The case for selling direct-to-consumer (DTC) is compelling. To state the obvious: DTC brands have more control over the customer’s experience than brands that sell through traditional retail channels. That’s because first-party data is at their disposal to connect with prospects and customers on a one-to-one basis. In fact, two thirds of consumers expect direct brand connectivity. So the pressure is on to build brand loyalty and serve up personalized experiences.
According to a report by IAB, Nike says its DTC sales will grow by almost 2.5 times in the next five years, from $6.6 billion in fiscal 2015 to $16 billion by fiscal 2020. Competition is fierce between companies that start off as DTC brands and traditional retail brands moving into DTC. And both have the advantage of first-party customer data.
However, as a DTC brand marketer, your first-party data is an untapped goldmine if you don’t have the ability to activate it when and where you need to. That’s why DTC brands are adopting customer data platforms (CDPs), like BlueConic, which can help you liberate your first-party data for marketing.
Here are a few ways DTC brands are benefiting from a CDP today:
1. Building a Single View of the Customer From Online and Offline Data
It starts with unifying all your data to build a single view of the customer for marketing. Ownership over your own customer data is what sets you apart from brands that sell through traditional retail channels. But all of this data is likely scattered across different systems like an e-commerce platform, email marketing platform, and CRM, to name a few. So you lack the ability to segment and activate this data based on a single source of customer data truth.
But are these systems talking to one another to help you segment and activate this data?
BlueConic can help you get you a single view of your customer by unifying data at the individual level across systems. For instance, website browsing data and customer purchase history can live in one place. RAEN Optics uses dynamic shipping messages based on location, time of day, and products the shopper has shown interest in to create a sense of urgency and complete the purchase.
2. Providing Dynamic And Relevant Product and Content Recommendations.
As a DTC brand, every customer interaction is an opportunity to learn something new and deliver something relevant (and perhaps, cross-sell and upsell). The key it to deliver these 1:1 experiences in real time, which requires machine learning.
BlueConic’s Recommendations Engine algorithmically determines which product to recommend based on each individual’s behaviors, interests, and preferences. For example, if she recently bought a pair of pants, serve up recommendations for complementary products (a shirt that matches her preferred style) or content they care about (10 fall styles). Relevant product and content recommendations will increase engagement and conversions.
3. Retargeting Customer Across Channels and Devices.
Last year, 34.5% of sales happened on mobile devices and by 2020, that’s projected to be 53.9%. According to Nielsen, American consumers spend almost 11 hours a day consuming media across platforms and own an average of four devices.
For DTC brands, that means customers shop on various channels and devices. They might browse on mobile to learn about the product, then switch to their laptop to buy. You’ll waste ad spend if you continue to target them on a mobile device with an ad for a product they’ve already bought.
BlueConic can help you reduce waste and improve ad spend efficiency by recognizing the same individual across channels and devices.
Consider this scenario:
You have planned a Facebook campaign to promote shoes available for purchase on your website, but you have a limited ad budget, so you don’t want to waste impressions on targeting individuals that are unlikely to purchase.
With our platform, you can define a segment based on a combination of interest and behavioral attributes that will enable you to be highly targeted and efficient with your ad spend:
Interest in shoes: any shoe, an affinity for a specific brand of shoe (New Balance), or a type of shoe (sneakers), etc.
Behaviors: recent activity within the last 7 days, a specific number of shoes product pages viewed, a click on a promotional email about shoes, a search for shoes, or all the above.
Once the segment has been created, you can immediately activate it by passing the segment to Facebook via a certified connection to create a new Custom Audience for this campaign.
4. Bolster Lookalike Targeting by Understanding the Best Customers
With BlueConic, you can build separate segments of “high-value item purchasers” or “frequent purchasers,” for instance. Both types of customer spend with you, but in different ways. Understanding their differences can help you better find new customers who look and act like them. Using a BlueConic Connection, you can also feed that segment data into a DMP to conduct lookalike targeting and reach new audiences who might have similar interests, or purchase patterns but haven’t previously bought your product.