At Stitch Method we meet with a lot of clients that want to sell their products directly to their customers. While we believe there is no ‘one right way’ to launch and sell a product line, there are some exciting perks to the direct to consumer (DTC) sales channel.
You get to set your own delivery dates!
Working with an ecommerce store allows you to release new products on the schedule that works best for your brand. You are not held to the traditional retail calendar with the major seasons being Spring and Fall. You can release a new product once a month if you choose! Keeping new product on your website and giving your customer a reason to return frequently to shop can be a reason to go DTC in itself.
Margins and Markup Flexibility
When selling DTC you have the ability to set your own margins and markups. You do not have to consider the markup that a retailer needs to add onto your wholesale price to make a profit. You can price your products based on what makes sense for your brand’s growth and your target market.
Total Control of your Brand
You are in the driver’s seat! You have total control of how your brand is presented and displayed to your customers. The right brand message is crucial at every point in the customer’s purchasing journey. The DTC approach allows you to craft everything for your customer from the initial visit to your website, through the shopping cart experience to the packaging of the final shipped product. You can ensure every interaction your customer has is ‘on brand’.
So this all sounds pretty great, right!?
But it takes a lot of behind the scenes (or ‘seams’ as we like to say) :) work to get in front of your target audience online. If you are planning to sell online only you will need to develop a targeted marketing strategy. If you are a digital marketing newcomer start thinking about the below:
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Are you a social media pro? Or has it been so long since you signed on to Instagram that you forgot your password? Assessing your strengths and weaknesses will provide you with a starting point. You will know the areas where you need to look for help and can plan to hire experts to fill in the gaps.
Hiring the resources that you need to hire is just one of the many things to factor into your marketing budget. Depending on your strategy you may need to allocate funds to producing products to send to influencers, to hire a PR firm to help with your outreach or to purchase ads. Once you have a strategy outlined, put numbers on paper!
Selling online only can be tricky for customers in terms of fit. As a new brand your audience will not have a baseline for how your products fit. Thinking about how you are going to handle returns from the beginning will all wrap into that purchase journey we mentioned. Do you offer free returns? Do you build out a precise guide to fit? Think about what will work best for your brand and customers!
Again we believe there is not a single way to be successful. DTC only, wholesale only or a combination of both can all work really well! If you feel DTC is the way for you we can help put you in the right hands for expert marketing and sales guidance!