10 D2C Marketing Strategies to Dazzle Consumers Right Where They Are

By Jenn Choo


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 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 U.S. consumers plan to make at least 40 percent of their purchases from D2C brands moving forward.

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

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. 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 TikTokers 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.

The key to leveraging 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.

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. 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 a powerful 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 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.

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.

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 percent 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 and 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.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Jenn Choo is the marketing director at Theorem.