Before the pandemic, Direct to Consumer (DTC) e-commerce brands were the digitally savvy retail category. Today, traditional retailers and brands are scampering to follow DTC’s best practices to stay competitive in e-commerce.

Here are key insights and trends to learn from and watch out for in the DTC space this 2022:

1. More retailers will shift to DTC

To stay competitive, larger retailers will choose to emulate DTC sellers. As people are still hesitant to shop in physical stores, retailers will follow DTC brands’ lead and approach tech-savvy consumers online.

2. DTC brands will add product categories

While the pandemic slowed the growth of many brands, it also increased the demand for athleisure and self-care products from consumers who are working from home. Digital-native companies are likely to continue expanding into other product categories.

3. Online shoppers will keep buying DTC brands

An efficient e-commerce platform gave DTC brands an advantage early in the pandemic. Two years later, consumers continue to spend more time on their devices as reports show U.S. e-commerce sales in Q3 2021 were up 45.6% compared to Q3 2019.

4. More DTC brands will go headless

The next generation of consumer-facing websites that are separate from the e-commerce platform is developing enhanced features. DTC brands can now serve content to the storefront from servers distributed worldwide in one click. These experiences will allow technology vendors to meet DTC brands at affordable prices and deploy rapidly.

5. Returns policies will be fine-tuned.

Forrester reports that consumers in France, the U.K., and the U.S. prefer online retailers that offer free return shipping or that refund the original payment. As a result, retailers and brands will review and improve their return policies and improve product presentations to avoid returns.

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