. The digital space also works wonders for retailers as it is a medium that isn’t capital-heavy and caters to a much wider customer base.
The emergence of a new trend
However, despite all the positives, there still was some hesitance to buy certain categories online. While fashion jewellery is easily available and adopted by consumers on the internet, purchasing precious jewellery online always invoked a slight question mark.
However, with the advent of clever, crafty and audacious start-ups, this narrative turned on its head in India. Offering consumers access to hallmarked gold jewellery no matter where they were, opened up a world of new possibilities. This worked wonders for smaller towns where quality brands were not easily available, and people could not purchase the trendy jewellery they truly desired.
Today, many other big names within the jewellery industry retail precious jewellery across numerous segments, online. The ability to personalise the experience further by using augmented and virtual reality has eliminated the need for the consumer to touch, feel and try on the product. Enter- an era of online experience that feels as real and wholesome as offline shopping.
What differentiates D2C brands
A few trends promise to take D2C brands to the next level in the upcoming years. Personalised marketing takes precedence here. Collation of better-quality customer data through advanced first-party data collection, consultations, surveys and mapping online behaviour have already enabled D2C brands to better know their customer in a nuanced manner. This is only going to get richer -with curated individual experiences, which will in turn maximise profits and increases customer Lifetime Value (LTV) -an imperative requirement in the world of precious jewellery.
Brand interaction through innovation is also a strong, emerging trend. Augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) have enhanced multimedia strategies with new-age technology, allowing the customer to ‘feel’ the brand online. This has enabled jewellery brands to reach places they have never targeted before, expanding their footprint globally.
The great mobile purchase
The surge of mobile usage only promises to grow -throwing the market open to even more D2C brands. Most people browse brands online through their mobile phones and social media platforms play a key role in driving their interest and purchases. Influencers targeted advertising, and curated suggestions are pulling in consumers from across the globe. Mobile apps have become a given for a purchase experience that continues to become more enhanced and delightful.
D2C brands also make the complete purchase cycle simpler, by offering easy returns, cashback and more without burning a hole in the pocket. This encourages consumers to try out new brands and niche segments without too much hesitation. The world of precious jewellery has hugely benefitted from this.
The golden future
In a nutshell, studies say that over 800+ brands have become D2C in India over the past few years and the market is poised to touch $100 billion by 2025. With the growing use of technology in everyday life, the digital age is looking like the golden era for D2C brands. So, it’s time to go online and go for gold!
Source: Business World