10 Lessons Traditional Retailers Can Learn From DTC Brands

10 Lessons Traditional Retailers Can Learn From DTC Brands _ MediaOne Marketing Singapore

In recent years, the retail industry has experienced a significant shift as more consumers turn to direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. These brands have disrupted the traditional retail model and revolutionized the way people shop.

Many DTC brands have built loyal followings by offering unique products, exceptional customer experiences, and innovative marketing strategies. As a result, traditional retailers are facing increased competition and are struggling to keep up with changing consumer demands.

However, traditional retailers can learn a lot from DTC brands. By studying their strategies and implementing them in their own businesses, brick-and-mortar stores can stay relevant in today’s market.

Here are 10 lessons that traditional retailers can learn from DTC brands.

10 Lessons Traditional Retailers Can Learn From DTC Brands

Prioritize customer experience

DTC brands have made customer experience a top priority. They understand that customers want more than just a product; they want a memorable shopping experience. Traditional retailers can learn from this by focusing on creating a positive experience for their customers. This could include offering exceptional customer service, creating a welcoming environment, and personalizing the shopping experience.

Embrace technology

DTC brands have embraced technology and use it to their advantage. Many have developed innovative mobile apps and e-commerce platforms that make shopping easier and more convenient for customers. Traditional retailers can also benefit from technology by investing in e-commerce, mobile apps, and other digital tools that enhance the shopping experience.

Offer unique products

One of the reasons why DTC brands have been so successful is their ability to offer unique products that cannot be found elsewhere. Traditional retailers can learn from this by diversifying their product offerings and focusing on niche markets.

Focus on sustainability

Many DTC brands have made sustainability a top priority. They use eco-friendly materials, reduce waste, and support ethical manufacturing practices. Traditional retailers can also benefit from focusing on sustainability by making changes to their supply chains, reducing waste, and offering sustainable products.

Build a community

Build a community | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

DTC brands have built loyal followings by creating communities around their products. They use social media and other marketing channels to engage with customers and create a sense of belonging. Traditional retailers can also benefit from building communities around their products by using social media, hosting events, and creating other opportunities for customers to connect with their brand.

Personalize the shopping experience

DTC brands are known for personalizing the shopping experience. They use data and technology to understand their customers’ preferences and tailor their products and marketing strategies accordingly. Traditional retailers can learn from this by investing in data analytics tools and using them to personalize the shopping experience for their customers.

Be transparent

DTC brands are known for being transparent about their business practices, such as their manufacturing processes, pricing, and ethical standards. This transparency has helped them build trust with customers. Traditional retailers can also benefit from being transparent about their business practices and communicating their values to customers.

Use influencer marketing

DTC brands have been quick to adopt influencer marketing as a way to reach new audiences and build their brand. Traditional retailers can also benefit from using influencer marketing to promote their products and reach new customers.

Focus on mobile

DTC brands have been quick to adapt to the mobile-first world we live in. They have developed mobile-friendly websites and apps that make it easy for customers to shop on their phones. Traditional retailers can also benefit from focusing on mobile by developing mobile-friendly websites and apps and optimizing their online presence for mobile.

Experiment and innovate

Experiment and innovate | MediaOne Marketing Singaproe

Finally, DTC brands are known for their willingness to experiment and innovate. They are constantly trying new things and taking risks to stay ahead of the competition. Traditional retailers can also benefit from experimenting and innovating, whether it’s by trying new marketing strategies, offering new products, or using new technologies.

In conclusion, traditional retailers can learn a lot from DTC brands. By studying their strategies and implementing them in their own businesses, brick-and-mortar stores can stay relevant in today’s market.

Prioritizing customer experience, embracing technology, offering unique products, focusing on sustainability, building a community, personalizing the shopping experience, being transparent, using influencer marketing, focusing on mobile, and experimenting and innovating are all lessons that can help traditional retailers compete in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

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Understanding DTC Brands: A Threat to Traditional Retailers?

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are rapidly disrupting the retail industry. These digital-first brands are upending traditional retail models by cutting out middlemen and directly selling their products to customers.

With the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer behaviours, DTC brands have emerged as a popular option for consumers seeking convenience, quality, and affordability.

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In this section, we’ll explore what DTC brands are, their advantages, and how they pose a threat to traditional retailers.

What are DTC brands?

DTC brands are companies that sell their products directly to consumers, without the use of intermediaries such as wholesalers, distributors or retailers. These companies control every aspect of the customer experience, from product development to marketing, sales and delivery. They are often digital-first companies that utilise e-commerce platforms, social media and other digital channels to reach their target audience.

DTC brands are often associated with niche markets, and offer a unique value proposition to their customers. They are known for their high-quality products, affordable prices, and personalised customer service. Examples of successful DTC brands include Warby Parker, Glossier, Dollar Shave Club and Casper, among others.

Advantages of DTC brands

One of the key advantages of DTC brands is the ability to cut out the middleman.

By selling directly to consumers, these companies can reduce their costs and offer their products at a lower price point than traditional retailers. This is because they do not have to pay the markups that wholesalers and retailers typically charge.

In addition, DTC brands have complete control over the customer experience. They can customise their products, packaging and marketing to better suit the needs and preferences of their target audience.

They can also collect valuable data on their customers, which can be used to inform product development, marketing strategies and customer service.

