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What DTC Companies Know About Delivering Great Customer Experiences

4 minute read
Ricky Joshi avatar
Digitally native and DTC companies know better than most that delivering consistency and engagement is critical to converting customers.

When it comes to delivering great customer experiences, digitally native and direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses have significantly innovated the ecommerce model: They have used data to enhance the customer experience at every step along the purchase journey. In addition to offering products and services that people want, these companies understand that delivering consistency and engagement is critical to converting customers. A company focused on a quality digital experience across all channels also comes across as brand authentic and is often better equipped to maintain long-term relationships with customers.  

Companies can take a handful of key steps to assure they always deliver a great customer experience and remain true to their brand promise. 

Be Brand Consistent 

At my firm, DTC mattress company Saatva, we’ve realized that the cornerstone of a winning digital customer experience strategy is the ability to deliver a seamless experience from the first touchpoint to the last. At every point, the way the brand looks, feels and speaks needs to be consistent. That leads to greater awareness, increased social sharing, and, ultimately, sales.  Some companies do this particularly well. Los Angeles-based DTC makeup brand Colourpop, for example, stays with its cheerful brand messaging through all customer interactions. Not only has this consistency increased conversions, it has also served to create a devoted following of customers excited to represent and share the brand’s content. The proof is in the numbers: Colourpop currently has over 8.6 million Instagram followers.  

Honor the Customer’s Expectations

Whatever acquisition messaging a brand is initially using on display or social ads to pull in a customer, it should continue to use the same messaging on site (paid search being the exception). For example, if a brand is running a banner ad with a particular value proposition, its homepage should showcase the same messaging, either with a version of the banner or similar messaging on the hero image. We’ve seen meaningful increases in conversion rates when we deliver the same messaging with which we first engaged our customer. Similarly, if a brand has distinctive imagery offline, continuing to use that imagery on site will increase engagement.

Related Article: Digital Experience Consistency Starts With Reliable Customer Data

Make it Simple

Another way to improve the digital experience is to follow the current trend of having fewer and longer pages. By removing obstacles and requiring fewer clicks for a user to get to the shopping cart, you keep people from getting lost on your site and reduce opportunities to exit. Don’t be afraid of adding content to pages deeper down the conversion funnel. DTC winners (particularly those with fewer SKUs), such as boot company Tecovas, have realized that even product pages can benefit from having additional, deeper content.  

Focus on Checkout

Streamlining the checkout experience can be one of the most impactful business improvements for an ecommerce company. According to web usability research firm Baymard Institute, in 2019 fully 23% of users who abandoned their carts did so due to too long/ complicated a checkout process. The survey also found the average US checkout form has 23.48 fields, whereas an ideal checkout flow should have 12 to 14 fields.  

Learning Opportunities

These are relatively simple changes (depending on your ecommerce platform, of course) that can have a massive impact on conversions.

Related Article: Meet the Middle Man in the Modern Ecommerce Supply Chain: Content 

Optimize for Mobile

Making sure you are optimized across all of your digital channels is of paramount importance. Mobile is rapidly displacing desktop. In 2016, according to StatCounter, ecommerce browsing surpassed desktop browsing for the first time. This trend shows no sign of slowing down. Companies with a desktop-only experience are at risk of losing out to faster growing channels. To maximize return, your future digital customer experience improvements have to take a multi-device approach.  

Go Offline

It may sound counter-intuitive, but some of the most effective digitally-native DTC brands are embracing physical retail stores. These brands simply view retail as brand extension. They successfully build an offline presence by leveraging vast amounts of ecommerce data to optimize everything from location selection to the in-store experience. When we launched a flagship retail location in NYC, we did so with the idea that it is an extension of our website. As we scale this concept nationally, we will be agnostic as to whether a customer meets us in store, on the web, via mobile, or through our call center. The experience will be consistent and brand authentic across all channels.  

These are just a few of the ways DTC ecommerce companies are disrupting and thriving in an increasingly competitive environment. Brands that prioritize digital best practices focused on customers, and do it consistently, are best poised for long-term success.  

About the author

Ricky Joshi

Ricky Joshi is cofounder and chief strategy officer of Saatva, the leading online luxury mattress brand. Founded in 2010, Saatva sells ultra-premium, eco-friendly mattresses and furnishings, with concierge delivery and installation, for a fraction of retail price.