How can a D2C sleep solutions company scale purely via online presence
We received an unusual request from a customer on Instagram some days ago. They wanted us to customise a mattress cover similar to the one we have for our pet beds. The team quickly jumped into action to understand the need for the product and how it helps solve a problem for pet parents [dogs like sleeping with their humans on human-sized beds].
The direct access that we enjoy with our customers is what makes most direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands successful. There is a new wave of D2C brands that are providing a better way for people to shop and consume products. They are seeking brands that can provide them with a solution and a better product than what is available in the existing, traditional, industry.
A D2C brand is defined by the proximity a company has with customers. Dealing directly with buyers means we can get immediate, direct feedback, and access to data as well, thanks to being online.
This allows us to shorten the gap between innovations and product releases and updates, because immediate feedback helps us improve the products in real time. This has a direct impact on consumer behaviour – and what they expect from brands, both online and offline, and the D2C players are better positioned to cater to this more evolved customer.
D2C is the way forward
We can pick an existing product and improve it based on feedback and suggestions, shorten delivery time, create better pricing models, and deliver the product directly to them – without the overheads of having to rent retail space or a team in-store.
This makes for a better value proposition for the consumer with faster and more affordable products. We are able to change products by understanding what fabrics better suit the climate, which foam works, and how a product is perceived. This helps in streamlining the ecosystem.
The D2C segment has really caught up because of the value proposition and how they can directly purchase from the factory.
The value proposition that D2C brands offer is hard to beat – multiple choices, better quality products, affordable prices – and shipped directly from the manufacturer or factory.
The sleep market and D2C
The rising standards of living, growing disposable income, and need for innovative solutions have contributed towards the growth of the mattress industry. The mattress market in India was valued at around Rs 15,000 crore and the D2C segment contributes to 10 percent of this segment.
We will see a large growth in the online segment as more people from Tier II and III cities develop trust in online marketplaces. That, coupled with the pricing and service offered by these brands, make it a much more attractive deal for consumers. Things will be easier, cheaper, and more accessible.
Growing a D2C brand online
We believe in constant improvement via feedback and re-engagement models. Customers share feedback at various intervals to ensure we improve on our limitations. Customers share insights about products, deliveries and shipments, website purchase experience, customer service experience – everything.
D2C brands do other things such as offer a personalised recommendation engine for customers. We have collected data for months to understand the users’ needs, their queries and criteria for choosing a mattress. All this is incorporated into the system to provide immediate and accurate suggestions.
Building a D2C brand has been one of the most massive changes in my life. But I never wanted to stick to a traditional job. I have always wanted to create, innovate and try new things. Being wholly responsible for leading the business and a team is massively exciting.
In my previous career path as an investment banker, work was Monday to Friday and didn’t spill into after-office hours or the weekend, but as an entrepreneur and start-up founder the work is non-stop. I relish the thrill of it, but make sure that I balance it with breaks, and make time to recharge, and stay comfortable through it all – work pressures and my downtime.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)