D2C Unlocked: Chapter 18: Aamar Kolkata || The Greatest Insights Unlocked!

18th Chapter of D2C Unlocked, a flagship community-led founders event held in Kolkata witnessed a gathering of founders of over 100 Direct-to-Customer (D2C) brands from the state, for networking and knowledge exchange among industry leaders and experts. The event unfolded with a dynamic panel discussion with co-founders of leading D2C brands namely:

  • Ayush Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Chaigram
  • Mayank Bindal, Co-founder & CEO, Snap E cabs
  • Ankit Kothari, Co-Founder, WishCare
  • Sunil Saha, Co-Founder & CEO, Blue Tea
  • Moderated by Shivam Dang, Head of Startup Ecosystem & Partnerships, Simpl

Let us quickly discuss the most important insights witnessed during this discussion:

“Everyone is targeting the same 1 crore people in India who are buying. Everyone’s mobile time is limited and we all brands are fighting for a space in that. So decreasing the CAC is difficult but if you can market your product in a way that is unique, then maybe half the battle is won.”

Sunil Saha emphasized the significance of a standout product, stating that in a competitive market, where numerous brands target the same pool of customers, standing out becomes crucial. With everyone vying for attention in limited mobile space, reducing Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is challenging. However, if your marketing approach is distinctive, it can significantly tip the scales in your favor, potentially winning half the battle. He added that “Most people have to think out of their best wit to figure out a way that how do I reach my consumers with the lowest possible money and how do I still sell and beat the hell out of competition”. He proposed the following ideas:

  • Distinctive Branding: Creating a unique brand identity can capture consumer attention more effectively.
  • Innovative Marketing Tactics: Employing unconventional marketing strategies can yield better results.
  • Value Proposition Highlight: Emphasizing the product’s unique value sets it apart from competitors.
  • Pioneer something entirely new or unprecedented: Make something completely new that nobody has made before.

“If your product struggles to gain traction in a specific region, consider a global approach.”

Ankit Kothari highlighted the advantage of leveraging online platforms to gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences. For instance, by running targeted advertisements in a city or state, businesses can gauge the level of interest in that area. This data enables informed decisions about potential physical presence in that location.Expanding globally can help find markets where your product might be in demand, even if it isn’t selling well in a particular state or country. Basically, online platforms offer valuable insights into customer behavior and this data shall help in evaluating whether establishing a physical presence in those areas would be beneficial. Therefore, going global allows businesses to explore untapped markets and make informed decisions about expanding their reach.

“What is the feedback you are getting from your customer? It can be related to opening the package to the delivery boy, to using it, everything is covered. It now has a fancy term called customer satisfaction”.

Every panelist was onboard about the most important C in marketing – Customer satisfaction. In today’s business landscape, customer feedback holds immense value, shaping product development, service enhancement, and overall brand success. From the moment a package arrives to interacting with delivery personnel and using the product, each touchpoint contributes to what’s now known as “customer satisfaction.”

  • Unveiling the Power of Customer Feedback: Decoding Customer Satisfaction:The customer journey spans various stages, offering crucial insights into the user experience. From purchase to packaging quality, delivery timelines, and product functionality, feedback at each stage provides comprehensive views into consumer perceptions. Actively listening to customers’ opinions helps address concerns and appreciate positive feedback, showcasing a commitment to customer-centricity. Addressing feedback-driven pain points leads to enhanced loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and increased brand advocacy.
  • The Role of Technology: Advancements in technology have streamlined feedback mechanisms. Artificial intelligence-driven sentiment analysis tools and data analytics help businesses make sense of vast amounts of feedback data. This empowers them to make data-driven decisions to improve customer experiences.

“One other metric to take care of is availability. We have to be present in different parts of the world and the customer should get the product the very next day.”

One of the panelists highlighted a key strategy: their product was strategically stocked in 18 different warehouses across India. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, this became a significant advantage for their brand. The multi-warehouse setup enabled them to offer a one-day delivery option, which proved crucial during the pandemic. Therefore, supply chain efficiency, particularly ensuring product availability across diverse global regions and timely delivery is paramount, aiming for customers to receive their ordered products within a swift 2-3 day timeframe.

