Insight Update

Consumer brands improved their DTC website experience by 24% over the pandemic, shows 50-brand study

The digital strategy team of global ecommerce accelerator Pattern has benchmarked the direct-to-consumer (DTC) websites of 50 well-known consumer brands to understand how they have improved since the pandemic began.

Nike topped the ranked brands for a second time, improving on the brand’s 2019 score by 11%. Levi’s and Ralph Lauren came in second and third respectively, also scoring highly against the criteria.

Brands in five product categories were benchmarked – Beauty, Clothing & Footwear, Consumer Electronics, Food & Beverages, and Premium & Luxury. Four out of the top ten scoring brands were in the Clothing category, indicating a heavy investment in DTC channels. Premium & Luxury and Beauty brands also scored well in the study.

The study showed a stronger emphasis on providing value-adding products, services and content.

Top scoring brands offered compelling reasons to buy direct from their websites such as online exclusive products, subscriptions, community-generated content, and appointment-booking services. Offering such features means that a brand’s DTC website is able to stand out from other marketplaces or retailers selling their products.

Other key findings reported in Pattern’s DTC Benchmarking Report include:

Beauty brands scored 65% for Value-Added Product offering  – Beauty brands scored the highest in the Value-Added Product section, with all brands offering exclusive online products, exclusive online bundles, product gifting and free samples. However, only 20% of Beauty brands offered product personalisation.

Clothing brands scored 84% in Product Pages – Clothing brands scored the highest in the Product Pages section. 80% of Clothing brands scored full marks for providing ratings & reviews functionality, 90% provided delivery information on product pages, 80% scored highly for product imagery, and 90% scored full marks for product descriptions.

Food, Beverage & Alcohol brands struggling in Customer Service & Delivery Proposition – F&B brands scored lowest in the Customer Service, Value-Added Content & Delivery Proposition sections. F&B brands scored 30% for the Customer Service offerings, with only 10% providing a responsive, efficient live chat function on their sites. These brands also scored 33% for Delivery Proposition, the lowest of all categories.

Pattern’s Head of Consulting Stephanie Firth said on the report: “The ecommerce landscape has changed significantly in the last few years. With the easing of lockdown restrictions and re-opening of physical retail, brands must optimise their DTC website offerings in order to stay competitive and outperform the market. Providing online exclusive products, services, and content is integral to a strong DTC proposition.”

This report was conducted in Autumn of 2022 by Pattern strategists, assessing 50 leading brands’ UK DTC site instances. The study was restricted to desktop sites only. The report can be downloaded here.


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