Direct-to-Consumer (D2C): Das steckt hinter dem Begriff
Freitag, 2. September 2022
Latori GmbH

Direct-to-Consumer (D2C): What lies behind the term

If companies want to sell products these days, they can no longer avoid an online sales channel. Online retail in Germany cracked the 100 billion euro revenue mark for the first time in 2021 - and the trend is rising. The company's own target group is spending more and more time online. Anyone who doesn't take place online these days will have a hard time increasing their own sales in the long term.

One abbreviation is currently dominating the trade like no other: D2C. What is meant by this is the term direct-to-consumer. In this article we will show you what is behind this approach, what advantages it brings and how you can implement a successful D2C sale.

Latori has already implemented numerous national and international online stores with Shopify Plus. We support you in word and deed as a reliable partner in the opening and optimization of your store.

Contact us

What is Direct-to-Consumer (DSC)?

In a nutshell, D2C or direct-to-consumer refers to the direct sale of products and services by the manufacturer. This means that the detour via intermediaries is eliminated.

What initially sounds like a mere sales channel opens up completely new opportunities for acquiring new customers, building intensive customer relationships and growing sales for companies thanks to digitization. But before we go into more detail about the advantages of the D2C approach, let's take a look at the past.

A look back - the background

Before the rise of e-commerce, there was one and the same approach in retail for a long time. Put simply, a manufacturer produced their products, which were then sold to a middleman, who in turn shipped the items to brick-and-mortar retailers. There the products were finally sold to the end customer. As a result, manufacturers and end customers never really had contact with each other.

Reading tip: Online commerce is growing rapidly and bringing with it new trends. Stay up to date with our article about the 10 most important E-Commerce trends!

Direct selling itself is not a new invention. Companies such as the vacuum cleaner manufacturer Vorwerk have already relied on sales without intermediaries in the past. The best-known example is probably the famous "Tupperware". However, what used to be possible only with a complex and costly sales structure, companies can now implement much more easily in e-commerce.

D2C - A new era in retail

Trade is in constant change. For many established companies, the D2C approach is a useful addition to sales via stationary retail.

Example: For a sporting goods manufacturer, selling its products through stationary sporting goods retailers was the norm for a long time. With the D2C approach, the manufacturer can now sell its articles directly to the end consumer via its own online store or an app and obtain valuable insights into consumer behavior.

Setting up your own online store does not have to be a headache for you. We will gladly support you in opening and optimizing your store. Contact us.

However, a new dynamic is being triggered by new companies. What was unthinkable until a few years ago is already a reality today. Young companies are launching their own brands completely online, without any physical presence or detour via third parties - and very successfully. D2C brands such as Wildling, Shape Republic and Karlswrong are turning the industry on its head and showing what is possible online.

In the age of online retailing, competition for customers' attention is high. Those who are present online and reach their target group have great potential for customer loyalty and strong sales growth.

Direct-to-consumer is more important today than ever before

Direct access to its customers online is extremely important. The corona pandemic has made this clear to us with closed shops and hygiene and distance rules. As a result, people's shopping behavior has changed rapidly. Regardless of whether it's fashion, electrical and garden items or groceries, the share of online business is increasing in all retail sectors. Online is the “New Normal” .

In addition, consumers are becoming more demanding, especially when it comes to online sales channels. Today's consumer is mobile - and connected. The share of sales in online retail via smartphone is steadily increasing. This development seems logical: the greatest potential lies precisely where customers are. It is therefore not surprising that shopping via social media is on the rise.

The younger target group in particular is making its purchasing decisions more consciously. Nowadays, sustainability as well as social and ethical aspects play a major role in purchasing decisions. Brands today need to communicate more transparently and openly. And the best way to do that is through direct contact with potential customers.

Reading tip: Freelancer vs. Agency – Find out which service provider can best help you with your digitization strategy in this article.

In the direct-to-consumer approach, the manufacturer takes over production, marketing, sales and customer relationship management. What initially sounds like a lot of work also offers a lot of advantages for producers.

D2C: The advantages of the approach

People's shopping behavior is changing more and more. Customers' demands are changing, and traditional distribution channels are being broken up more and more. If you want to be successful in the future, you have to know today what customers will want tomorrow. Direct contact with customers is becoming increasingly important in order not to get lost in the competition and to prevail in online retailing.

Reading tip: Shopify is the perfect tool to start your direct-to-consumer (D2C) business over the Internet. In this article, we'll show you what you should consider, including a best practice example.

The growth potential offered by the direct-to-consumer model is more attractive than ever. A closer look at the D2C approach is worthwhile, because companies can benefit from it in several ways.

1. Independence from retail trade

In the direct-to-consumer model, brands are no longer dependent on retailers. Full control over product presentation, pricing through to customer service lies with the manufacturer. Producers are free from rigid volume targets and price pressure from retailers. In addition, with direct-to-consumer sales online, there is no danger of being pushed off the shelves by retailers' own brands.

2. Cost savings - a win-win for all sides.

At the end of the day, it's all about money. On the one hand, the D2C approach makes it possible to save on unnecessary distribution costs. On the other hand, the elimination of intermediaries increases manufacturers' profit margins.