A smooth supply chain is super important for D2C brands. It’s not just about making good stuff but also making sure it gets to customers worldwide without delays. Faster deliveries make customers happier and more likely to stick around. So, these brands should invest in a strong supply chain setup using tech and good logistics. This way, they can make sure their products are available everywhere and reach customers fast. This not only meets customer needs but also keeps these brands ahead in the competition.

“Brands today sell on the basis of community. Community is building the D2C space as customer behavior has changed.”

Mayank Bindal and Ayush Gupta highlighted the pivotal role of community engagement in today’s brand landscape. They emphasized how community-driven sales have significantly influenced the Direct-to-Customer (D2C) sector, adapting to changing consumer behaviors. Building and nurturing a dedicated community around a brand has become integral to success.

While initiating a D2C brand is comparatively straightforward, sustaining its success poses challenges. However, the rising disposable income among the middle class has facilitated easier product purchases. The key is to create products that customers love enough to organically promote within their communities. Moreover, the streamlined one-tap checkout process has enhanced the overall buying experience. As consumers have both the financial means and a desire for unique self-expression, they’re empowered to achieve personal fulfillment through their buying choices. This evolving consumer behavior underscores the importance of brands focusing on fostering strong communities and aligning their products with customers’ sense of individuality for sustained success in the D2C landscape.

To quickly sum up about the brands given above:

  • Chaigram: Specializes in offering a diverse range of organic tea in multiple flavors.
  • Snap E Cabs: Focuses on providing electric car services.
  • WishCare: Deals in beauty and personal care products.
  • Blue Tea: Offers unique tea made from blue flowers with Ayurvedic properties.

D2C Unlocked: Chapter 17: Aamchi Mumbai || The Greatest Insights Unlocked!

17th Chapter of D2C Unlocked, a flagship community-led founders event held in Mumbai witnessed a gathering of founders of over 100 Direct-to-Customer (D2C) brands from the state, for networking and knowledge exchange among industry leaders and experts.

The event unfolded with a dynamic panel discussion with co-founders of leading D2C brands namely:

  • Shweta Srivastava, Chief Experience Officer at TATA Cliq
  • Puneet Sehgal, Co-founder of Freakins
  • Niti Singhal, Founder and Designer at Twee In One 
  • Rahul Rohra, Co-Founder & Chief marketing Officer at Scitron
  • Moderated by Nitya Sharma,  Founder, Simpl

Let us quickly discuss the most important insights witnessed during this discussion:


“Performance marketing is so monetized, we go and raise money from the investors and we give away 50% of that to Mark Zuckerberg”

Performance marketing has become heavily monetized, where a significant portion of invested funds ends up allocated to platforms like Google and Facebook. Puneet Sehgal made an insightful observation about how brands today tend to funnel half of their advertising budget into these platforms, leading to an oversaturation of content. Instead, businesses should focus on devising more effective marketing strategies, particularly within the consumer market.

An exemplary case is Freakins, positioning themselves as a supply chain company within the fashion industry. Their success lies in consistently introducing new styles on a monthly basis, recognizing the pivotal role of a robust supply chain in the realm of fashion.


Merely engaging influencers to showcase your products isn’t enough.

To break through the clutter and establish a lasting brand recall, influencer marketing should foster a genuine association between the influencer and your brand.

The influencer landscape has significantly expanded over the past decade, with numerous influencers each advocating unique core values, typically in the 22-25 age range. Recognizing this, Freakins recognized the importance of forging authentic relationships with influencers. They innovatively introduced the concept of ‘Capsule collection with influencers.’

What does this entail? Freakins involved influencers as part of their design team, allowing them to contribute their unique style ideas. Upon launch, these collections were branded with the influencer’s name, clearly highlighting their involvement. This strategy resonates with our audience, emphasizing authenticity, while also making influencers proud of their contributions to the collection.”


When faced with an oversaturated market, the pivotal question arises: how does one carve out a distinct positioning?

This question is particularly pertinent for every Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brand striving to stand out amidst the colossal presence of over 1 million brands.

Shweta from Tata Cliq offered a compelling insight into this dilemma. Tata Cliq devised a unique strategy centered around a curated marketplace model. They meticulously selected only authorized sellers, prioritizing trust as a fundamental factor. Additionally, they embraced a ‘phygital’ approach, implementing an omnichannel strategy to cater to their customers across various touchpoints where they are present. This approach was designed to create a model that aligns seamlessly with the diverse needs of the customer base.


