Selling directly to consumers is a great way to increase your company's growth, but if it's not done properly, then that growth won't be very long-lasting.
So then you begin to question how you increase the longevity of selling directly to consumers.
To best answer that question, we are analyzing the moves of a very successful d2c brand, Warby Parker. In this blog post, we'll break down the three ways Warby Parker made a name for themselves by selling directly to consumers, and why they're still around.
1. Created their own lane.
One of the main reasons that Warby Parker is so successful is because they solved an issue that no one else had solved before. Instead of becoming yet another brand of eyeglasses sold at an in-person retailer, they put themselves in their consumers shoes to come up with an innovative solution.
They knew that eyeglasses were notoriously overpriced and that consumers were typically shopping alone for them because they had just finished with an eye appointment. This meant that consumers didn't really have a way of getting a second opinion of how the glasses looked on them from a reliable source.
So Warby Parker found a way to draw in their audience: sell reasonably-priced eyewear online and offer virtual try-ons with feedback from a personal stylist.
Now consumers would have an affordable way to purchase their eyeglasses while getting affirmation from a second party about how they look. No one else had done this before so they truly carved out their own lane in the d2c world.
The takeaway: To ensure longevity in the d2c market, ensure there is a strong reason that your consumer would buy directly from you instead of a retailer.
2. Eliminated skepticism for online shopping.
While buying eyeglasses online sounds great, there was one major roadblock: How would consumers feel comfortable making a purchase if they didn't how the glasses fit their face?
Warby Parker does a great job of eliminating any skepticism about shopping online by using exceptional virtual try-on technology that shows the consumer how the glasses would look on their face in person.
And if that's not enough to convince them to purchase, they also offer to send up to 5 frames to try on in person for free.
They took on any potential reasons their audience would hesitate to purchase and countered them with solutions. This way their consumers would have a harder time not converting.
The takeaway: Counter your consumer's potential resistance to buy directly from you with a solution they can't turn down.
3. Launched a creative brand awareness campaign.
While the concept of Warby Parker was brilliant, they still had to find a way to get the word out about it to really make a name for themselves.
Online advertising, email marketing, and other classic forms of marketing are great methods for increasing brand awareness, but nothing truly beats social proof. That's what makes Warby Parker's social media campaign so genius.
Since they send up to 5 frames to their consumer's doorstep, they simply encouraged them to document their try-on experience and share it on their social media with a branded hashtag to get feedback from a personal stylist. It also allowed them to get opinions from their own followers, too.
This simple request really took off. People shared their try-on photos on all of the big platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
These photos killed two birds with one stone: the original poster got feedback to complete their purchase with Warby Parker and they also influenced their followers to use Warby Parker the next time they need eyeglasses.
The takeaway: Find a creative way to share social proof about using your product. Nothing beats the authenticity of user-generated content. You can try using a branded hashtag campaign or offer a small incentive to get your users to post about your product.
The Key to D2C Success
To have long-term success with selling directly to consumers, you need to keep your customer happy with your product so they don't go crawling back to retailers. Make them realize why they're better off skipping the middleman and buying your product directly from you.
Selling D2C gives you the advantages of interacting with your consumers, providing a seamless ecommerce experience with great customer support, and following up with relevant content through social media channels and email marketing.
Be sure to use the lessons learned from Warby Parker:
- Create your own lane in the D2C world
- Eliminate any skepticism from buying your product
- Launch a creative campaign to increase your brand awareness.
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