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Diverse Product Selection Key for D2C Success, Says Grove CEO

Mimic Amazon for D2C Success, says Grove CEO

As direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands look to win customers’ loyalty in an increasingly crowded eCommerce landscape, Grove Collaborative contends that those that can meet more of consumers’ day-to-day needs have a better shot at holding their own against retail giants.

Jeff Yurcisin, CEO of the household and personal care products benefit corporation brand, told PYMNTS in an interview that it is not enough for a D2C brand to offer a specialized but highly limited assortment; they need to offer consumers appealing options across categories.

“If customers only buy two or three items from us in a box, it’s really hard for most D2C players to compete effectively with Amazon,” Yurcisin said. “The magic happens when there is six, seven, eight, 10 items that they’re finding that they’re excited to try. …What we’re now doing is we’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re not just a sustainable cleaning company. We’re trying to meet your broader needs.’”

He noted that doing so can help reduce the friction that shoppers experience trying to find brands they trust across different retail categories.

Trust is top of mind for D2C consumers, according to research from the PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” which drew from a survey of more than 3,500 U.S. consumers.

Fifteen percent of consumers making purchases from a brand’s own website or mobile app cited trust in the store as the most influential factor in selecting the type of store at which they made all or most of their purchases in the last 30 days. This share was greater than the portion of customers making purchases from an online marketplace or from a retailer’s website or mobile app who said the same.

Casting a Wide Net

One of the ways that the company is driving customer acquisition is by making the platform available to more consumers. Shoppers had to previously enter their email addresses to be able to browse the brand’s products that were available for subscriptions. At the end of last month, Grove Collaborative launched a web experience that opens the online shop to those who have not input this information and that enables a la carte purchases.

“We believe it massively increases our [total addressable market],” Yurcisin said. “…You can now check out without subscriptions. But the great news is we now give customers an incentive to subscribe and save, [which] launched on the same day that we opened up this experience.”

The PYMNTS Intelligence study “The Replenish Economy: A Household Supply Deep Dive” found that shoppers who choose at-will online shopping versus shopping in stores or via auto-fill subscription often do so to have more control over their time.

Going Where the Love Is

Even as the brand opens the online shopping experience, it is stepping up its efforts to appeal to its most loyal customers by improving its VIP experience, which charges $19.99 per year for free shipping on orders over $29, exclusive discounts and other perks.

Meeting the needs of brands’ most loyal consumers helps drive performance. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Subscription Commerce Readiness Report: The Loyalty Factor” revealed that 30% of retail subscribers generate 79% of total revenue across the retail subscription space.

This too goes back to trust.

“Our idea is these VIPs … start their shopping with us,” Yurcisin said. “And they’re doing that not because we have more selection than Amazon, not because an individual item might be priced in a certain way, but rather, they’re trusting us as this brand that is curating these high-performing, planet-first products.”

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