Fast Fashion versus Sustainability: A Battle of Priorities. Is the quick turnover of trends more important, or is saving the planet our ultimate goal?

During the panel discussion, it became evident that two panelists represented contrasting markets. Freakins champions fast fashion, aiming to bring Zara-like options to the Indian market at half the price, catering to the budget-conscious Gen Z demographic. 

Conversely, Twee in One stands as a ‘Made to Order’ brand focused on sustainability. The discussion revolved around the significance of sustainability in today’s landscape, posing the question of whether brands are willing to invest in sustainability, even at a premium cost.

Niti from Twee in One presented an intriguing perspective, emphasizing that the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Twee specializes in ‘Reversible’ and ‘Convertible’ clothing, appealing to consumers looking to minimize their environmental footprint. Niti highlighted their focus on individuals making conscious decisions to invest in versatile clothing, promoting a lighter travel experience without compromising on style. They target a niche market seeking sustainable choices rather than catering solely to the masses.

Perhaps, this is a topic that we shall pick up for our upcoming webinar. For now, it leaves us contemplating which path holds the key to the future.


How to Establish a Business Presence in Tier 2 and 3 Cities?

Rahul from Scitron provided valuable insights into this topic. His extensive experience of visiting 22 states led him to conclude that Tier 2 cities thrive on community connections. In these cities, fitness represents more than just physical well-being; it’s a means to break barriers, gain respect, and become an integral part of a community. He described this phenomenon as the ‘Guruji and bhaiyaji market,’ where community leaders are revered and influential.

The sports nutrition market in India is growing, with different types of products becoming available. But to reach smaller cities, you need influential leaders who can make people like your brand. Rahul says if your brand becomes the choice of these leaders, you’re halfway to winning.

To quickly sum up about the brands given above:

  • Freakins specializes in fast fashion denim wear
  • Tata CLiQ is an ecommerce platform offering Fashion, Footwear, and Accessories
  • Twee In One creates exclusive collections of reversible and convertible clothing
  • Scitron focuses on nutritional supplements

Choosing the right platform for your business: Shopify vs. Magento vs. WooCommerce


In the world of e-commerce, selecting the right platform is crucial for the success of your online business. Among the top contenders, Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce stand out as popular choices for creating and managing online stores. Each platform comes with its unique set of features, advantages, and limitations. In this article, we will delve into a thorough comparison of Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, highlighting their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision for your e-commerce venture.

  • Shopify

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that enables businesses to set up and manage their online stores effortlessly. Known for its user-friendly interface and impressive ease of use, Shopify is particularly favored by small to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs.

Pros of Shopify:

  1. Easy Setup: With its simple and intuitive interface, Shopify allows users to create a fully functional store within minutes, without requiring extensive technical expertise.
  2. Wide Range of Themes and Plugins: Shopify offers an extensive library of themes and plugins, making it easy to customize your store’s design and add various functionalities.
  3. Hosting and Security: Being a hosted platform, Shopify takes care of server maintenance, security updates, and regular backups, ensuring a secure shopping experience for your customers.
  4. 24/7 Customer Support: Shopify provides reliable customer support, helping users resolve issues and get assistance around the clock.

Cons of Shopify:

  1. Transaction Fees: While Shopify offers various plans, some of them come with transaction fees, which can impact your overall profitability.
  2. Limited Customization: Though Shopify offers numerous themes and plugins, customization options might be limited for businesses with unique requirements.
  3. Ongoing Costs: Additional expenses may be incurred through app purchases, theme upgrades, and add-ons, potentially increasing the overall cost.

  • Magento

Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform renowned for its flexibility and scalability, making it ideal for larger enterprises and businesses with complex needs.

Pros of Magento:

  1. Customization and Flexibility: As an open-source platform, Magento provides extensive customization options, allowing businesses to create highly personalized and unique online stores.
  2. Robust and Scalable: Magento is designed to handle large volumes of products and high website traffic, making it suitable for businesses with ambitious growth plans.
  3. Vast Community and Support: Being open-source, Magento has a large community of developers and users who contribute to continuous improvement and troubleshooting.
  4. No Transaction Fees: Unlike Shopify, Magento does not charge transaction fees, providing more control over your business finances.

