D2C Brands’ Success Hinges on Consumer Trust

eCommerce, online shopping

When it comes to direct-to-consumer (D2C) online shopping, establishing trust with shoppers is key to brands’ success, a recent PYMNTS Intelligence study reveals.

By the Numbers

For the report “The Online Features Driving Consumers to Shop With Brands, Retailers or Marketplaces,” PYMNTS Intelligence surveyed more than 3,500 U.S. consumers in October to understand shoppers’ choices and behaviors when they make purchases online as well as the factors driving these actions.

graphic, how consumers choose stores

The results show that, when consumers are deciding where to shop digitally, trust is a top priority for D2C shoppers. A plurality of consumers making purchases from a brand’s own website or mobile app — 15% — 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.

Not only is this share greater than that of D2C shoppers who cited any other factor as their top concern, but it is also far 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.

The Data in Context

Indeed, D2C brands cite trust as a key factor contributing to their success. For instance, Lindsey Galey, chief marketing officer of Giadzy, the Giada De Laurentiis-founded publication and D2C retailer, said in an interview with PYMNTS last year that the company’s contextual commerce business benefits from the trust consumers have in the brand’s celebrity founder.

“Being able to really control that entire experience from digital to cart to checkout to fulfillment to packaging, and then also giving people the recipe and the tips on how to create the dish — that’s where we’ve seen the real magic happen,” Galey said.

Additionally, Joey Zwillinger, co-founder and co-CEO of direct-to-consumer footwear company Allbirds, which also has a traditional retail presence, told PYMNTS in a conversation last year that physical channels can be key to building trust in the brand.

“Brands need to give new customers who might be on the fence about buying their products an opportunity to feel and test out the product,” Zwillinger said. “Being purely D2C can hinder long-term potential because reach is limited. Brands must meet consumers where they are. At Allbirds, we’ve held an omnichannel vision for the company ever since we started.”