Direct-to-Consumer Brands 2020

Direct-to-Consumer Brands 2020

Growing Pains Hit Disruptor Brands on Their Path to Maturity

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About This Report
The direct-to-consumer brand movement has reached a critical juncture. Which of these brands will make the leap into the mainstream before their runway runs out?
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand movement has flourished in recent years, but it may finally be reaching a point of reckoning. As the venture and financial markets rationalize, there will be separation between the next great brands from the also-rans. Which brands have what it takes to make the leap into the mainstream?

What’s the current size and growth of the D2C market?

We forecast that D2C sales will account for $17.75 billion of total ecommerce sales in 2020, up 24.3% from the previous year. While overall sector growth remains strong and outpaces total US ecommerce gains, momentum is slowing.

Why are many D2C brands now struggling to grow?

The same low barriers to entry that enabled D2Cs to spring up overnight have also led to overcrowding and increased customer acquisition costs (CACs). Many D2Cs also lack the competencies to scale their brand via new advertising and sales channels.

What are the common elements of great D2C brands?

The most powerful brands combine modern-day aesthetics, high-quality product design and experience and differentiated positioning within their category.

Which advertising tactics are D2C brands using to reach their next phase of growth?

Many D2C brands are evolving beyond performance-based search and social ads to more traditional branding media, like TV, podcasts and out-of-home, but they are doing so while incorporating performance advertising principles.

How are D2C brands getting into physical retail?

D2C brands are expanding distribution by opening permanent stores, pop-ups and creating retail partnerships with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report provides the latest trends in D2C brand adoption and analysis of how D2Cs can best position themselves for long-term growth.

KEY STAT: In the US, we estimate that there will be 87.3 million D2C ecommerce buyers ages 14 and older in 2020, up 10.3% from the prior year.

Here’s what’s in the full report

2files

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16charts

Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

13expert perspectives

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The Growth (and Growing Pains) of D2C Brands
  3. Expanding the Brand
  4. The Evolving Ad Model of D2C Brands
  1. Expanding Retail Distribution Models
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Brian Berger
Mack Weldon
Founder and CEO
Interviewed March 5, 2020
Rachel Bogan
Work & Co.
Partner, Product Management
Interviewed December 17, 2019
Michelle Cardinal
Rain
Founder, CEO
Interviewed February 19, 2020
Jane Crisan
Rain
President and COO
Interviewed February 19, 2020
Aaron Fetters
Truth{Set}
Head of Client Development
Interviewed February 28, 2020
Mayur Gupta
Freshly
CMO
Interviewed December 11, 2019
Imran Khan
Verishop
Founder, CEO
Interviewed December 3, 2019
Alex Kubo
Burrow
Vice President, Ecommerce and Digital Marketing
Interviewed September 25, 2019
Dave Morgan
Simulmedia
Founder, CEO
Interviewed December 13, 2019
Rachel Tipograph
MikMak
Founder, CEO
Interviewed February 18, 2020
Amish Tolia
Leap
Co-Founder and co-CEO
Interviewed November 1, 2019
Rebecca Traverzo
ThirdLove
Vice President of Marketing
Interviewed March 13, 2020
Andy Prochazka
Article
Co-Founder and CMO
Interviewed November 21, 2019

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authors

Andrew Lipsman

Contributors

Bianca Carasus
Researcher
Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Rimma Kats
Executive Editor
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Research Manager, US
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst