Advances in technology are an integral part for any business to grow, including Direct-to-Consumer (D2C), which has been on a steady rise since past few years. India alone has over 600 D2C brands and the number is witnessing a double-digit growth. Let’s have a look at some technology trends that will shape the industry.
Covid-19 was a shot in the arm for digital-only D2C brands. As the competition grows, there is an ever-increasing need to attract interested shoppers, deliver increased revenue and conversions and data will come to the rescue. The D2C players have been moving away from age-old strategies of spending heavily on social media and search ads or running influencer campaigns for customer acquisitions. Instead, a data-driven approach is being embraced to help businesses grow. D2C companies already have a pool of customer data from various sources like behavioural, financial and demographic data.
All they need is a system that can gather this data, analyse usage patterns, subscriber preferences and financial metrics and provide actionable insights. This would make marketing content more relevant to their target audience.
AI-Powered Technology: Demand for Personalised Shopping
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) will take a strong place among D2C market trends. By adopting the same, platforms will be able to give an immersive experience to the customers and pave a way for customised shopping. Virtual stores and inventory will be in the offing to give a play-on experience to shoppers. Besides, AI-enabled decision making, advanced forecasting and recommendations, localised content and native regional language interfaces will lead the way for D2C growth.
Chatbots and Virtual Reality (VR) will also propel a humanised customer experience by addressing the queries in a conversational fashion. Internet of Things (IoT), Connected Devices, Voice-Based Searches Voice search is a trend that will continue to grow in 2021, be it directly on the website or through connected devices. D2C businesses who want to grow will have to find a way to incorporate voice technology into their digital marketing strategies. Hence, players will have to optimise their websites for voice search which will open up new opportunities and expand the customer market.
Besides, AI-enabled decision making, advanced forecasting and recommendations, localised content and native regional language interfaces will lead way for D2C growth.
Shoppable and Interactive TV
This trend came to the spotlight when NBCUniversal Media LLC rolled out its shoppable TV ads in 2020. The company incorporated pop-up ads that gave QR codes that directed consumers to the products seen on the scene. This interactive union between watching TV and shopping online will be the D2C e-commerce trend to watch out for.
This also brings social commerce on the surface. With more and more people spending time on social media, D2C brands will be going for this trend where people will be able to buy products directly from their social media app. This year Facebook launched Instagram Shops and Shopify partnered with TikTok. In 2021, we’ll see what brands can do with these changes.
Progressive Web Apps
D2C business will be all about comfort and ease. The shopping experience is usually disrupted when a customer is asked to download an app when they were just ready to pay and leave. Going forward, you do not need a necessary app for everything. Rather progressive web apps will be the game changer. It refers to websites that provide a seamless app-like experience to customers. This is going to be popular in the D2C marketplace given low bounce off rate and lower cost.
What’s in It for Me?
Unique user experience will be a key differentiator. D2C businesses need to meet this demand for customisation to engage and retain their subscribers. Start by using AI tools that can help you streamline your marketing, improve the customer experience or perform critical tasks for your business much faster. For example, SparkToro crawls social profiles to determine which podcasts, social profile and more are popular with your audience.
As far as voice commerce purchases are concerned, consumers seem to be reluctant to purchase expensive products. Therefore, businesses that consider engaging in voice commerce should be aware of this factor and ensure consumers that their privacy is protected.