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    How To Build Brand Loyalty With Your DTC Business

    May 25, 2023
    7 minute read
    How To Build Brand Loyalty With Your DTC Business

    How do you measure loyalty? It’s a bit of a trick question, considering loyalty is hard to define, difficult to measure, and a challenge to build from scratch.

    But the real problem is that it’s hard to establish a foothold for new competitors. For many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, inspiring brand loyalty often means competing in a marketplace where brand loyalty has already cemented itself. Established brands already made up 75.5% of all DTC sales in 2022, as noted by ecommerce CRM platform Drip.

    But there are several opportunities DTC brands can leverage if they want to build a name for themselves. Here are the best ways you can build brand loyalty for a DTC business:

    Tips for Building Brand Loyalty

    1. Match Your Services to Customer Preferences

    Customers like brands that meet their needs. For example, Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” report found that many shoppers like to buy online and pick up in-store. This is true across the world — as shoppers in Great Britain (45%), Australia (48%), Germany (32%), the U.S. (25%), and France (24%) — love to do their research and shopping online, then head to the store to expedite the purchase reaching their hands.

    The point? To build brand loyalty, you need to cater to customers’ lifestyles. In this case, if your brand has brick-and-mortar capabilities but doesn’t offer a buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) option, you’ll have a hard time becoming anyone’s favorite.

    2. Get as Personal as Possible

    No matter what your DTC business might be, there’s a common truth among shoppers: They love it when businesses understand and meet their needs with personalized experiences. Per Periscope Research, 80% of repeat customers prefer to shop with brands that personalize their shopping experience.

    Strong personalization goes beyond simply calling customers by name. To make an impact, you’ll need to add personalization that leaves the impression that your brand always knows exactly who it’s talking to.

    Consider the following tips for building personalized shopping experiences:

    • Build a customer experience based on their buying history. Can you recommend specific products for them and explain why these are their suggested purchases?
    • Send exclusive offers based on their shopping history. This is particularly effective if you build customer segments and don't offer these promotions to every customer, but intentionally send offers to customers who have bought specific products before.
    • Leverage your data to build customer buying histories. Build customer segments based on more than single purchases. Look for customer buying trends you can use to build unique recommendations and product offerings.

    3. Don’t Forget To Sell the Product

    Salsify’s “2023 Shopper Research” report found that 55% of customers won’t buy a product if they don’t like the content they see, including descriptions, images, videos, and reviews. The more you establish product content that shows other people enjoying your brand, the more credibility you’ll have when new customers land on this content.

    This is where your brand may have to make up ground against the more established names in your market. But in your reviews, images, and videos, there’s also an opportunity to make your pitch.

    The average customer reads about 10 reviews before a purchasing decision, notes HubSpot. That means each element on your product page (from reviews to helpful tips and videos) can go beyond being informative. They can be a part of the “pitch” that ultimately wins a new customer’s attention.

    How To Build Product Content that Helps You Look Like a Trustworthy Brand

    What does good product content look like for DTC brands? Try to incorporate the following elements to establish a digital shelf presence that builds brand credibility.

    Leverage Social Proof

    Think of a customer visiting your website like someone walking into a new room. The customer’s never walked into this room before. They’re going to search around for visual cues as to what they should be doing. In a store, that might mean looking to see what other customers are doing. But online, you can’t replicate that experience — not unless you establish social proof.

    “Social proof” refers to testimonials, pictures, and other happy-customer results highlighting how well your product has worked for others.

    For example, a five-out-of-five-star rating from a customer shows that other people had ordered this same product before and enjoyed it.

    Social proof is increasing in importance for shoppers, so consider that:

    To make products and services more “real” in customers’ eyes, incorporate product demonstration videos, zoomable pictures, detailed asset galleries, and so on.

    Commit to Brand Consistency

    From the first landing page to the post-order email, communicate a clear, consistent brand message. That means using the same brand voice with all your copy, not to mention consistent colors and logo styles.

    This way, each touch point along the customer’s buying journey reinforces the customer’s perception of your brand.

    And remember, more than half (54%) of consumers will return an item if it’s the wrong size, clothing fit, or product dimensions, according to Salsify shopper research. Additionally, 39% of consumers will return an item if it doesn’t match the images provided.

    Establish Emotional Connection

    It’s not all about five-star reviews and fancy pictures. When customers feel emotionally engaged, 70% spend twice as much (or more) on brands they feel loyal to, as noted by Oracle. It’s about finding the emotional connection between your product, and the problem it solves for the customer.

    In the DTC world, that means including client reviews, sure.

    But to take it a step further, you can elaborate and publish details on the following:

    • Why does your DTC business exist?
    • What problem did your organization feel compelled to solve?
    • Can you paint a picture of the people behind your brand?
    • Is there someone in your circle or a particular customer your organization has impacted?
    • Do you donate to charitable causes or have a commitment to sustainability?

    Customers and prospects aren’t going to know unless you make it a part of your story.

    Put Quality in, Get Loyalty Out

    The more your DTC business is able to lean into the quality of your product content and experiences through social proof, brand consistency, and emotional connection, the more customers will lean into loyalty to your brand. 

    Guide: Why Bad Product Content Is Killing Your Brand

    Enabling bad product content can deeply damage your digital shelf presence. ​​Download this guide to learn how to build engaging, consistent product content that can help your brand stand out and build trust online.


    Written by: Ashley R. Cummings

    Ashley R. Cummings (she/her) is a freelance writer specializing in ecommerce software as a service (SaaS). Her words appear across the web in places like Insider, LinkedIn, ShopifyPlus, and Hashtagpaid.

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