5 Top Features for DTC eCommerce Sites

Building successful DTC brands means building back-end systems that support what customers see and enjoy - here are 5 key points not to miss.

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5 Top Features for DTC eCommerce Sites

Digitally native direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands understand the customer experience. While larger retailers bring volume, DTC brands offer unparalleled personalization, inclusivity, and disruption. To build a successful eCommerce brand, retailers need to build back-end systems that support what their customers see and enjoy. Here are five features every DTC eCommerce brand should include in their website to deliver success long term.

1. Build a Mobile-First Experience

eCommerce has moved from mobile-friendly to mobile-first design. Brands that do not have an excellent mobile experience will be at a significant disadvantage to competitors. Lisa James from The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience explains, “By the end of 2021, it’s predicted that mobile devices will make up almost 73% of total eCommerce sales globally. If you don’t meet those needs, expect results — just not the ones you’d hoped for: About 30% of consumers will abandon their carts in the middle of shopping if they run into issues with a brand’s mobile site.” Consumers expect mobile experiences that are quick, seamless and simple, and brands must be prepared to deliver.

2. Unlock Deep Personalization

DTC brands begin with the customer in mind. As digital natives, DTC brands have exciting and creative ways to personalize their experiences, products, and services. For Glossier, a DTC beauty brand, personalization is what has brought them soaring success with their customers. Not only do they sell a quality product, they also know how their customers talk and engage in a two-way conversation with them to swap recommendations and provide advice.

As Glossier founder Emily Weiss said in an interview with Buzzfeed, “Luxury today is getting what you want, how you want it, when you want it and getting a very personalized experience.” Getting one-on-one time with a brand, whether it is built into the web experience or a social media platform, allows customers to connect with the brand and return for the same excellent experience.

3. Localize the Customer Experience

Expansion into global markets brings exciting opportunities to reach new markets and customers. It also means building an experience that adapts to customers, no matter where they live. Language, SEO, payment methods and tax and shipping should all be part of building a global DTC eCommerce brand. Localization is not just about translation — although that is a big part of it — it is also about the user experience. Implementing a system built to handle global variances solves many of the headaches and pitfalls that brands may experience when they branch out into a new market. As we’ve discussed on our blog before, “From setting up an international sales platform to localizing the store to assuring regulatory compliance, a good cross-border partner can help you sell globally without the risk.”

4. Provide Flexible Payment Options

Digital payments have exploded in demand over the past year as many consumers turned to online shopping. Credit cards are the old standby, but digital wallets and even cryptocurrency are becoming more popular. In a report from eMarketer, predictions show that while Millennials and GenZ shoppers have long embraced digital payments, older buyers are adopting these payment methods too. They anticipate a 5.8% increase in digital buyers 45 and older, or an increase of nearly 5 million new users.

Another side effect of uncertain economic conditions is the disruption of traditional lending as services like Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna and others gain popularity. Personal finance writer Maurie Backman discovered that “55.8% of consumers have used a buy now, pay later service, up from 37.65% in July of 2020 — an increase of almost 50% in less than one year.” Flexible payment options allow customers to budget their purchases and increase the likelihood that they will make a large purchase. Buy now, pay later options decrease cart abandonment and increase total order size — a win-win for merchants and buyers.

A person orders online from a laptop and sees payment verified on their phone.

5. Maintain Trust with Data Security

DTC eCommerce sites are a literal goldmine for cyber thieves. Attacks, which are frequent and sophisticated, cost brands dearly in revenue and reputation. A recent survey by PYMNTS.com found that 65% of all eCommerce customers would never shop with a retailer again if they suffered even one security breach. “Our research shows that retailers are on the hook for keeping their customers’ transactional data safe and secure — whether they realize it or not,” the report clearly states.

Choosing a secure web host and platform is an essential part of guarding against cyber-attacks. Using SSL certificates and involving experts to handle payment and processing gives customers confidence that you are acting in good faith to protect their personal and financial information.

Compete for the future of eCommerce

Customers are drawn to exceptional user experiences. DTC brands have the advantage of deep customer insights that can translate into much more personalized experiences than any retailer could provide. DTC brands should continue to build their sites with their customer in mind and offer payment options, localization, and quick, easy mobile shopping. Retaining customer trust by safeguarding their data with robust, compliant, and up-to-date security practices is another must-have.

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