Welcome to the World of DTC Brands: Unlocking Success in the Omnichannel Era

In the fast-paced world of commerce, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands have revolutionized the game by forging direct connections with customers. But to reach new heights, expanding beyond DTC is essential. This blog post delves into the strategies and benefits of venturing into retail and online marketplaces like Amazon. It highlights successful examples, provides insights on selling on Amazon, and emphasizes the importance of monitoring performance with tools like Polar Analytics.

In the ever-evolving world of commerce, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands have been a force to be reckoned with. They've revolutionized the game by leveraging digital tools like social media, email marketing, and e-commerce platforms to establish direct customer relationships. The result? Cutting out the middleman and maximizing profits like never before. But here's the catch: as DTC brands mature, they often hit a growth plateau. To break free from these limitations and reach a wider audience, it's time to consider expanding into retail and online marketplaces.

Why Expand Beyond DTC?

The allure of expanding beyond DTC lies in the immense potential for growth and brand reach. While DTC provides a solid foundation, it can have its limitations. As brands scale, customer acquisition costs rise, and reaching new customers becomes challenging. This is where the magic of retail and online marketplaces comes into play. By venturing into these areas, you can tap into fresh customer segments, boost your visibility, and continue your upward trajectory. The best part? Many successful DTC brands have already paved the way for you.

Thriving in Retail: Key Strategies

Expanding into retail as a DTC brand opens up a new world of possibilities. To ensure a successful transition, keep these strategies in mind:

  1. Choose the Right Retail Partners: Align your brand with retailers that resonate with your image and target audience. You can just seek out stores that share your values and boast a customer base that aligns with your market. This way, you'll maintain consistency and attract the right customers.
    Hot tip: Consider Retail Partnerships.
  2. Consistency is Key: As you enter the retail space, ensure your brand identity, messaging, and customer experience remain consistent across all channels. Maintaining a cohesive brand presence builds trust and reinforces your unique value proposition, whether it's your physical store, website, social media presence, or packaging.
    Hot tip: Consider A brand-building initiative BEFORE expanding into retail. Chris Mikulin discusses this well here.
  3. Build a Robust Supply Chain: Prepare your brand for the increased demand that comes with retail expansion. Scale up production, optimize inventory management, and establish strong relationships with suppliers and logistics partners. A robust supply chain is the backbone of your success.
    Hot tip: Read the Retailer's Guide to Supply Chain Management can powerfully help
  4. Test the Waters: Dip your toes into retail without diving headfirst. Explore low-cost options such as pop-up shops, shared retail spaces, or partnerships with existing stores. These opportunities allow you to gauge customer interest, collect feedback, and refine your retail strategy before committing to a permanent physical presence.
    Hot tip: Get listed risk-free on Faire or Ankorstore, Try Pop-up stores with Storefront.
  5. Develop an attractive loyalty program: Getting into retail isn’t just about selling more products; it’s also about forging lasting relationships with customers. Develop a loyalty program that bridges the gap between online and in-store experiences. Reward points for digital purchases and in-store visits, and create an ecosystem where each transaction encourages the next. This synergy deepens customer engagement and amplifies your brand’s reach, turning casual shoppers into unconditional brand ambassadors.
    Hot tip: Read the guide to great customer loyalty programs.

Successful Examples of DTC Brands Expanding into Retail

Take inspiration from brands that have successfully navigated the transition from DTC to retail:

a) Glossier: This beauty brand started as a DTC sensation and later opened brick-and-mortar stores. Their retail spaces epitomize their minimalist and customer-centric approach, enhancing brand recognition and fostering customer loyalty.

Kyle Leahy, CEO of Glossier, said, "Our stores are just one part of our omnichannel strategy, but they're essential, both as a key element of our differentiated customer experience and a profitable growth channel for us. As a beauty brand, giving customers the options to trial products in real-time, make their own swatches, and spark beauty discovery are why we continue to believe in retail as a key lever for our business." Read more  Forbes.

Glossier London Pop-Up Shop - Everything You Need To Know
Glossier London Store

b) Warby Parker: Known for its trendy eyewear, Warby Parker made the leap from DTC to physical retail. They now boast their stores, offering customers the chance to try on glasses in person while staying true to their brand values and design aesthetic.

