There are a lot of challenges associated with the current business environment, and most have been exacerbated by the fact there are so many unknowns. The inability to see a clear path forward exacerbates our anxiety around everything from when we're going to be able to return to the office, to staying healthy and safe. Not being able to meet and socialize with family and friends hasn't helped either.
If you’re anything like me, the emotional connections you get from an informal lunch date, an accidental run-in at the supermarket, or memories created at a birthday party or business conference are something you miss the most. Social connections reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Aristotle had it right — we humans are social animals.
And as social animals, the interactions we have with brands are critical.
For a while now, brands have interacted at a distance, using highly produced content disseminated via mass media. As their communication took a complex and indirect route to market, so did their products, moving through intermediaries, such as online channels and physical stores, before reaching their customers. Many risks lay between brands and their customers. Some could be planned for, managed, and minimized. But others were unpredictable — the pandemic we’re currently in being a prime example.
The best defense against the unknown is the ability to be agile, adaptive, and resilient.
Why D2C is essential now — and always
For many brands, having a direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy increases their resiliency in their route to market. It’s a simple concept. Any fire-safety professional will always suggest knowing at least two routes out of a building. Likewise, for logistics planners — always have multiple routes between two destinations. This holds for getting your products to your customers. The experience you offer your customers is determined by the performance of your route. If you only have one route to your customers, then any disruption to that route will be painful, if not a deal-breaker.
On the other hand, if you have multiple routes to your customers, a breakdown of one or more will cause disturbances, but not major disruptions. As long as one route is still open, you can reach your customers.
This is why brands that use both direct and indirect channels are more resilient than brands that don’t. Our current situation reveals that a D2C strategy makes sense for everyone at all times — because no one knows with certainty what lies ahead.
With a D2C channel, brands can also build direct relationships with their customers. Through regular and ongoing engagement, brands have opportunities to get to know their customers — to learn what they like, what they don’t, what they aspire to, and more. They can even get input about future products. With each interaction, brands can strengthen their connection with their customers.
Over time, this all translates into trust and loyalty. And the best part? Brands have complete control over all of it.
Our plan to help
Sitecore and a selected number of our trusted partners launched the Sitecore Experience Commerce Quick Start program.
The main objective is to help brands jump start their D2C strategy.
Using their proven methods, our partners can quickly stand up an experience-driven digital storefront in as little as eight weeks. Brands can quickly engage with and sell directly to their customers, giving them a new route to reach customers directly.
I invite you learn more about the program and reach out to us with any questions you have. We’re here to help.
Sitecore’s purpose is to create human connections in a digital world. This program is one way we’re delivering on our promise. During these challenging times, everyone is trying to drive their businesses as best they can. Digital will never completely replace the personal connection offered by a physical location, but it does enable us to maintain relationships through these times of disruption and distress.
Hansen Lieu is the Product Marketing Director for Commerce at Sitecore. With over 10 years of experience helping organizations gain competitive advantage with digital commerce and CRM technologies, Hansen is responsible for positioning, messaging, thought leadership, and go-to-market strategy. Follow him on LinkedIn or on Twitter.