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D2C eCommerce

What Is D2C eCommerce?

A D2C eCommerce business model exists when manufacturers or brands sell their commodities directly to users without the involvement of regular middlemen, such as wholesalers, distributors, or retailers.

What Is A D2C Sales Model?

Look at D2C as a special type of business where brands sell their merchandise straightforwardly to consumers, usually through their online or physical outlets. The buyer places the order and the manufacturer ships the same straight to their address.

Typically, the business style requires producers to perform the duties of supply chain middlemen, which might include researching and building a target audience, marketing, selling, and finally order fulfillment.

D2C eCommerce VS Traditional Retailer Business Model

The difference between D2C and the usual retailer business styles is in the process of getting the product or service to the end user. A D2C organization will allow buyers to purchase products directly from its web store or physical outlet.

On the other hand, a regular retailer business style goes through a typical sales process where the producer sells their commodity to a wholesaler, who engages distributors to reach various target audiences through retailers. Retailers then sell the product directly to the end users.

D2C vs B2C

B2C represents businesses that sell commodities to the consumer, but various intermediaries, such as retailers are involved. Conversely, a D2C business style undergoes the same process but now without the intervention of the middlemen.

Here are the differences between B2C and D2C.


  • Sells from businesses to users;
  • Focuses on lowering operational costs;
  • Doesn’t collect buyer’s data;
  • Longer sales cycle;
  • Multiple sales stages are involved.


  • Sells directly to the end-users;
  • Focuses on solving buyers’ problems;
  • Greater access to buyer’s data for insights;
  • Shorter sales cycle;
  • Fewer sales stages are involved.

Benefits Of D2C eCommerce

Whenever possible, 88% of buyers will readily buy from a D2C company, as opposed to a traditional retailer, thanks to an intuitive and more direct shopper journey. From the company perspective, businesses choose this style because it allows them to:

  • Offer omnichannel experiences, thanks to greater control of all marketing and selling activities;
  • Truly understand their customers to save the costs of in-depth target audience research;
  • Have greater control over the brand in terms of reputation and customer experiences.

Challenges Of D2C eCommerce

As simple as this business style sounds, it comes with various challenges that make many companies shy away from embracing it. For instance, retailers are well-established with a better understanding of clients and the consumer market, which makes it challenging to topple their position.

Other challenges of a D2C business style include:

  • Order fulfillment challenges, especially in regions where nearly all 3LP players have partnerships with retailers;
  • Increased operating costs for marketing and customer service.

Frequently Asked Questions About D2C eCommerce

What are some examples of D2C brands?

There are various D2C brands, but the most successful and prevalent ones in the industry include:

  • Warby Parker: Warby Parker is an American online retailer that sells custom, high-end prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. The company designs and ships its products directly to the end user.
  • Chubbies: Chubbies is a D2C business in the fashion industry that sells custom weekend apparel for men. The company sells products directly from its website and offers free shipping & returns, thanks to the lower operational costs of the model.
  • HIMS & HERS: HIMS & HERS uses a DC2 model in the healthcare industry to offer personalized medical services and treatment plans for wellness. The company uses Telehealth software to optimize its business model.
  • Casper: Casper is a D2C mattress brand In New York City that sells high-end bedding materials at relatively affordable costs, with free shipping. The company sells both on its website and physical retail outlets.
  • Me Undies: MeUndies is a subscription-based D2C in the fashion industry, selling personalized socks, bralettes, and underwear directly to its consumers.

What is the future of D2C eCommerce?

The D2C business style will likely dominate the retail industry in the coming years, thanks to increased digitization and a shifting consumer-base pattern that favors buying directly from producers.

What are some D2C platforms examples?

Prevalent D2C platforms that can help you get started with this business style include:

  • Shopify: Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows businesses to set up online stores and sell their products directly to consumers. The setup process is seamless, as the platform comes with in-built integrations.
  • Magento: Magento platform allows businesses to set up customized online stores to maintain brand integrity. The platform is highly scalable, making it a go-to option for businesses that want to grow in the future.
  • WooCommerce: WooCommerce enables businesses to customize their storefront and sell directly to their customers without going through middlemen. The platform offers templates and themes, as well as advanced in-built features.

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