Another advantage of DTC brands is the ability to build strong relationships with their customers. By controlling every aspect of the customer experience, these companies can provide personalised customer service and build a loyal customer base.

This is in contrast to traditional retailers, which often have limited control over the customer experience due to their reliance on intermediaries.

How do DTC brands pose a threat to traditional retailers?

DTC brands are disrupting traditional retail models and posing a threat to established retailers. One of the main ways in which they are doing this is by offering a more convenient and personalised shopping experience.

DTC brands typically offer free shipping, easy returns and personalised recommendations, which are highly valued by consumers. In contrast, traditional retailers may struggle to compete on these factors due to their reliance on intermediaries and legacy systems.

The Rise of DTC Brands in Singapore and their Impact on Traditional Retailers

The Rise of DTC Brands in Singapore and their Impact on Traditional Retailers | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

In recent years, there has been a surge in direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands in Singapore. DTC brands are companies that sell products directly to consumers without intermediaries, such as wholesalers or retailers. By cutting out the middleman, DTC brands are able to offer high-quality products at lower prices while maintaining control over the customer experience.

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In Singapore, the rise of DTC brands is challenging traditional retailers who have long dominated the retail landscape. These traditional retailers often rely on their physical stores and established supply chains to attract and retain customers.

However, DTC brands are disrupting the retail industry by leveraging technology, social media, and e-commerce platforms to reach and engage with consumers in new ways.

Let’s take a closer look at some successful DTC brands in Singapore and their impact on the retail industry.

Love, Bonito

Love, Bonito is a Singapore-based fashion brand that started as an online retailer in 2010. The brand has since expanded to brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Love, Bonito’s success lies in its focus on customer experience and personalisation.

Love, Bonito uses data analytics and customer feedback to develop products that meet the needs and preferences of its customers. The brand also offers a range of services, such as personal styling and alterations, to ensure a seamless and personalised shopping experience.

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The success of Love, Bonito has not gone unnoticed by traditional retailers. In response, some retailers have started to adopt a more customer-centric approach, such as offering personalised styling services and creating immersive in-store experiences.

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Skin Inc

Skin Inc is a Singapore-based skincare brand that offers customised skincare solutions. The brand uses a quiz to determine customers’ skin concerns and then creates a personalised skincare regime based on the results. Skin Inc also offers a range of innovative skincare products, such as its signature serums, that have gained a cult following among beauty enthusiasts.

Skin Inc’s success lies in its ability to offer personalised solutions that meet the unique needs of each customer. The brand has also leveraged social media and influencer marketing to build a loyal customer base.

The success of Skin Inc has highlighted the importance of personalisation in the skincare industry. Traditional retailers have responded by offering customised skincare services and incorporating technology, such as augmented reality, to help customers find the right products for their skin type.

Grain

Grain is a Singapore-based food delivery service that offers healthy and sustainable meals. The brand uses locally-sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging to deliver meals that are both nutritious and environmentally-friendly. Grain also offers a subscription service that allows customers to enjoy regular deliveries of their favourite meals.

Grain’s success lies in its ability to tap into the growing demand for healthy and sustainable food options. The brand has also leveraged technology to make it easy for customers to order and track their meals.

The success of Grain has put pressure on traditional retailers to offer more healthy and sustainable food options. Some retailers have responded by partnering with local farms and offering organic produce.

Tropika Club

Tropika Club is a Singapore-based platform that offers a range of beauty and wellness services, such as massages and facials. The platform uses a rating system and customer reviews to help users find the best services in their area. Tropika Club also offers promotions and discounts to encourage customers to try new services.

Tropika Club’s success lies in its ability to make it easy for customers to discover and book beauty and wellness services. The platform has also leveraged social media and influencer marketing to build a loyal customer base.

The success of Tropika Club has highlighted the growing demand for convenient and personalised beauty and wellness services. Traditional retailers have responded by offering more services, such as hair styling and makeup application, to attract and retain customers.

The Impact of DTC Brands on Traditional Retailers

The rise of DTC brands in Singapore has had a significant impact on traditional retailers. Here are some ways in which DTC brands are changing the retail landscape:

Customer Experience

DTC brands are known for their focus on customer experience and personalisation. This has put pressure on traditional retailers to adopt a more customer-centric approach. Retailers are now offering personalised services, such as personal styling and alterations, to attract and retain customers.

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Technology

DTC brands have leveraged technology to make it easy for customers to discover and purchase their products. E-commerce platforms, social media, and influencer marketing have become essential tools for DTC brands. Traditional retailers are now investing in technology, such as augmented reality and chatbots, to enhance the customer experience.

Sustainability

DTC brands have responded to the growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products by offering locally-sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. This has put pressure on traditional retailers to offer more sustainable products and services.

Price

DTC brands are able to offer high-quality products at lower prices by cutting out the middleman. This has made it difficult for traditional retailers to compete on price. Some retailers have responded by offering promotions and discounts to attract customers.

Conclusion

The rise of DTC brands in Singapore is challenging traditional retailers and changing the retail landscape. DTC brands are leveraging technology, social media, and e-commerce platforms to reach and engage with consumers in new ways.

Traditional retailers are responding by adopting a more customer-centric approach, investing in technology, offering more sustainable products and services, and offering promotions and discounts to attract customers.

The success of DTC brands in Singapore highlights the importance of customer experience, personalisation, technology, sustainability, and price.

As the retail industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how traditional retailers respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by DTC brands.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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