The shift toward direct-to-consumer commerce has unleashed a revolution in how brands sell. With traditional retail upended, eCommerce has emerged as an equalizing force for brands, prompting them to reimagine their most significant direct touchpoint with their customers: their website.

With eCommerce in the U.S. surpassing $517 billion annually and growing (Statista), we decided to delve into the key investments that D2C brands are making to set themselves apart in this highly competitive arena. Our latest report uncovers everything from top KPIs to marketing channel prioritization to key eCommerce investments (customer content, loyalty programs, and referrals), sliced and diced by company size and by industry verticals.

About the report: The State of D2C Marketing

The report is based on an online survey conducted March-April 2019, in partnership with Magento, an Adobe company. It includes the responses of 512 eCommerce and marketing decision-makers, 41% of them brand founders.

Respondents are located worldwide and use a variety of eCommerce platforms including Magento Commerce, Shopify, SAP Hybris, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. They represent brands across all industries, including Fashion & Accessories, Health & Beauty, Electronics & Telecom, and Food, Beverage, & Tobacco.

Key findings

For the D2C brands surveyed in this report, the top three marketing KPIs across verticals and businesses of all sizes are:

  • eCommerce sales [60%]
  • New customers [54%]
  • Conversion rates [53%]

Which Marketing KPIs Should You Prioritize?

The top three acquisition channels across verticals and business sizes are:

  • Social media [61%]
  • SEO [51%]
  • Direct traffic [50%]

What Are Your Top Acquisition Channels?

Interestingly, despite their reliance on social media, 63% of D2C brands see equal or greater ROI from referrals than they do from digital ads, indicating an effective, fixed-cost acquisition channel at a time when social ad costs are steadily climbing.

How Should You Invest in Acquisition?

Finally, the report reveals that across the board how brands are investing in on-site experiences like reviews (73%), customer photos (36%), customer videos (15%), referrals (33%), and loyalty programs (31%). The implementation of these key commerce marketing tools gives brands an edge and helps them build better, more authentic connections with their customer base.

See the full report

To find the benchmarks on everything from Facebook Ad spend for your vertical to the key marketing KPIs for your company size, take a look at the full report here.

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