By: Ima Linzag
As time and technology seems to shift and improve, our purchasing habits seem to follow suit with the change. You may have noticed the explosion of digital marketing and brands that will ship “straight to your door” and “cut out the middle man.” Though it may be overused advertising language that you have heard over and over again, the fact that it is becoming more and more common speaks to the fact that direct-to-consumer companies are taking over, or at least are having a significant impact in the way we buy.
Companies like Warby Parker, Blue Apron, and Dollar Shave Club are making themselves household names, or are at the very least, becoming highly recognizable brands to those of the public, as there is no lack in their ads on social media. The improvement of algorithms and near pinpoint targeting of advertising through Facebook and other platforms largely contribute to this shift. Through this, brands are able to reach their ideal customers, and consumers are connected to brands they are more likely to care about and are exposed to them often. Consumers are with the brand throughout the entirety of the sales cycle, and brands have an eye over the whole customer experience, giving them ownership of all of the revenue that would normally be split between distributors and retailers.
Some examples of the significance that direct-to consumer products are making in the marketplace can be seen in men’s razors in the United States. Gillette, which claimed 70% of the market share in 2010, fell down to 54% in 2016, largely due to competition like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. In the mattress market, Casper, Purple, and Leesa have doubled their share in the industry in this last year. Direct-to-consumer meal kits like Blue Apron are also expected to multiply tenfold in growth. With such undeniable effects, traditional big-box stores and retailers are left quaking in their boots.