D2C is commonly known as Direct to Customer. It cuts out the middlemen and lets you directly talk to consumers. This eventually reduces the costs and brings down the prices.  

Let’s talk about one such D2C brand, Flatheads. It is a brand of casual sneakers for the Indian urban lifestyle & climate, that was launched in November 2019. Read on to learn more about building your D2C brand’s customer experience end-to-end from Ganesh Balakrishnan, Co-founder, and CBO, Flatheads

Here’s what we’ll find out about building a D2C brand’s customer experience end to end. 

1.What Differentiates D2C Brands from the Rest?
2.Must-Do Things for Every D2C Brand!
3.Building Your D2C Brand’s Customer Experience
4.What is the Future of D2C Brands in India?

What Differentiates D2C Brands from the Rest?

A brand that has a physical store, requires enough inventory. There needs to be decent shelf space and this puts the load on working capital. Being online enables brands like you to be very nimble, helps them understand what a customer wants & co-create with customers.

Setting up an online store allows you to take preorders. You do not need a big catalog. This enables you to create from scratch without putting a load on inventories and storefronts. You can talk to customers, get feedback very quickly to iterate to build a better product that the customer wants.

Must-Do Things D2C Brand Must Know!

Let’s discuss a few points every D2C brand must know for building a delightful customer experience. 

Solve a problem

The product you create must solve a problem. If your product solves a problem, the chances of a customer buying that product increase.

Build a USP (Unique Selling Point)

There might be a latent need in the market for you to understand. You can know more about it by talking to customers, observing what they do, and creating a better proposition. You need to have a USP, solve a problem, and need to talk about it as a differentiator.

Go beyond choice and convenience

Removing the friction of going to a shop and convenience is what every brand does. Doing something that differentiates you from them is important.

Tell the story to the right audience

Identify your segment or audience. Define your customer and craft your identity. You need to tell customers, what you will do & what you won’t as multiple brands can exist in the same category. As the proposition and customer segment is different, the communication is different.

Building Your D2C Brand’s Customer Experience

Here are a few touchpoints that’ll help you build a great customer experience. 

Build awareness

You must have a story that connects functionally and emotionally with the audience. This helps you build your brand’s awareness.

Make a promise

The promise you make is very critical. It should be powerful enough for somebody to come & notice you. You need to have a compelling proposition.

Build trust

Build trust by bringing in people who talk about your product, getting their reviews, and testimonials.

Keep value proposition consistent

Your website has to say the same thing you made a promise for. The messaging and language need to be consistent. It should talk about customers’ needs getting fulfilled.

Chain of post purchase engagement

You need to solve for customers’ building anxiety as your product hasn’t reached them yet. Communication post-purchase is important for affirming the brand’s promise. Here are a few things you can try to solve for that anxiety:

  • Send out messages on emails telling your customer.
  • Break friction at every point
  • Keep engaging with your customers
  • Educate customers on why they made the right choice with educational drips

Return and Refund

Try to quench the anxiety if the customer doesn’t like your product and understands their problem.

Customer support

It is an important part of the customer experience. This defines the DNA of the brand. It has to be a 360-degree experience.

You need to understand the context, the persona of the customers, and what resonates with them. Your brand will stay in your customer’s minds if you understand and cater to their needs.

The value that you are giving to the customers is always measured in terms of money. It cannot be just a feature. Differentiate your brand from the rest of the players in the market. If you are able to build that, you crack the most difficult part.

What is the Future of D2C Brands in India?

Here is what Ganesh had to say on the future of D2C brands in India,

  • This is the most exciting time to create a customer brand in India. This decade of 2020 to 2030 is going to define the landscape of what India brands will stand for.
  • People want a lot more functional aspects and they want an emotional story to connect. They need something that caters to their uniqueness.
  • There will be sharper communication and segmentation of customers based on their needs.
  • Exiting time for D2C brands as curve for e-commerce has changed and this has accelerated presence for D2C brands.
  • It is time to build an interesting brand and great ride for customers in terms of product they’ll get.

Check out this video to know more about building a D2C brand customer experience end-to-end.

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