Friday, March 1

The 5 things in DTC you need to know today

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🚨 In today’s newsletter 🚨

  • Why Free Shipping is Essential for D2C Brands

  • Leaving Your Day Job Behind to Build a Real D2C Business

  • Leveraging AR to Reduce Returns and Boost Loyalty

Let’s get into it👇

SHIPPING
#1 - Why Free Shipping is Essential for D2C Brands

The Rundown: The data is clear. In my view, if D2C brands don't offer free shipping, most customers will simply not buy from you. And frankly, they expect it to be easy to qualify and fast.

Connecting to Customers: Customers don't want surprises at checkout - that's just a fact. Offering free shipping removes those unwelcome extra costs, which in my opinion, makes it much easier for customers to happily complete a purchase.

Opportunities for Brands:

  • I think smart brands should consider bundling popular products to allow free shipping on otherwise lower AOV purchases.

  • Providing a free carbon neutral shipping option seems like a no-brainer to boost your brand’s eco credentials with conscious shoppers.

  • Incentivizing reorders through a loyalty program that includes free shipping on repeat purchases is a great way to drive growth.

Measuring Impact:

  • You should definitely look at cart abandonment rates before and after introducing free shipping and measure the improvement to reduce loss.

  • I'd also track profits generated from customers acquired through your free shipping incentive program.

The Future: Customers will expect that shipments are fulfilled and delivered almost instantly. Brands will need to get creative, in my opinion, to meet these demands.

Our Take: Offering free shipping is not just an operational cost but a powerful marketing tool to keep and grow a loyal customer base. I think brands should treat it as an investment in future growth.

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RETENTION
#3 - Leaving Your Day Job Behind to Build a Real D2C Business

The Reality: Sydney Bencriscutto was working as an electrician but felt unfulfilled. He tapped into his creative talents to build two ecommerce brands that now bring in over $1 million in revenue.

Relating to Shoppers: In my view, many people want products that solve real needs or fit their identity. Direct brands that make authentic connections through compelling stories and standout service tend to succeed.

Opportunities for Brands:

  • Create products customized to specific consumer desires better than the competition

  • Share founder experiences to build genuine relationships

  • Provide exceptional customer service that matches brand promises

  • Partner with relevant influencers to expand reach

Tracking Performance: Monitor repeat purchase rates, net promoter scores, lifetime value per customer, and cost per acquisition to guide investments. In my opinion, these are the most critical metrics.

The Road Ahead: With financial unease growing, passionate founder stories and direct brands that overdeliver value can capture more wallet share. At least that's what I foresee.

Our View: Find subtle pain points and solve them 10x better through a direct model. Shoppers won’t hesitate to pay premium prices. That's my take..

DTC Daily’s Monthly Spotlight:

Tools and Services

Need a Graphic Designer? Cost effective solution, instead of full-time employee: Delesign 

Get a Metal Business Card: My Metal Business Card

Use influencers to create UGC for your brand: minisocial


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RESOURCES
#4 - Things Worth Checking Out

TRENDS - 8 fashion marketing methods on the rise

SURVEY - More than half of home decor shoppers value in-store experience

AMAZON - Amazon says third-party sellers drive 60% of ecommerce sales

INTERVIEW - Creating sustainable packaging solutions for ecommerce

STOCK - Forget Etsy: buy these 3 ecommerce stocks instead

TECHNOLOGY
#5 - Leveraging AR to Reduce Returns and Boost Loyalty

The Rundown: AR try-on technology by Perfect Corp. is helping beauty brands like Benefit Cosmetics increase time on site, boost add-to-cart rates, and reduce returns, which is a major win in my book.

Connecting to Customers: Virtual try-on provides a more convenient at-home alternative for customers to test products. It also gives brands opportunities to provide personalized recommendations and routines, which from a customer perspective, is pretty cutting edge.

Opportunities for Brands:

  • Partner with AR companies to implement virtual try-on and shade matching for complexion products - this seems like a no-brainer

  • Use data from virtual try-on to offer personalized skincare routines and product recommendations - this is a super smart play

  • Feature client videos/testimonials showcasing ease of finding the right products - lean into the customer experience big time

  • Incentivize customers to use AR try-on before purchase with discounts or free samples - who's going to say no to that?

Measuring Impact:

  • Return rate percentage - easily the holy grail metric here

  • Percentage of customers engaging with AR experiences pre-purchase - can speak volumes

  • Customer satisfaction scores - always worth keeping an eye on

The Future: AR try-on will expand into other CPG categories like hair, fashion, and furniture, which I could totally see happening. It will evolve to provide even more customized and lifelike experiences, which excites the heck out of me.

Our Take: Beauty brands should jump on AR try-on now to reduce operational costs of returns and build loyalty through high-touch personalized digital experiences

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