Direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce has changed the way people shop for everything from razors to sofas, to the point where retailers with more traditional supply chains are catching on. New e-commerce brands and traditional retailers alike can follow these five DTC trends in 2022 to stay competitive, says a Forbes report:
1. Traditional retailers go DTC. With less foot traffic in physical stores, more large, traditional retailers will emulate online DTC brands. Their focus will shift to capturing tech-savvy consumers who shop from their devices and use physical space for e-commerce order fulfillment.
2. DTC brands expand their categories. Although the pandemic inhibited growth for many brands, demand has soared for athleisure and self-care products as consumers work from home. Digital-native companies will continue to grow as they introduce those products into their supply chains.
3. Consumers flock to DTC brands. At the start of the pandemic, one of the most urgent needs for retailers was an efficient e-commerce platform and fulfillment strategy. That’s something DTC brands already had, giving them an early advantage. Two years later, the trend continues with U.S. e-commerce sales in Q3 2021 up 45.6% compared to Q3 2019.
4. DTC brands go headless. The next generation of headless companies—in which a consumer-facing website is separate from the e-commerce fulfillment platform—is developing solutions to enhance existing websites. DTC brands can now serve up content powering the storefront with a simple click of a button.
5. Returns are a differentiator. Shoppers are strongly influenced by return policies, with most preferring online retailers that offer free shipping for returns and refund the original form of payment. Consumer-centric brands will make investments to upgrade their returns process and how they present products to avoid returns altogether.