The 3Cs Of D2C: Content, Community, Commerce

In these VUCA times, Bharat is embracing digital-first direct-to-consumer brands gracefully. As the number of brands is joining the race, the dynamics would evolve and new solutions have to come up. Leading D2C founders ponder on the metrics of scaling the brand, current trends of the segment and what investors want

The 3Cs Of D2C: Content, Community, Commerce
The 3Cs Of D2C: Content, Community, Commerce

Given the constantly evolving nature of today’s consumers, the brands are required to be attentive in order to match the pace. India is home to over 800 D2C brands and has been witnessing a huge surge in the number of startups entering the segment. 

Absolutely different from operating via marketplaces, D2C is essentially direct to consumers keeping the brand’s website as the primary source. One of the most critical factors is prioritising customer experience and all the more in digital-driven times. 

In the fight for multiple niches, the brands are needed to maintain holistic quality development by adopting an omnichannel approach. Yogesh Kabra, Founder, XXYX Apparels building on the same says, “There is no best option available than D2C for early product market fit. Once the initial phase has passed, it is imperative to switch to ecommerce because commerce through the direct website is expensive for the long run and larger market size.” 

“What D2C legacy companies have established in 15 years, new gen players are trying to achieve in 5 years. For startups, the brand’s fundamentals, a clear objective and unit economics are required to be in the right place for positive growth,” states Abhishek Ramanathan, COO, Nua.

Celebrities On-Board

The latest healthy trend that has come up is Bollywood actors turning investors and jumping into the startup world to back new-gen disruptive brands. Some of the examples are Deepika Padukone - Nua, Hrithik Roshan- HRX, Anushka Sharma- Digit, Akshay Kumar – GOQii, Shraddha Kapoor-The Good Glamm Group and many more. Celebrities or well-known faces associate with brands and become the invisible transporter of trust for the brands. 

Pallavi Burman, CMO, HRX said, “In India, the culture is still all about ABC i.e. Astrology, Bollywood and Cricket. Roping in celebrity gets the faster traction and eventually the conversion but the focus should be to infuse and use the celebrity in one’s best capability instead of just the face value.”

Investors’ Bet

In an extremely competitive environment where profitability becomes the key factor, what are investors precisely looking for? Yash Jain, Founder and CEO, NimbusPost while moderating the conversation throws this question open to the forum. “Vinodh Ramakannan, Founder and CEO, Spinta Digital said, “Investors highly rely on the quality of the founder, growth potential, market size and the capability to maintain topline and bottom line while scaling. It is important for founders to listen and understand what investor wants.”

Kabir Siddiq, Founder and CEO, SleepyCat laments that the brands often work into a ‘push factor’ whereas it is efficient to have a ‘pull factor’. Unlike the retail giant competitors, D2C brands operate with their supply chain and partners. To establish an unforgettable customer experience and maintain recurring footfall on the brand’s website, distribution becomes an immensely important area to pay attention to.

This insightful conversation was taking place at exchange4media D2C Revolution Summit and Awards 2022. 

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