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DTC Brands Going Hybrid to Grow

Online-only retailers partnering with physical stores to reach more shoppers.




DTC Brands Going Hybrid to Grow
Pop-ups are one way for DTC brands to test selling in a physical space. PHOTO: CTRPhotos/iStock

After reaching new heights during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many crashing down soon after, direct-to-consumer (DTC) specialists are entering a new era, according to a new study from data and analytics company GlobalData. After being forced to shop online during lockdowns, consumers are still eager to browse and interact with products before purchasing, especially in sectors like apparel and beauty.

As a result, with the online retail market reaching maturity in key digital markets like the U.S. and U.K., it’s becoming increasingly difficult for some DTC brands to build success solely online. As a result, many online-only brands are partnering with established retailers to move into wholesale distribution.

“Overall, the diverse performance and innovations of DTC brands prove that the model is no longer one size fits all,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director Retail at GlobalData. “While wholesale may be the path to success for some brands, others are reaping the benefits of stronger margins through DTC channels, proving that the business model can still be a strong avenue for growth.

“The most successful brands in the near future will be those willing to adapt and react quickly to changes in consumer buying habits, and as we have seen in the last few years, brands stuck in their ways will be left behind.”

The top three DTC trends explored in the GlobalData report are: An increasing need for a physical presence; creating a personalized experience; and adding value to loyalty programs via such steps as providing free delivery and returns.

Click here to register to download GlobalData Retail’s “Futureproofing DTC Strategies” study for free.




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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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