Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How DTC brands are thriving in the COVID-19 lockdown

The new breed of direct-to-consumer (DTC)  brands are benefiting from an accelerated trend towards internet shopping and online activity as a result of the social distancing measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

DTC brands including thoughtful gifting service Don’t Buy Her Flowers, snack company Graze and luxury linen brand Piglet all revealed soaring sales since the start of lockdown in our webinar, The 10 Pillars of Success for DTC Brands, hosted by NDA in partnership with Control v Exposed (CvE).

Graze, now owned by Unilever, revealed that although retail sales had dropped during the crisis it had had double the DTC customers it had anticipated in April. Don’t Buy Her Flowers’ volume was up 550% year on year and Piglet had recorded “exponential growth” since March as stuck-at-home consumers looked to upgrade comforts such as pyjamas and bed linens.

Paul Frampton, European President of CvE, said: “It is unsurprising that those in the DTC and ecommerce space are benefiting from new audiences who previously might have been less keen to use the web to get products and services delivered to home but are now leaning in to it.”

The webinar explored how DTC brands could maintain growth trajectories, onboard new customers into CRM systems and learn from the brand-building expertise of the multinational conglomerates. Panellists also discussed what the multinationals could learn from them, such as their more sophisticated use of data, authentic brand purpose and “human” customer service, less hierarchical structures, and more agile approach.

Siobhan North, UK Head of Customer Acquisition at Graze, said that though retail sales and Amazon were an important route to market for the company, it had grown its business in the DTC space for years first.

“By the time we launched into retail millions of people had tried us and seen our ads. We had the confidence  that our products would sell well and it was easy to give retailers the confidence to list and distribute our product from day one,” she added.

The webinar was based around the findings of a qualitative research report, The 10 Pillars of Success for DTC Brands, from NDA in partnership with CvE which looks at 10 ways ecommerce businesses can grow sustainably and strategically.

The report, which also includes contributions from brands including bespoke pet food company Tails.com and  Otty. The full report can be downloaded here.

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