Is Direct to Consumer model the new Fashion reality?

Traditional retail becomes crowded, and brands have the fear of losing their name. And with the boost of technology and media, the expectations of the market continue to grow.

Shoppers’ taste is also changing. There’s a need to something much deeper than what the market has to offer. Consumers expect their favorite brand to offer, not only quality, but also an exceptional experience.

Direct-to-Consumer retail regains the sales that have been lost caused by this “overcrowding” and is being considered as a competitive asset that attracts and keeps shoppers. Meaning, brands control the shopper’s entire journey from beginning to end and gain a stronger relationship with their customers. They are introduced to more information and buying chances than ever before, and with the use of technology as an experience enhancer, the luxury customer’s journey can turn vision into reality.

This customer experience is the battlefield of ELSE Corp. Their constant development of revolutionary tools, enable brands to sell their products in a totally innovative way.

The new technology around DTC allows brands and their retailers to track information and provide the customer of personalized, one-on-one shopping experience that fits their wishes on all levels. It’s the ultimate way to become the brand that the consumer knows and trust, which will bring them back multiple times.

Nike constantly reaches one of the most recognized brands all over the world. Direct to Consumer is the reason for it. That has a positive influence on other activewear brands, like Outdoor Voices and Under Armour. These brands have also achieved a healthy balance thanks to DTC. They focus on communicating with their customers, and put effort in both online and factory stores by operating with its own retail stores, e-commerce and online retailing platform.

Also Warby Parker played wild as an eyewear brand and aimed to use the round in part to expand its physical store footprint. Its direct to consumer tactics beat out the big players and until today, they are still succeeding. The only reason for it was to launch a vertically-integrated brand and sell the glasses they design and manufacture directly to customers, without all the middlemen and still offering the highest quality, with a low price.

With the positive outcomes of designers Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff, that sell their merchandise immediately after debuting it, small designers that changed to DTC have noticed the benefits too. Elizabeth Suzann, founder of Liz Pape, also cut out the middlemen and saved money that she could spend for the consumer. This gave the brand some more room for profit, because there was no need to account rent, staffing and other costs.

But what’s the attitude of these consumers nowadays?

This question needs to be solved before applying the DTC model. People with high budgets and a taste for big luxury brands are the ones who will appreciate the aspect of Direct to Consumer, which they associate with high prices, high quality, rarity and exclusiveness. The luxury customer searches for unique and customized clothing and goods.

These customers have a strong sense of style, and are mostly brand seekers to make a statement. Their taste for expensive clothes make price a non-concern and are willing to pay full prices. They seek status that is influenced by media and celebs.

Jessica Alba gives the right example. She and her team at The Honest Company always add value thanks to her entrepreneurial spirit. Alba’s cosmetic and skincare line operate with a Direct to Consumer model to be different and innovative from all the other brands and have that direct relationship with their consumers.

This DTC model delivers insights into consumer needs and buying behavior. Brands develop a clear understanding of the way consumers buy and how to improve the delivery of this one-on-one retailing experience. Which will create lifetime strategies.

When there’s demand to your product, like made to measure items, a group of potential customers begins to grow and they are the ones who will maximize your profits. And the more the general public desires your products, the more your brand will be recognized. There will be a story around it that will create a positive brand image. And employees love working in a company with good reputation. Direct conversations with customers, builds more understanding and will create stronger relationships. All this extra productivity is beneficial not only for the consumers, but also merchandising. All aspects that will result to higher profit.

Regarding the boost of these successful entrepreneurs, there is a value and legitimacy in working and selling direct to consumer. It’s important to give the customer the opportunity to engage wherever it is wanted, offline and online, like Kate Spade does. More brands are opening their own retail shops, but need to invest more in mobile and e-commerce. It improves sales and enriches the brand by engaging the customer. The consumers also enjoy the benefits of it. They will have better buying decisions and will be much more satisfied with the uniqueness of the product. So, this strategy is nothing but a win-win?

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written by Sabrina Karakut