As D2C brands serve a wide range of customers, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work in the long run
Pickrr’s Rhitiman Majumder believes that brands should invest in low-cost marketing to acquire customers and offer fast checkouts and quick deliveries to improve CX
He said that in 2023, brands should strengthen their offline presence to keep growing
Online shopping has ushered in a retail revolution that rules the experience economy. But in spite of the huge differences between online and offline formats, ecommerce brands face similar issues as their brick-and-mortar counterparts when they engage with their customers digitally.
One will find all customer stereotypes in the online funnel, just like their presence in traditional stores. There are the curious lookers/window shoppers, the impulse buyers, the relentless deal hunters, and the picky, loyal or dissatisfied customers, to name a few.
Clearly, a one-size-fits-all selling strategy cannot cater to such a diverse range. For instance, a newcomer or a chance visitor may require more convincing or handholding, while a regular customer expects top deals and value-added services. Failing to satisfy different types of customers will hurt the business’s bottom line and may result in losing the most loyal ones.
Building the digital customer experience (DCX) can be more challenging, though, as more than half consumers tend to leave a brand after a single bad experience.
According to the US-based experience management firm Qualtrics, 73% of customers say CX is an important factor in their purchasing decisions, while 86% are willing to pay more for better CX. In other words, e-shoppers are not easily impressed (in the absence of the touch-and-feel factor provided by physical retail), and digital-first brands must put their best foot forward to win and retain them.
Creating a winning CX strategy for the digital-age consumers requires a deep understanding of their mindset, habits, requirements and the shopping trends that grab their attention.
According to Rhitiman Majumder, cofounder of the Gurugram-based 3PL startup Pickrr, direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands must offer smooth and fast checkouts to reduce purchase friction.
“Various new technologies let you provide one-tap sign-ins [for customers]. One can enter the mobile number, and the delivery address linked to it will pop up, ensuring that the whole [purchase] friction is gone,” he said.
For context, purchase friction occurs when a customer’s buying journey is hindered due to several reasons such as a lengthy checkout process, hidden charges, absence of a preferred payment mode or a blocked delivery zone. This discourages the customer from proceeding with the transaction and leads to cart abandonment.
Watch Pickrr’s cofounder Rhitiman Majumder reveal how D2C brands can reinvent the CX strategy to win digital-age consumers during an interaction with Inc42’s Trisha Nayyar.
With the customer acquisition cost going north, an effective retention strategy is considered a viable growth strategy for businesses. The more repeat customers buy from a brand, the less it has to spend on marketing. In this way, a D2C brand can ensure less cash burn and optimise its resources for innovation and value-addition. The only glitch: Consumers are now spoilt for choice and quickly switch to a competing brand if they feel undervalued.
To counter this, early-stage brands should first invest in customer acquisition at a low CAC, said Majumder. He asked brands to maximise their visibility where most of their target customers are, as this helps enhance brand recall without overspending.
“For example, you can create an interesting Instagram page, and [based on the growing engagement], can sell your products on different platforms like Amazon, Swiggy, Instamart or Zepto,” he added.
However, when a brand starts growing and its orders start increasing, the marketing cost also goes up. This is when it needs to optimise marketing spends.
Speaking about marketing automation as a cost-effective solution, Majumder said, “Wigzo [a martech platform that works closely with ecommerce brands] helps D2C brands identify the best channels [like Instagram] to target customers and get them on board at a very low CAC.”
Asked how Pickrr helped its D2C clients, Majumder said that the 3PL startup enabled more than 2K portfolio brands to improve customer satisfaction via delivery experience. Citing the example of the D2C beauty brand MyGlamm, he said that the brand used to offer a three-four day delivery window but felt that the approach might need to be revised in the age of quick commerce as customers would demand faster shipping. So, Pickrr helped the brand squeeze the delivery time.
“We soon figured out what MyGlamm needed. It was not quick commerce but a modified version of quick commerce (same-day delivery). So, we have ensured that its customers get their products before dinner if they order before breakfast,” said Majumder.
Regarding the D2C trends of 2023, Majumder said that brands should strengthen their offline presence. SUGAR Cosmetics and Lenskart did it well, and new-age brands should adopt a similar omnichannel strategy to reach customers at every touchpoint — from online platforms to offline stores, he concluded.