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How D2C brands Are Getting Ready for the Future

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The D2C brands are showing tremendous growth in the retail ecosystem and the market is expected to grow to $60 Billion by 2027 growing at a 40%, industry expert said on Thursday at the IMAGES Group’s flagship event Phygital Retail Convention (PRC 2022)

The experts were discussing the rapid headways direct-to-consumer brands have made in a quick time frame in India in a session on what D2C brands require from the retail ecosystem.

The panelists of the session included Bharti Balakrishnan, Country head, Shopify India, Gurukeerthi Gurunathan, Co-Founder CTO, Caratlane, Sarfaraz Miller, Head – Information Technology & Supply Chain, Celio, Zahid Ansani, VP IT, Forever New Clothing and was moderated by Vishal Shah, Managing Director, Deals, PwC

“Post-Pandemic the customers are happy going to the stores as they are looking for the experience as well,” Miller of Celio said talking about the changing customers’ behaviour in the post-pandemic era. “The behaviour has changed in a way that the customers are going for the experience in the shopping centres rather than shopping.”

He said social media has been a great catalyst for D2C brands and will continue to help such brands. “With the growing Infleuncers on social media, collaborations going on with the brand, the social media stars and the business is going to evolve a lot,” he said. “Technology is also playing a big role in the evolution of the sector. With so much technology, it would be really exciting to see where this journey will go.”

Zahid Ansani, VP IT, Forever New Clothing stated, “In the last ten years, I have been associated with the brands who are focusing on the D2C world. In my current organization, we are totally 100% D2C and in that space the biggest leverage we have is that we can control the brand, the way we want; deliver the kind of experience we want and provide the value through the data segment. The future of this industry is going to be bright and seeing the growth, I believe that there is space available for the new branch as well and in the last two three years, we have also seen that the brands that started with the D2C model, are now looking for the offline spaces.”

Talking about his brand, he mentioned that “We have seen a tremendous growth over the last two-three years and despite the lockdown we were able to provide the experience to the customers without the store. We wanted to build something that can sell in all the channels as that is the only way out to deliver to the customers. The blended approach is a mandatory thing now, social commerce/content commerce is coming up and it is all about knowing the customers better and giving them the convenience in the best way possible.”

Gurukeerthi Gurunathan, Co-Founder CTO, Caratlane mentioned the challenges after the pandemic and stated“ We started our online journey way back in 2008, when it was not in the trend. Digital was the medium, we understood and took the action accordingly. We forayed physically in 2012 by opening a first retail showroom. Our brand didn’t have to change many policies in the pandemic from a digitalization perspective. Before the pandemic, we had around 80 showrooms and now we have around 150 showrooms which will also grow in the future.”