7 ways to build a pandemic-proof D2C business
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have suddenly realised that they need to change the way they shop. After the malls and mom and pop stores shut down, their beloved Amazon and Myntra stopped delivering anything beyond the bare essentials.
They started to browse around, clicking on ads they viewed on social media, and voila, they discovered new products, fresh brands, great deals, and better value.
D2C brands have benefitted by minimising overhead costs and building a self-sustaining operational framework. They now have an opportunity to take control of the complete customer experience and build loyalty.
With over 800 brands bidding adieu to intermediaries, D2C brands need to fight hard to catch the eye of the customer.
How do brands build loyalty and ensure that their business runs smoothly in these rough times?
Legacy brands have the muscle of cash, but new brands have the freedom to be creative to acquire customers at one-fifth the cost as a legacy brand. Think out of the box, offer customisations, and use customer feedback to constantly innovate.
Go the extra mile and delight the customer with everything you do. Invest in creating a solid customer experience and offer them extra-long warranties.
Make return policies with no questions and conditions, surprise them with thoughtful freebies, and use customer feedback to improve your products and service. Focus on making the experience memorable because that will make the brand stick.
As a D2C brand, I recommend focusing on your core competencies — developing and marketing your products. Outsource operations to 3PL providers for improved profitability, faster time to market, competitive advantage, and decreased costs.
You are competing with the same-day delivery models of ecommerce giants, so your customers expect the same sort of immediate gratification from you. 3PL providers are coming to India on a big scale, and you can leverage their operations and logistics to focus more on your product and the company’s development.
Engage your customer
Content is king, and this holds true more than ever right now. With increasing online content consumption, your customers need to see you everywhere. Go beyond direct marketing and create valuable content. Let them come back to your website to find answers to their queries and establish your expertise in your segment.
Don’t offer discounts
Discounts don’t bring in loyal customers. Focus on offering value instead of discounts. Look at creating value packs through intelligent product combinations. A discount may get you a one time customer, but those are not the ones that will become loyalists.
Stand for something
With more and more brands available, stand out by highlighting your core values to relate to the customer. Customers are becoming more conscious of their purchases and their carbon footprint.
Showcase your efforts to create a more sustainable tomorrow and your mindfulness in this respect. Being sustainable and eco-friendly is one of the essences of both our brands.
Lie low if you can’t compete right now
All the rules above don’t apply if your product isn’t right for this time. For example, if you’re selling suitcases during the pandemic, you should lie low than burn your cash trying to sell people something they don’t need right now.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)