But the direct-to-consumer model is also worthwhile for customers. In the traditional retail trade, a surcharge of around two and a half times the purchase price is added. This markup does not apply in D2C retailing. Purchasing products directly from the manufacturer is therefore often cheaper.

3. Direct-to-consumer relationship - The data in their hands.

The business relationship in the direct-to-consumer model is in the hands of the manufacturers. Along with first-hand information about customers and their needs. Manufacturers now learn directly what works and what doesn't. Through the direct customer relationship, data can be collected on the entire customer journey. This means that manufacturers can serve customers' wishes in a more targeted manner and produce in a more targeted manner.

4. Marketing that pays off - With D2C to more effective marketing measures.

Data is the new gold in the digital age. If you know a lot about your customers, you can tailor your products and services perfectly to their needs. With the right data, you can tailor your marketing measures to the respective customers. The focus is on the individual customer approach. Avoid marketing frustration among customers through inappropriate advertising and strengthen customer loyalty with personalized offers.

5. Focus on the essentials

The product range of classic D2C brands is relatively small, especially at the beginning. However, focusing on specific products enables a high degree of personalization. This is a point from which established companies can also learn.

With a direct line to customers, providers can address customers' needs in a targeted manner. Thanks to direct feedback through close communication with their customers, product developments can be made much more targeted. Goodbye production for the gray mass market!

6. D2C - Customer loyalty made easy

D2C is more than just a sales channel. Ultimately, it's about building customer loyalty through individual services. An individual customer approach and direct interaction with the consumer strengthen customer loyalty. The long-term success of your own company is built on loyal and returning customers. This customer group buys different products more often. At the same time, these customers are less price-sensitive, incur fewer service costs and are more likely to recommend products to others. A classic win-win situation.

7. Turn your customers into fans - More growth through the community

In the D2C business, your customers are not just revenue generators. The business relationship does not end with the purchase of their product. On the contrary, this is where it really begins. Through direct and close communication, you can bind your customers to your company. By building a community around your brand, you can enable customers to identify with the brand and thus increase loyalty to the company.

Reading tip: How Asphaltgold and Latori offer customers a unique shopping experience thanks to a mobile-first focus

Tips for successful D2C sales

Selling your products directly online requires some preparation. We have summarized the 5 most important tips for your successful D2C store.

1. Invest in logistics solutions

Direct-to-consumer sales require a lot of effort, especially on the logistics side. Invest in suitable logistics software and sufficient personnel at an early stage, because your customers are used to fast delivery times.

2. Let your products speak for themselves

Your customers only come into contact with your products via the online channel - touching and trying them doesn't work. This makes a compelling product catalog all the more important. Provide high-quality product images and accurate descriptions. Suitable search terms help your customers to find the optimal product. 3.

3. Keep an overview of your stocks

Especially if you combine several sales channels, you must not lose sight of your inventories. Keeping your inventory in sync via inventory management software is the key to success.

4. Increase your reach

Especially in the beginning, you are fighting for the attention of your potential customers. Use creative advertising campaigns to increase your visibility and raise interest in your products. Use the help of experts and the data available to you!

5. Build trust

Once your customers land on your online store, you need to break down the barriers to their purchase decision. You can create trust in your products with product reviews from previous buyers. Effective customer service should be on hand to help your customers with any questions and dispel any doubts.

Challenges in the direct-to-consumer business

In addition to all the advantages of the D2C approach, there are a few points that need to be considered in order to be successful in the market. But don't worry, there are suitable solutions for the majority of the challenges that D2C brings with it.

With the help of direct-to-consumer you have everything in one hand, but you are also responsible for all steps from production to marketing and customer management. Getting started with direct-to-consumer sales online requires, above all, a new technical infrastructure. But don't worry: Nowadays, it's easier than ever to establish a convincing online presence and set the course for success.

Reading tip: Onlineshop vs. Marketplace – How to make the right decision!

In addition, know-how in the areas of web analytics and data processing is necessary so that you can get the full potential out of this approach. Finally, you also need to process the information gained through direct contact with their customers in order to draw the right conclusions.

Reading tip: With a Headless CMS you can easily manage customer data across multiple channels.


The direct-to-consumer business model represents an interesting approach for both established and new companies to sell their products. Direct contact with customers is becoming increasingly important in global competition. Today, it is no longer just a matter of generating sales, but also of positioning one's own company for long-term success. The D2C approach can help by building strong customer relationships.

Setting up online sales channels is easier today than ever before. Whether it's an online marketplace or your own online store, there's nothing standing in the way of establishing your own online presence today.

With the right partner at your side, you can raise the potential of online trading for your company to a new level!

Contact us.

Shop Usability AwardShop Usability Award
Wir schätzen alle unsere Kunden, Nutzer und Leser, egal ob weiblich, männlich, divers oder nicht-binär. Der Lesbarkeit halber verzichten wir auf Gendersternchen und nutzen weiterhin das generische Maskulinum. Wir sprechen damit ausdrücklich alle an. Bitte beachten Sie außerdem, dass wir Zitate zum besseren, sprachlichen Verständnis leicht angepasst haben.