Direct to Consumer Sales: What Is Direct to Consumer Sales?

Joshua Weatherwax
Table of Contents
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    Are you looking into direct to consumer sales, but don't know where to start?

    We're here to help!

    Whether you run a B2B business and are looking to expand into a new market, or need help growing your D2C business, we'll give you the tools to succeed.

    Read on to learn how the DTC sales model works, why you should adopt it, and get some tips to help you get your sales growing fast.

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    What Is Direct to Consumer Sales?

    Direct to consumer sales is a sales model where products or services are sold from a business directly to the end consumer. It is contrasted to B2B sales where a business sells to other businesses that then use or resell the products.

    Direct to Consumer Sales Strategy

    The best direct to consumer brands all have one thing in common, a thoroughly well-thought-out sales strategy. This means they built out a detailed plan before they started making sales and adapted the plan as they went on to maximize the impact.

    Here are a few tips on how to create your own successful direct to consumer sales strategy:

    Use Personalization

    One of the biggest and most successful direct to consumer trends in DTC marketing is personalization. eCommerce email marketing, in particular, benefits greatly from personalization. Personalized subject lines have a 50% higher open rate, and they can help you make sales that you would otherwise miss. Personalization leads to a higher conversion rate and helps build relationships as your interactions with customers feel less robotic and unfriendly. You can even put together a personalized line sheet to help sell to different customers and segments.

    Build a Streamlined Website

    In today's world, most customers want their buying experience to be as easy as possible and would like to do it themselves. You need to make sure your website gives your customers the tools they need to find and buy products with ease. You should also use a feature that allows them to contact you through chat or email if they do need assistance. Whether you use a headless eCommerce platform or sell on an online marketplace, the fewer steps it takes the customer, the more likely they are to complete their transaction.

    If you operate in the B2B or DTC food industry, your best choice is BlueCart eCommerce. With over 92,000 buyers, BlueCart offers the best eCommerce platform on the market, and we can help you take your business to the next level with exposure and access to buyers and sellers alike. 

    Focus On Your Value Propositions

    Value propositions are the key differentiators between your business and your competition. Things like expertise, lower prices, personalized service, and more are all great aspects of your business that you can highlight when trying to make sales. With so many businesses competing for the same customers, it's important to find ways to highlight what makes your brand unique. These are also the types of things you'll include in your eCommerce business plan or dropshipping business plan. If you don't properly express your unique offerings to prospects, they won't have a reason to choose you over the competition.

    Use the Right Channels

    Today, there are more channels than ever available to you for reaching your target market. Do your research to get an understanding of the channels your ideal customers are using, then focus your attention on them. Choosing the channels you're comfortable with instead of the ones your customers use is a common mistake and a great way to waste your direct to consumer advertising budget. Don't be afraid to test out new options and get a feel for new technology before you dive headfirst into the fray.

    Direct To Consumer Sales Model

    The direct to consumer business model has never been more prevalent than it is today. The rise of the internet has allowed manufacturers, production companies, individuals, and more to sell their products without having to go through a middleman. But, it's not all upside.

    Let's take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of the model.

    Benefits of direct to consumer sales:

    • Higher margins. The biggest benefit of direct to consumer sales is that the profit margins are much higher than selling and bulk shipping to resellers. This means your overall revenue is higher, and you can price your products competitively without having to worry about losing sales as much. This is especially true if your chosen niche doesn't have a lot of competition, so you get to set the expectations for prices and profit margins.
    • Control over branding. Rather than rely on resellers to define the narrative for your products, you're in charge of your public image from the start. Whether you consider yourself a top-of-class brand, specialty operation, or low-cost option, you set the expectations for your customers through your eCommerce marketing and advertising efforts. This also benefits your customer service team as the brand stance will be well-defined and easy to explain to customers.
    • Easier to shift course. Since you interact directly with the end-user, you have much better access to feedback. Instead of waiting to uncover issues when demand planning based on reseller's stock levels, you can immediately act on complaints or suggestions to keep the sales coming in.

    Disadvantages of direct to consumer sales:

    • No cost-sharing. One of the benefits of working with intermediaries is that you can share overhead expenses and other costs to allow everyone to maximize their margins. Things like warehousing, eCommerce fulfillment, and more all fall squarely on your shoulders if you choose the DTC route. This means it's vital that you stay on top of your finances if you're going to succeed. These costs directly impact your ability to make and fulfill orders.
    • Larger team needed. Since you're responsible for so many aspects of your business in the DTC sales model, you'll need to hire more salespeople and train them yourself. If you don't have prior experience or have too much on your plate already, this can be overly burdensome. Try to surround yourself with talented people you trust to lead each department and keep retention rates high.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Direct To Consumer Sales

    Direct to consumer sales can feel like a complicated endeavor. To help further clarify things, let's take a look at some of the most common questions business owners have about DTC sales.

    What Is An Example Of Direct To Consumer?

    Any company with their own eCommerce website is a good example of direct to consumer. Rather than selling their products at a wholesale price to resellers, they market and sell them directly to the consumer.

    What Is A DTC Platform?

    A DTC, or direct to consumer, platform is a type of software that allows you to build and operate a digital storefront. These platforms can be standalone, eCommerce marketplace, or a mix of the two. The key is that you can list and sell products right to the end-user.

    Is Amazon Considered DTC?

    Amazon is both a DTC and B2B company. This is because they sell their own products directly to consumers, but they also facilitate and resell other companies' products.

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    Let Loose The Sales

    It can be hard to know where to start and how to get your DTC sales off the ground, but using the tips above you'll be well on your way to success. Stay focused on your brand and highlight what makes you unique so you can continue to make sales and grow your business.

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