Our key takeaways

Truly understand your consumers, innovate your business model, and watch out for the disruptors that will change everything. Simple? No. But the rewards of getting D2C right are worth the effort.

Here are the key takeaways from each of the themes discussed in this article.

Frictionless consumer experience

Convenience, convenience, convenience. Consumers are price-sensitive and they want D2C propositions to offer high-quality products and services. But what they really care about is how the D2C experience feels. Is it hassle-free? Are there flexible delivery options? Do consumers feel like they’re getting a good deal? When building your D2C proposition, focus on convenience.

Balance speed with cost, and make sure consumers see value. The secret to Amazon Prime’s success is that subscribers feel a strong sense of added value. Organisations should avoid margin dilution by clearly separating the product price from the overall cost to the consumer.

Personalisation has to deliver value. Customers enjoy the benefits of personalisation but are nervous about handing over personal data. Businesses should carefully design propositions to ensure personalisation is used intelligently.

Innovative business models

Be clear about what D2C means for your business, and then be bold in picking your business model. Difficult choices are unavoidable, especially if your business is not set up for D2C. Confront the challenges and be ready to start over if that’s the best option for your organisation.

Subscription models offer a route to value. Subscription models have taken off, and it looks like they’re here to stay. They offer a great opportunity to market products and services based on customer value, rather than competing on price alone.

People will be shopping local for some time to come. Organisations should find ways to tap into this trend.

Disruptive forces

Sustainability is the elephant in the room. Companies can’t ignore it. Consumer demands – particularly from younger demographics – will force businesses to put sustainability at the heart of their D2C propositions, or risk losing market share.

Waste is a problem hiding in plain sight. The world is experiencing a waste crisis and D2C is a prominent contributor. The surge in eCommerce activity during Covid-19 has made consumers acutely aware of the waste generated by current D2C offerings. Organisations need to eradicate non-recyclable materials as a priority, or risk being judged by the court of public opinion.

Not all D2C markets are created equal. Some will require structural investment to reach their full potential. D2C markets are at varying levels of maturity. Organisations must choose the right time for D2C market entry – too soon and the structural foundations (logistics, connectivity etc.) may not be there, too late and the opportunity may have gone.

Our team would be delighted to discuss any of the points raised in this article, and to explore how our research findings may be applied specifically to certain sectors or organisations.

The societal benefits of e-commerce and D2C

As a closing thought, let’s look at how eCommerce and D2C methodologies can bring real benefits to broader society. Baringa has been hugely privileged to play a key part in the UK’s NHS Covid-19 vaccines programme, which has been hailed as a triumph around the world. The programme’s success depended on ensuring high vaccination rates across the whole population.

We helped the NHS deliver vaccinations to hard-to-reach patients, by using D2C and eCommerce thinking combined with innovative supply chain models more common in other sectors. For instance, this ensured that vaccines were delivered directly to care homes, travelling communities, homeless populations, Ramadan services at mosques, and convenient walk-in venues that attract young adults. These measures encourage high vaccine uptake across different pockets of society, to help protect us all.

You can learn more about our support of the vaccine programme here.

Contact us

Are you transitioning to a D2C business model or are you looking to achieve sustainable growth for your e-commerce business? If you are wanting to drive change, or needing to adapt to the next normal in the aftermath of Covid-19, we would love to hear from you to see how we can help.

Rob Ward



Rob Gilbert



Dan Pitcher



Abi Murcott



Copyright © Baringa Partners LLP 2021. All rights reserved. This document is subject to contract and contains confidential and proprietary information.