Monday, March 4

The 5 things in DTC you need to know today

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🚨 In today’s newsletter 🚨

  • Leveraging AI to Supercharge D2C Discovery and Conversion

  • Standing Out as a DTC Brand

  • Harnessing AI to Boost Influencer Marketing for DTCs

Let’s get into it👇

#1 - Leveraging AI to Supercharge D2C Discovery and Conversion

The Rundown: Smarter search and recommendations powered by AI can give customers the seamless, personalized experiences they expect from D2C brands. Nearly half of shoppers consider a website's ease of use when deciding where to shop.

What Customers Want: D2C has a prime opportunity here, in my view, to use AI that understands questions and makes suggestions tailored to each shopper. This can drive engagement and sales for customers who want streamlined digital shopping.

Smart Plays for Brands:

  • AI chatbots that get natural language and common asks

  • Individualized recs built from browsing and purchase histories

  • Voice commands to add items or finish tasks hands-free - a clever idea

  • Partner on AR/VR for immersive, interactive digital experiences, which I think is very promising

Tracking What Matters:

  • Cart abandonment rate

  • Pages per session

  • Repeat purchasers - a key indicator

  • Net Promoter Scores - useful but can be subjective

The Road Ahead: As headsets go mainstream, virtual brand boutiques could replicate real-world details and connections. Extended reality commerce may reshape expectations.

The Takeaway: Early AI adoption familiarizes customers and builds loyalty. Meeting demands for seamless, intuitive engagement should be a top priority across D2C in my opinion.

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#3 - Standing Out as a DTC Brand

The Rundown: In my view, building brand awareness isn't enough these days - DTC brands need creative strategies to turn that awareness into sales and loyalty.

What Customers Want: Today's buyers expect personalized experiences and mobile convenience. DTC brands should intimately understand customer pain points and desires in order to create emotional connections, in my opinion.

Smart Plays for DTCs:

  • Viral social campaigns that encourage user generated content seem like a no-brainer

  • Frictionless mobile checkout is an absolute must

  • Limited product drops to create FOMO can be an effective tactic

  • Personalized recommendations via quizzes and AI may be insightful

  • Retargeting visitors just makes sense

Tracking What Matters:

  • Surveying brand recall and recognition could provide useful insights

  • Monitoring traffic sources seems prudent

  • Tracking social engagement and reach is arguably essential

The Road Ahead: As competition grows, personalization and mobile experience should be vital for DTC brands hoping to stand out, I believe.

Our View: The DTC brand of the future needs to feel like a thoughtful friend, not a faceless business, in my opinion. Use data and customer insight to delight and forge loyalty - that's my take.

DTC Daily’s Monthly Spotlight:

Tools, Services & Hiring

Looking to level up your marketing team? Check out: Marketerhire

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

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#4 - Things Worth Checking Out

AI - 7 ways retailers are using generative AI to provide a better shopping experience

SEO - How to do ecommerce keyword research the right way

TECHNOLOGY - Joybird uses 3d scans as homeware brands tap immersive tech

SOCIAL - TikTok’s big Shop push hinges on getting users to click on advertorial videos—and so far, they’re reluctant

STOCK - Shopify stock just hit a $100 billion milestone: should you buy right now?

#5 - Harnessing AI to Boost Influencer Marketing for DTCs

The Rundown: Artificial intelligence is changing the influencer marketing game for the better. It's tackling persistent and pesky issues like fraud while providing potentially game-changing predictive insights to optimize campaigns. This opens new and exciting doors for direct-to-consumer brands to authentically engage their target customers.

Connecting With Customers: AI equips DTC brands to dive deeper into influencer audience demographics and engagement levels. Doing so allows more precise targeting of micro-influencers who genuinely vibe with a niche. The result is campaigns that can drive more authentic customer connections, in my opinion.

Smart Plays for Brands:

  • Test customized virtual influencers to consistently and cost-efficiently reach DTC buyer personas

  • Discover rising nano and micro-influencers with AI's predictive abilities which I think are hugely valuable

  • Shape personalized influencer partnerships powered by granular audience analysis which is a clever move

  • Automate relationship management to smoothly scale influencer efforts

Tracking Impact: Monitor sales conversions directly tied to influencers, shifts in metrics like brand sentiment and referral traffic during and post campaigns. I believe these are crucial metrics to watch.

The Future: We'll see massive growth for virtual influencers as AI conversation technology improves. Savvy DTC brands could develop their own virtual brand persona which in my view presents an intriguing opportunity.

Our View: Don't get lost in the AI hype. Stay laser focused on enabling genuine influencer-to-customer bonds which I feel should be the priority. AI should facilitate authenticity, not replace it.

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