10 D2C Marketing Strategies to Dazzle Customers Right Where They Are

By Emily Rose Patz


Rather than letting the rapid influx of new ways to engage your customer base overwhelm you, start adopting a few new D2C marketing strategies that will best resonate with your customers.

As technology makes it easier for today’s consumers to discover new products, the prospects you’re seeking to attract are more distracted than ever before. The key to capturing their attention? Meet them where they are with standout content and enticing offers that compel them to engage with your D2C brand. 

Where are D2C Customers Spending Their Time These Days?

Before the pandemic, many consumers preferred the brick-and-mortar experience, considering the ability to physically see and interact with merchandise a must before purchasing. But when lockdowns took away our ability to try-on garments and test products in store, many customers realized that D2C companies offer just as much value and more convenience and personalization than traditional retailers. In fact, a recent survey shows that one in five US consumers plan to make at least 40 percent of their purchases from D2C brands moving forward. 
With the hurdle of “I need to see it” cast aside, D2C brands seeking to master the art of digital engagement move on to their next challenge: catching the eyes of coveted online consumers. While this may seem like a monumental feat with the entrance of new players to the D2C space each day, brands have seen great success in simply living where their customers do and showing up in a way that mirrors their interests, needs, and aspirations. 
Not sure where to start? Consider these essential spaces in the D2C customer journey, along with strategies to help you make those vital connections.

On Social Media

From in-feed ads to creator-driven content to live shopping experiences, social commerce is skyrocketing. Every D2C brand needs an active social presence to grow. At the very minimum, consider these light lifts:

Add a shoppable element to your product-related posts.

Familiarize your marketing team with the many ways you can transform a stylized, editorial photo into an undercover ad on each social media platform. For example, Instagram provides D2C brands with Shopping Tags that appear the moment someone scrolls past a photo, instantly letting your followers know that they can purchase the items or looks they’re admiring. 

Leverage the power of user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content serves as the most compelling review and far-reaching referral your brand could ever find. When considering a purchase, 95 percent of consumers flock to reviews because they trust their peers more than the brand benefiting from their patronage. User-generated content is like a review, but it’s more engaging than text. UGC can lend to your reviews via:
TikTok videos: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt rolls off the tongue for a reason. This ever-trending hashtag refers to the millions of TikTok-ers who’ve made a purchase based on a review featured in another user’s feed. 

Instagram posts: Shoppers love sharing their latest buys on Instagram so much that some create dedicated feeds to post and discuss reviews with followers. For example, lovers of cult-favorite cost-savvy grocery store Aldi can discover and dish on the latest favorites to land on their shelves on the fan-run @aldifavoritefinds account that’s 265,000 followers strong.

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The key to leveraging this free and effective fan content? Mind your social media activity by keeping tabs on your D2C brand’s tags and ask followers to tag you in their unboxing reveals, at-home reviews, and photos featuring your products. You can also recruit the folks who know your brand most to post their reviews on social media by turning employees into influencers. For more ideas, check out these must-try social commerce strategies.

In the Checkout Flow

Although waiting in the long, snaking line at HomeGoods can feel like purgatory on earth, the company artfully surrounds soon-to-be buyers with a hallway of extras and might-as-well priced additions. Does this sound familiar? You walk in for a discounted hairdryer and leave with that plus a mango turmeric-scented jar candle, a pair of fuzzy striped socks, a mini tweezer set you’ll lose within a week, and some cactus-print dish towels, because why not? A $24 purchase jumps to a $52 buy in minutes. The good news is that you can replicate this same experience in your website’s checkout flow.

Create upsell opportunities.

Shopify features apps that allow you to promote pre-purchase upsells by triggering a product popup when a customer selects Add to Cart on an item or moves to the site checkout page. The pre-purchase upsell performs so well because it allows a customer to pop another item into their cart before they go through the steps of placing an order. So instead of hoping a customer will “pick it up next time,” consider adding a pre-purchase upsell app to your checkout flow. For best results, follow the lead of HomeGoods and price these last-minute suggestions at a steal. 

In the Metaverse

As the metaverse becomes too big to ignore, your customers will expect your brand to have a presence in the digital world beyond your website and social media feeds. While you may not snap your fingers and reap Nike’s success Nike’s Nikeland metaverse store attracts millions of virtual visitors you can take steps to make your first metaverse impression an impactful one. 

Sponsor a metaverse event.

Instead of going all out on a metaverse store, familiarize yourself first by sponsoring an event run by a company that’s already thriving there. From concerts to Fashion Week to sporting events, lots of buzzy happenings we used to consider in-person events are now taking place in the metaverse

Create branded NFTs.

Brands are hopping on the NFT bandwagon, and it’s no surprise. The ability to develop digital goods that won’t get snagged in the supply chain crisis opens up a whole new way to expand and engage your reach. Just like D2C companies generate buzz with limited drops, brands are releasing limited NFTs of their goods. Look to GAP’s recent collaboration with Dapper Dan for inspiration.

Keep tabs on how your D2C peers navigate the metaverse.

As the metaverse grows in popularity, brands will continuously find new ways to show up and succeed there. Follow D2C brands and their metaverse musings closely and consider the types of initiatives your brand should replicate. 

On Your Website

Your website is the heart of your business as a D2C company. Once you can attract shoppers through engaging content, it’s time to pull out all the stops to make their online shopping experience a fun and supportive one. Here are a few ways to do just that. 

Earn organic traffic through SEO-optimized blog content.

Designing your content through the lens of SEO means that the time and effort you spend creating useful articles is well spent. SEO best practices help your content rank on popular search engines, meaning that when your customers are researching an item or solution to a problem, your content will pop up with a link that brings them directly to your website. Not only does this practice bring your customers to exactly where you want them to be, it also presents your brand as a trusted expert on topics your target customer cares about. 

Add “You May Also Like” recommendations to product pages.

Bolster average order size before customers make it to the checkout page. Pair spotlighted items on your product page with related add-ons that shoppers can add to their cart with a click. 

Invite window shoppers to create wishlists.

Wishlists can work wonders for your remarketing strategy by encouraging shoppers to “Love” items that catch their eye so they can revisit the listings later on if they don’t buy at first browse. Once they populate their wishlist, you can create a remarketing campaign that lets them know when their most-loved items are:
  • Running low in stock: Hurry! Just 3 left. 
  • Included in a limited-time sale: An item on your wishlist is 30% off for the next 12 hours
  • On clearance: An item on your wishlist is now on clearance. Buy it before it’s gone!
  • Eligible for free shipping: Get free shipping on your wishlist items until tomorrow!

Lean on AI-fueled chatbots to answer shoppers’ questions on the spot.

When your business lives online, “closing time” doesn’t exist. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on 24/7 customer service reps to be available for your customers. Impressively intelligent chatbots can create personalized interactions any time a customer wants to engage. And you don’t have to stop at answering questions. Some chatbot platforms provide retailers the opportunity to conduct quizzes and recommend content. Sephora’s chatbot quizzes shoppers to recommend products that best suit their needs. 

Start Small, Measure & Expand

As new platforms take shape, social media trends come and go, and brands become savvier with leveraging data to deliver peak personalization, the customer experience will continue to evolve. But rather than letting the rapid influx of new ways to engage your customer base overwhelm you, start adopting a few new strategies that will best resonate with your customers. 
Like anything else, it’s always best to go in on less and do it well than spread your team thin and miss the mark on multiple initiatives. When you start with your customers’ happiness as your North Star, good decisions will come naturally. Because believe us, they’ll let you know when your efforts are a hit by their purchases and engagement. 

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