The Rise of DTC Sales

Bricks-and-mortar stores are now welcoming customers back after many months of enforced lockdowns across the globe. They will have to double down on the attentive customer service that hands them a natural advantage over online retail. Luxury retailers must enthral shoppers, transform their perceptions and upsell, providing an immersive, multisensory shopping experience that stimulates consumers, excites them, and keeps them coming back for more. Retailers that use their physical space in innovative ways that add value for shoppers can thrive in future.

The rise of DTC sales threatens to drastically reshape the global drinks industry, and it is certainly a cause for concern among retailers. Yet there are also lots of reasons for them to remain optimistic.

First, it is costly and time-consuming for producers to set up DTC routes to market. Drinks retailers can stay afloat by making it much more cost-effective for producers to sell through them at scale rather than going direct.

They will need to work hard to keep costs down. They must become increasingly efficient. In certain countries, that could involve offshoring IT, nance, HR and even merchandising and marketing analytics to cut costs.

Another advantage for traditional retailers is the level of choice they can provide consumers. They can create exciting ranges featuring the best drinks from a multitude of suppliers from around the world – whereas a DTC platform is unlikely to offer such strong variety.

Retailers that provide deep product expertise, offer unique product education and proactively shape shopping decisions will be successful in future. They currently hold most of the consumer data, and they need to start leveraging it to a greater extent. They can build analytical muscle, enabling targeted marketing, improved ranges and efficient pricing and promotions. They can ultimately harness their natural and historical advantages to remain the gatekeepers for consumers. The future still looks bright for forward-thinking retailers that can display innovation and dynamism in the years ahead. The trends that will shape the future of the industry are clear, so retailers simply need to evolve. Retailers that design a thriving ecosystem that meets consumers at every possible touch point – in the physical and digital spheres – in a multichannel, multisensory and multidirectional fashion, can not only survive, but thrive.