D2C needs to adapt, email marketing thriving, brands look for international growth | D2C Digest

Weekly DTC News

Hey there, great people of the D2C community who are building fantastic things! This is your host Berkay writing. 

Take a 5-minute break and dive into D2C Digest for a quick overview of what’s happening in the D2C market worldwide!

🏄‍♂️ D2C is not dead but it needs to adapt

In a recent Forbes article, Jon Bird examined the current state of the D2C market. Initially lauded for revolutionizing retail, DTC brands like Warby Parker and Peloton faced challenges from rising costs and market shifts, leading to decreased valuations and closures for some. Despite these hurdles, the sector is poised for evolution, not extinction, adapting to new market demands.

The future of DTC lies in adopting a "pure play" approach characterized by a clear value proposition, starting small, self-funding, and aiming for sustainable growth, potentially exploding through social commerce platforms like TikTok.

Alternatively, a "hybrid" model is suggested, combining the direct approach with presence in marketplaces and traditional retail outlets to create an omnichannel retailing experience.

This strategy has been embraced by leading DTC brands such as Glossier, Peloton, and Dollar Shave Club, which have expanded their distribution to include both digital and physical retail spaces.

What are your predictions for the future of D2C?

✉️ More brands to use email marketing

Due to changes in digital advertising, like the phase-out of third-party cookies, DTC brands are increasingly turning to email marketing for customer acquisition.

Take Wildgrain for example: Initially benefiting from low CACs via Facebook, the brand faced challenges as data-driven audience targeting became difficult due to privacy updates like Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention and iOS's AppTrackingTransparency. These changes led to a focus on creative optimization over precise targeting, complicating the matching of audiences.

Now, they shifted their focus to email through a partnership with LiveIntent, resulting in a 14% lower customer acquisition cost and 13% higher reach than with Facebook alone.

To us, this reflects a broader trend of DTC brands seeking more direct and efficient ways to reach potential customers amidst the evolving digital landscape.

📈 American D2C brands look for international growth

DTC brands like Manscaped and Pepper Bras are expanding internationally to fuel growth after establishing a strong domestic presence. This strategic move aims to tap into new markets, leveraging the global reach of social media and the appeal of innovative products.

Many brands are experimenting in Canada, the UK, and Australia due to language and cultural similarities but with different strategic approaches. While brands like Pepper Bras are expanding through retail partnerships and online sales, Manscaped is rapidly growing its global presence through retail and DTC channels.

However, challenges such as adapting to local regulations, dealing with tariffs, and logistical complexities like Brexit impact these expansion efforts. So brands need to learn to navigate these hurdles with varying degrees of success and strategies.

🤔 Does this mean more competition in these markets?

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