Learn more about their playbook to reach 900+ stores on Fabric's blog.

Click-to-Brick Success Story Warby Parker Continues to Disrupt, Innovate

Harnessing the Power of Marketplaces: A Focus on Amazon

When it comes to online marketplaces, Amazon reigns supreme. It offers DTC brands an unparalleled opportunity to access a global customer base. But navigating this e-commerce giant requires strategic planning and execution. Here's what you need to know:

Pros of Amazon:
  1. Access to New Consumers: Amazon's dominance in the e-commerce market means unparalleled access to a vast customer base. With millions of shoppers and many Amazon Prime members, the potential to tap into this lucrative customer base is immense.
  2. Brand Awareness: Amazon is a robust discovery platform, with many consumers finding new brands and products through the site. The platform's powerful review system enhances credibility and positions Amazon as a trusted resource for shoppers seeking fresh brands and exciting products.
Cons of Amazon:
  1. Lost Customer Data: Selling on Amazon means surrendering control over customer data and the customer relationship. While Amazon provides access to a vast customer base, it restricts direct customer interactions, hindering long-term relationship-building and upselling opportunities.
  2. Diluted Brand Equity: Customers on Amazon are loyal to the platform, not necessarily the brands they purchase. To thrive on Amazon, it's crucial to establish a solid and differentiated brand identity before entering the forum. Otherwise, your brand may be overshadowed by the Amazon ecosystem.
  3. Rethinking Pricing: Competition on Amazon often compels DTC brands to offer discounted pricing or special promotions to stand out. This can impact pricing strategies and profit margins, necessitating careful consideration to maintain a healthy balance.
  4. Limited Control over Pricing and Promotions: Amazon controls pricing and promotions within and outside the platform. This can limit flexibility and decision-making, mainly if a brand heavily relies on Amazon for sales volume.
Tips for Selling on Amazon:
  1. Define Your Strategy: Determine how Amazon fits your distribution strategy. Will it primarily serve as a discovery channel or focus on bulk refills? Could you clarify its role and consider using Amazon as a testing ground before expanding to other media?
  2. Pricing Considerations: Establish a pricing strategy across different channels. Could you decide whether pricing will be consistent or if Amazon will be a platform for offering exclusive discounts?
  3. Customer Perspective: Assess whether accessing the DTC channel exclusively serves the customer's best interest or if Amazon's convenience and logistics offer a better experience for repeat purchases.
  4. Control and Seller Options: Understand the differences between Seller and Vendor Central on Amazon and choose the best fit for your business. Also, could you monitor unauthorized sellers to protect your brand's integrity?
  5. Advertising Strategies: Analyze the competitive landscape on Amazon and determine if investing in advertising is necessary to compete effectively. Consider the potential costs and benefits of increasing visibility on the platform.

Monitoring Performance: The Power of Polar Analytics

Polar Analytics

Keeping a close eye on performance is vital for DTC brands operating on Shopify and Amazon. That's where Polar Analytics steps in. It seamlessly blends and analyzes data from both platforms, providing a unified dashboard with valuable insights to drive success.

Polar Analytics lets you pull essential metrics from Amazon, including clicks, conversions, cost, impressions, sales, and units ordered. Integrating Shopify and Amazon data gives you a comprehensive view of your brand's performance, enabling data-driven decision-making and optimization.

It's time to unlock the full potential of your omnichannel presence. Polar Analytics empowers DTC brands like yours to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and achieve remarkable growth in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Omnichannel Journey

As a DTC brand, expanding beyond your digital roots is the key to sustained growth and reaching a broader audience. Embrace the opportunities presented by retail and online marketplaces like Amazon. Leverage proven strategies, learn from successful examples, and monitor your performance using powerful analytics tools.

Remember, the journey to omnichannel success requires careful planning, flexibility, and a deep understanding of your brand and customers. Stay true to your unique value proposition, consistently deliver exceptional experiences, and watch your brand flourish across multiple channels. The world of DTC brands is yours for the taking, so go forth and conquer with confidence.

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