Big brands go direct to the consumer in a crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for some of the world’s biggest brands to open online stores serving products direct to consumers’ homes. But will the popularity of this relatively new purchasing model last as shops start to reopen?

Retail has had the equivalent of a coronary bypass in the last few months. The lifeblood of goods that flowed to consumers through the heart of the high street was cut off overnight. Savvy brands, ever-conscious of their commercial health, performed drastic surgery to avoid an economic bloodbath and went direct to the consumer.

Fuelled by images of empty shelves, a surge in home shopping and a need to access consumer-packaged goods, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Heinz all launched direct-to-consumer, or D2C, offerings in lockdown, appealing to those who couldn’t leave their home, but were dead set on their favourite ketchup or kombucha brand. They saw a huge opportunity to build loyalty simply by supplying goods to needy consumers online.

The biggest shift recently is that it’s not only younger generations shopping online anymore, people of all ages have been forced to adopt new digital behaviours. This certainly favours the D2C model in the long run, but brands will need solid budgets and invest more to make it work.

Christian Polman said:

D2C itself doesn’t build brand affinity. The experience has to be good, the brand has to be relevant, the communications have to strike a chord. A lot has to be executed.

 

Read the full article in Raconteur, here.

First featured 30/06/2020.