It’s no secret that the way individuals shop has changed tremendously over the past decade — particularly with the Millennial generation. In fact, a UPS study of Millennials’ purchasing habits showed that only 11% reported they would go to a physical store to make their next purchase. But the booming eCommerce industry isn’t the only big change. Direct to Consumer brands are taking over the retail world and bringing customers necessities from contacts and glasses to makeup and engagement rings — all with the added benefit of a decreased supply chain.
But, what’s the big deal with DTC? And why is it so appealing to both the Millennial and Gen Z generations?
What defines a Direct to Consumer brand?
Mix the best of a mom and pop shop with a booming eCommerce company and Direct to Consumer was born. In layman’s terms, DTC is ‘cutting out the middleman’ and handing off product directly from production to the buyer. This often results in companies pricing their products at a lower price than traditional stores and allowing the company to own the entire transaction process from end-to-end.
Examples of D2C brands from various industries include:
- Warby Parker — glasses and sunglasses
- Glossier — makeup
- Clean Origin — lab-created diamond jewelry
- Away – luggage
- Casper – mattresses
- Allbirds – shoes
Why do people love DTC companies?
More than anything, consumers are loving the transparency and simplicity that comes along with many Direct to Consumer brands. Take Warby Parker, for example. Their marketing shows the consumers exactly where the glasses are made, how they’re made and the people that are making them, all leading up to the biggest selling point of all: the price. Could you say the same about the pair of glasses you got from your eye doctor? Probably not. And that’s the whole point. Being open and honest with the customers immediately puts trust behind the brand and leads the consumer to believe that the company cares about every single person that needs an affordable pair of glasses. It might be cliche, but trust is pivotal.
Another huge selling point for DTC brands is that many of them are tackling social or environmental challenges within their brand messaging. Billie razor, for example, was the first-ever razor company to actually feature hair on the bodies of the models in their advertising. To some, shaving is a particularly taboo topic and Billie challenged that concept head-on and has since gained a cult following because of it. Clean Origin, a DTC man-made diamond company, is bringing to light all of the negative impact that mined diamonds has on our earth and the people mining them. A topic once blinded by the sparkle of breathtaking stones, is now at the forefront of many engagement ring purchasing decisions and slowly starting to break down the diamond monopoly that is De Beers.
If things continue to go as they have been, it’s likely that more and more DTC brands will begin to pop up, not only online but in brick and mortar. Millennials and Gen Zers want transparency and they want change. So, brands are giving them exactly what they’re asking for and the results speak for themselves.