In recent years, a number of so-called direct-to-consumer startups have emerged that want to rethink and improve customer relations. They focus on four milestones that are particularly relevant for smart consumers: Community, trust, experimentation, and independence. The latter refers to the courage to renounce all sorts of intermediaries.
In addition, such direct-to-consumer brands draw on the advantages of the digital market and its ongoing dynamism. Another brand that has joined this coveted group is the natural cosmetics brand LUSH.
But what’s behind this refurbished direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach and why is it trendy?
Waiting in line to pay at checkout with cash or a card for a product that you don’t know if it’s the latest, best, and greatest? These are not good conditions for a modern customer experience. Unfortunately, customer-unfriendly experiences in stationary retail are still a reality. No wonder that consumers prefer to use the simple and fast version of e-commerce in many areas. There is no queue, no cash. Product suggestions are personalised and although the service is usually not personal, at least a chatbot has mastered manners. It’s about time that the offline retail to pull itself together and focus on its former core competence: Service!
The outstanding performance of the German Olympic team at the Winter Games in the South Korean region of Pyeongchang is what everyone’s been talking about. Another reason for this, however, is the increasing digitisation of the sports industry, which is particularly relevant and present this year.
Physical locations, whether a pop-up store, showroom, or full-fledged flagship, are starting to gain importance again. Especially as marketing and service channels. Modern locations are digital, intelligent, and unique. They offer value to the customer through a skilful combination of staff and technology, that each channel could not reach by itself. Zara gets it, and demonstrated that they do, by opening their first ever temporary pop-up shop in London.
What do stores offer their customers? What are, currently, the biggest challenges being faced and what solutions are already being implemented?
Retailers are increasingly striving to offer a wide assortment of products and services online. They organise their long and varied product lists by categories and enable filters to guide shoppers on their trip towards their desired product or service. However, in this spiralling dynamic focused on prices and big assortments, e-retailers have left something essential behind: the shopper’s feeling against such amount of information.
Shoppers have passed from the initial enthusiasm of having a completely new world of possibilities to feeling overwhelmed with such amount of similar products to choose from. They get lost, feel paralysed and don’t complete the purchase.
In order to respond to this new challenge, a new wave of personalisation features as well as new perspectives around this cutting-edge topic are hitting the net, offering the connected and technological shopper a more individualised experience that meets their needs much better. To do so, it is fundamental to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and, of course, to put them at the centre of every subsequent strategy, what means in the end, to do need-based business. But how?