6 key trends of DTC brands in 2021

DTC brands can enjoy total control of their customer journey. However, not all take full advantage of this. Post-purchase, customer contact is often handed over to third parties. Famously, the DTC model is an expensive channel for winning customers. As this space becomes more crowded, more brands are turning their attention towards nurturing loyal brand ambassadors.  

So, to understand the standard of Operations Experience in DTC e-commerce, our research team deep-dived the industry. By placing orders with 50 top brands, we collected data during shipping, delivery and returns. 

What does Operations Experience mean for DTC brands?  

For all retailers, there are countless operational processes throughout each customer journey. They happen in warehouses, during fulfilment, on delivery trucks, during repairs and returns, under warranty and more. During this time, for most DTC brands, customer experience is rarely well managed. Why? Because DTC brands are overwhelmed by data. To deliver personalized emails, data must be gathered, analyzed, cleaned and harmonized. This is a huge challenge. Here’s what we found when we researched the Operations Experience of 50 top US brands in 2021:  

Key trends in DTC e-commerce 

  

  • 92% of brands offer just 1 delivery option – home delivery   
  • 50% of brands have a minimum order value for free shipping   
  • 78% of brands send customers to a third-party order tracking page   
  • Only 6% of brands include generic or personalized content in their shipping   
    confirmation 
  • 74% of brands did not send a delivery confirmation   
  • 94% of brands did not send a review request 

 

What does this mean for DTC retailers?  

 
Firstly, for DTC brands, Operations Experience represents a huge opportunity. For example, data is fundamental to success in Operations Experience. Likewise, having more access to direct customer data is a well-known advantage of the DTC model. The more quality data available, the more opportunities you have to deliver an Operations Experience of your own design. So, this makes Operations Experience and DTC businesses a great match. 

Additionally, DTCs often pride themselves on their ability to personalize every interaction with their customers. This is a great capability of Operations Experience – turning mundane, fact-based operations updates into personalized, valuable messages that help tell a story. With engaging new touch points, DTC brands can deliver more opportunities to make a lasting impact on their customers. 
 

How D2C brands can enhance Operations Experience 

At parcelLab, we bring people and brands closer together by closing the experience gap post-sales and beyond. We create opportunities to outperform for 500+ brands worldwide, including IKEA, Bose, Puma, Farfetch and Nespresso. Now, we want to challenge DTC retailers to look beyond post-purchase and consider their entire Operations Experience.  This means taking a critical look at all operational processes and offering the best experience possible.  

Read the full report

We pinpoint the standard of post-purchase experience delivered by top DTC brands including Warby Parker, Everlane and Dollar Shave Club. We uncover a winning formula for standing out in your market with Operations Experience Management.

About the Author: Laura
Laura is our Content Manager. She's here to create clear, forward-thinking content that adds value to brands. When she's not working, you can usually find Laura reading books, watching plays or tending to plants.