The Future of D2C: Experts decode what brands will do differently in 2024
Top D2C founders of India discuss trends that will chart the path for brands in 2024 at the D2C playbook track powered by Delhivery and YourStory.
The landscape of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands is evolving, and a recent panel discussion at TechSparks Delhi's D2C Playbook track, powered by Delhivery, brought to light intriguing insights and trends for 2024. Moderated by Mohammed Ali, SVP & Head, SME & Direct at , the discussion featured Dhruv Madhok, Co-founder and Director, Arata; Jatan Bawa, Co-founder, Perfora; Hitesh Dhingra, Founder & CEO, The Man Company; and Siddhant Rana, India & South Asia Head, Shopify; sharing their experiences and observations from 2023 and their projections for the upcoming year.
2023: A year of surprises and shifts
Reflecting on 2023, Madhok pointed out the acceleration of Quick Commerce, with an unprecedented scaling of products in this domain, competing directly with major ecommerce players. Bawa highlighted the changing consumer reaction towards content, emphasising the shift towards more functional and credibility-driven content.
Dhingra observed significant growth in fragrance and gift set categories in D2C, showcasing rapid adoption rates even as a late entrant to platforms like Quick Commerce. He also noted the surge in D2C brands exploring offline channels, experiencing acceptance and success similar to their online presence.
Channel mix and customer behaviour: Shifting dynamics
The discussion delved into the channel mix for these brands. Madhok observed a decline in their D2C channel. “We are able to scale both marketplaces and Quick Commerce more efficiently so as a result we have seen a downward trend on our D2C channel,” he added.
Atthe focus is on the website, accounting for a majority of their business, followed by marketplaces and experiments in the offline space. “For us 55 % of business comes from our own website, followed by another 30 % from marketplaces and 12 % from Quickcommerce,” Bawa shared.
Dhingra shared insights into The Man Company's channel mix, showcasing significant contributions from marketplaces and their ongoing journey in expanding offline presence, signalling a promising blend of digital and physical retail strategies.
Indian market dynamics
Siddhant Rana, India & South Asia Head at Shopify, emphasised India's unique market dynamics, outpacing global trends in various aspects like quick delivery timelines, demanding consumers, and the swift adoption of multiple channels.
“We have seen that the consumer post-COVID has shifted to multiple channels so there is a lot of diversity there. It is important to understand that today technology is playing a key role in connecting these consumers and unifying diverse channels for brands,” Rana said.
Evolving with consumer behaviour
The conversation pivoted towards marketing strategies for the upcoming year. Hitesh stressed the significance of storytelling and investing in IPs.” When it comes to marketing, I am a strong believer of storytelling. In 2018, we collaborated with Ayushman Khurana for a video campaign that spoke nothing about the brand but managed to get us 300 million views. So we invest 30 to 40 % of our marketing spend in storytelling,” Dhingra shared.