Communication agency Diffusion conducted a study that concluded that 40 percent of Americans did their shopping online and from other direct-to-consumer (DTC) avenues in 2019. The study found that around 14 percent of American shoppers used DTC outlets for around 19 percent of their purchases. However, there were two percent Americans who said they used DTC companies for almost all of their shopping.
DTC purchases overtook traditional retail in notable categories such as health and beauty products at 35 percent, apparel at 34 percent and technology and gadgets at 26 percent. Leading reasons for choosing DTC purchasing over a traditional retailer was cost at 48 percent followed by fast, free shipping and easy returns at 43 percent, the agency reported.
Social media or influencers accounted for 19 percent of how consumers heard of the DTC brands, followed by print or online advertisements at 18 percent, word of mouth from friends at 15 percent and print or online reviews at 14 percent. About 9 percent of respondents also reported hearing of DTC brands through podcast advertisements.
Though DTC was popular, the survey also found that consumer had interest in visiting a DTC’s physical store. As many as 37 percent of those studied wanted to visit a physical shop to get a sense of the product, 32 percent wanted to visit for convenience, and 28 percent wanted to receive the product right away. Another 27 percent expressed interest in visiting multiple DTC brands in a single location. Even with those options, over 26 percent of Americans still looked for positive reviews or media coverage before making a DTC purchase.