Key marketing trends for 2022 that will shape D2C e-commerce

Over the past few years, India has witnessed an e-commerce revolution. The increasingly online world has fueled the unprecedented growth of this industry. With the advent of digital India and the new wave of smartphone generation, direct to commerce (D2C) brands have made the user’s online shopping experience more convenient.

According to the E-Commerce Industry Report by IBEF, India is expected to overtake the US to become the second largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034. This sector has seen exponential growth in post-pandemic times as users have been introduced to a new world of possibilities – digital payments Smooth and fast delivery. Many D2C brands have established their dominance on the Internet and are now eyeing the “phygital” space. This hybrid approach is more profitable for the brands as a large portion of the Indian market is still shopped through brick-and-mortar stores.

As emerging D2C brands and startups continue to redefine their relationship with their users, the industry is only set to go up. This year, we came across some breakout trends from the industry that brand marketers can take advantage of to maximize results.

Here are some of them

Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Many D2C fashion companies focus on delivering a consistent brand message across marketing channels to serve their customers directly. This strategy of combining online and offline presence provides better costs, faster delivery times, and more profits by eliminating middlemen (such as wholesalers, retailers, and distributors).

D2C brands have complete autonomy over how their items are displayed, priced, and promoted. This increases brand engagement, inspires repeat purchases, and builds brand loyalty. Companies can improve their marketing return on investment by using this model and offering better prices. The growing influence of social media influencers is also driving end-to-end consumer journeys and complements the growth of this trend.

Customer focused brand

The identity you create for your business makes your brand stand out from the clutter. Here are some questions you may want to consider as you build your brand: Does my customer have full access to the product information they require? Does the message reach my customers?

According to a case study, 80% of buyers mostly search on YouTube for the products they want to buy. (Source: Think with Google: Consumer Insights). Therefore, accurate information must be shared with customers through brands that compel them to buy.

Conversational Marketing and Brand Building

Conversational marketing engages consumers in one-to-one, dialogue-based, personalized experiences, allowing brands to listen and gain unique customer insights while providing user value. These one-of-a-kind experiences can be extended throughout the consumer journey through multiple channels such as digital marketing, owned and operated websites, and a mobile app.

customized solutions

A company’s ability to respond to consumer concerns is critical to its success. Therefore, it is advisable to fully customize the customer experience in the online retail environment. When done well, both businesses and customers may benefit. It’s about simplifying the customer’s experience with the brand – the transaction should eventually turn into a relationship.

Offline expansion

Many direct-to-consumer businesses are only available on digital platforms and marketplaces, which limits their exposure. However, some D2C companies that have grown to a certain size are now trying to get into the physical channel. Selling on a website is beneficial for them in terms of cost effectiveness and easy access to data, which helps in product development. Customers can easily get things online, but a physical presence also helps businesses as the customer has direct access to the product. In addition, general commerce and modern commerce remain the most effective and profitable offline channels.

global thinking

Expansion into other countries may be the natural next step for brands that have already increased their regional market share and want to grow. Helps expand brand reach, bargaining power, and value, capture better opportunities, achieve higher return on investment, improve brand awareness, and outperform local competitors. Calvin Klein is a great example of a differentiated brand that has built itself and remains relevant over the years.

Technology and data-driven decision making

Data-driven decision making is critical to D2C’s success in the face of rising competition in the marketplace. Regardless of company size, technology is essential to grow corporate operations, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance brand loyalty. Brands can determine their customers’ preferences based on variables such as geography, demographics, and online behavior.

Digital technologies have enhanced reach but reduced precision targeting. Companies may separate themselves from the competition by creating a differentiated customer experience in real time across all touchpoints. Companies may stand out by providing a unique real-time customer experience across all touchpoints. Customer value analytics shorten sales cycles without losing personal service. Big data provides an omnichannel solution that augments consumer experience and communications.

Here are some of the popular tech trends brands are using to grow their presence.

Predictive artificial intelligence in decision making

With the help of this pioneering technology, marketers can up their game by providing what consumers want – personalization. Companies are now using artificial intelligence to improve their services and increase sales. Many e-commerce organizations foresee a better and more prosperous future online due to the rapid adoption of AI-powered personalization. AI’s ability to gather, understand, and draw conclusions from massive amounts of data shines. Once implemented, this technology can reap many rewards — increased profits, brand exposure and reputation, to name a few.

Data-driven marketing

Having the correct customer data at their disposal is also crucial for e-commerce companies, as, based on the data, they can decide what interests their customers and encourages them to buy. D2C brands need to invest in data analytics that support customer-focused marketing and boost conversions. Data analytics techniques can combine and filter all of this data to produce the most relevant insights to improve production, profitability, and efficiency. Based on predetermined indicators, such as profit per quarter, order execution time, and cart abandonment rate, a company may evaluate its performance and take informed next steps.

Social commerce and video marketing

The huge increase in social media users over the past few years has supported the expansion of social commerce. There were 448 million social media users in the country as of January 2021, reflecting a 21% increase in the number of users as of 2020 (Source: Datareportal.com). Social commerce has many benefits, such as streamlining the checkout process and lowering abandoned cart prices.

Video marketing also opens up a whole new world of opportunities for D2C brands. Not only are videos easy to share, but they are more likely to convert. Similarly, another big trend is the live streaming trade. In this, an influencer or business broadcasts live content on their social media platforms, showing different products to customers and providing a purchase link in the description.

Loyalty programs and BNPL

The cost of customer acquisition has increased in most e-commerce categories, forcing companies to foster long-term relationships with customers, through cashback, discounts, and vouchers for their next purchase. Long-term customer relationships help reduce marketing expenses to acquire new customers.

Customers enjoy BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) for several reasons. India’s e-commerce brands have started using this payment option to increase average purchase values ​​and reduce cart abandonment rates. In addition, it gives customers a flexible way to pay at checkout while facilitating a seamless shopping experience. According to statistics, from 2021 to 2028, the use of BNPL is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.9% (source: Cision).

D2C Brand Development through CRM

The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool provides brand managers to tap all the information about a specific customer for each interaction in a contextual way. This tool helps build stronger relationships with customers and gives them another reason to stay loyal to the brand in a highly competitive market. It also helps brands understand which marketing platforms drive better results, helps create a 360-degree customer profile, and helps run customized campaigns to drive better results.

Brands can benefit from CRM in the following aspects:

• Categories of customers

• Support and customer service

• Central communications on social media

• Smart order management

• Analysis of payment data

Technology can change your brand forever

With so many D2C brands popping up every now and then, a brand has to be aware of emerging technologies and innovations. Tapping into new trends can lead to impressive prospects for development. When you decide to jump in a direction, it’s best to strike a balance between meeting customer expectations and fitting your brand image.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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