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Direct-to-consumer: Why brands should cut out the middleman

by | Jun 22, 2017 | Public Relations

Digital commerce firm BrandShop recently released its third annual survey on the preferences and habits of digital consumers, further examining the persistent gap that exists between consumer expectations and the current state of online shopping.

As was demonstrated in studies conducted in previous years, the results gathered from the firm’s 2017 Digital Consumer Preferences Survey continue to reinforce the necessity for a brand to offer a robust direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce experience as part of its overall digital strategy.

The study’s findings also provide valuable insights into the habits of today’s consumer and cover such topics as: how shoppers research products, overall satisfaction with direct and indirect channels, reasons why shoppers ultimately decide not to make a purchase on a brand’s website and more.

Direct-to-consumer: Why brands should cut out the middleman

According to the survey:

  • 90 percent of consumers visit a brand’s website to shop, and 82 percent expect to be able to make a purchase directly from the brand
  • 87 percent would buy products directly from a brand online if given the option
  • 95 percent believe it’s important to research a product before purchase; 56 percent of online shopping starts on a search engine like Google
  • 63 percent find shopping online with retailers to be highly satisfying, but only 43 percent feel the same way about shopping directly with brands
  • 58 percent use a smartphone or other mobile device while shopping in-store to compare prices and research products, emphasizing the importance of a mobile-first experience

Direct-to-consumer: Why brands should cut out the middleman

The study further supports the notion that the majority of consumers would purchase directly from a brand online if given the option, and in some product categories like clothing and apparel they would strongly prefer it over purchasing from a retailer. However, they often find their experience shopping with a brand to be unsatisfactory. In fact, many participants reported abandoning a brand’s website in favor of a retailer’s site because the brand failed to provide any DTC purchase option at all.

Direct-to-consumer: Why brands should cut out the middleman

Additional conclusions include:

  • With more shoppers now relying on search engines like Google as a starting point to research products, the need for brands to engage consumers with enticing brand content and quality SEO is more important than ever
  • Consumers frequently abandon inadequate brand sites to research products on retail sites like Amazon where they are exposed to offers from the brand’s competitors
  • Almost a third of consumers report visiting a brand’s website in order to view the brand’s full product line, highlighting the advantage brands have over retailers who may stock only a portion of a brand’s products
  • When a consumer visits a brand’s website, they not only expect to be able to make a purchase, but often would prefer to do so. By neglecting to implement an adequate DTC option, brands are squandering the opportunity to capture more sales and to solidify their relationship with the customer by providing a satisfying brand experience

“With an overwhelming percentage of consumers trying to shop and buy from their favorite brands, we are seeing our new clients enjoy rapid growth as they provide the best place for consumers to shop and buy their brand,” said Reuben Hendell, co-founder and CEO of BrandShop, in a news release. “BrandShop continues to work to make it easier and safer for brands to offer their products directly to consumers, satisfying their clear desires.”

Download the full study here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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