Cons of Magento:

  1. Technical Expertise Required: Setting up and managing a Magento store demands a higher level of technical knowledge, which might be challenging for less tech-savvy users.
  2. Hosting and Maintenance: Since Magento is self-hosted, users are responsible for server maintenance, security, and backups, which can be both time-consuming and costly.
  3. Higher Development Costs: Customizing and maintaining a Magento store often requires professional assistance, leading to additional development expenses.
  • WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that transforms a regular WordPress website into a fully functional e-commerce store, offering a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized businesses.

Pros of WooCommerce:

  1. Integration with WordPress: For those familiar with WordPress, WooCommerce provides a seamless integration, enabling users to add e-commerce functionality to an existing WordPress site.
  2. Extensive Flexibility: Being an open-source platform, WooCommerce offers numerous plugins and extensions to extend the store’s functionality and design.
  3. No Transaction Fees: Like Magento, WooCommerce does not impose transaction fees, making it a more cost-effective option for businesses.
  4. User-Friendly Interface: WooCommerce’s intuitive interface makes it relatively easy for users to set up and manage their online stores.

Cons of WooCommerce:

  1. WordPress Dependencies: Users who are unfamiliar with WordPress might find it challenging to set up and manage their online store.
  2. Scalability: While WooCommerce is suitable for smaller businesses, it might encounter limitations when scaling up to handle larger product catalogs and high traffic.
  3. Self-Hosting Responsibility: Like Magento, WooCommerce users are responsible for hosting, security, and maintenance, which can add to the workload.



In summary, the choice between Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce depends on your business’s specific requirements, technical expertise, budget, and growth aspirations. Shopify stands out as an excellent option for beginners and small businesses, offering ease of use and reliability. Magento appeals to larger enterprises with its customization and scalability features but demands technical proficiency. WooCommerce suits businesses with a WordPress background, offering an affordable solution with a wide range of plugins.

Carefully evaluate the pros and cons presented in this article, and consider your business needs to make an informed decision that will set your e-commerce venture on the path to success. Whichever platform you choose, remember that regular updates, customer engagement, and quality products are essential elements for building a successful online store. Happy selling!

5 Strategies to Boost Customer Loyalty for D2C Brands – And the Right Tools to Implement Them


In today’s highly competitive market, Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands face the ongoing challenge of not only acquiring new customers but also retaining them in the long run. With countless options available at consumers’ fingertips, building customer loyalty has become an essential factor for sustainable success. 


Studies consistently show that loyal customers are not only more likely to make repeat purchases but also become brand advocates, driving organic growth and positive word-of-mouth.


In this blog, we will delve into five proven strategies to boost customer loyalty for D2C brands, providing you with actionable insights and the right tools to cultivate enduring relationships with your customers. Backed by compelling statistics, these strategies will empower you to enhance customer satisfaction, strengthen brand loyalty, and ultimately drive long-term success.


  • Implementing a Robust Loyalty Program: Loyalty programs are powerful tools to encourage repeat purchases and foster customer loyalty. According to recent studies, brands with loyalty programs witness a 20% increase in customer retention and generate 12-18% higher revenue growth than their counterparts.

    Here are some tools you must checkout to boost customer loyalty:

    > Smile.io – With this tool, you can reward customers for various actions such as purchases, referrals, social media engagement, and more and it easily integrates with shopify, allowing you to seamlessly manage and track customer rewards and engagement.

    > Yotpo Loyalty & Referrals: This tool integrates with Shopify to drive customer retention and referral marketing by enabling you to create a customizable loyalty program with points, rewards, and tiers.

    > POPClub – This tool allows you to maximise customer engagement by implementing a highly relevant loyalty program through India’s first ecosystem currency focused on D2C brands.


  • Prioritizing Exceptional Customer Service: Outstanding customer service is the foundation of building strong customer loyalty. Statistics reveal that 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase due to poor customer service experiences.

    This only means that going the extra mile to address customer concerns and promptly resolve issues, brands can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty and here are some Shopify tools that have been able to do the same for many brands:

    > Gorgias – This seamlessly integrates with Shopify. It centralizes customer inquiries from multiple channels (email, chat, social media, etc.) into one dashboard. It also provides valuable customer information and order details right at your fingertips, enabling you to provide faster and more personalized support.> Reamaze – Reamaze is a customer service and live chat platform designed to streamline customer communication and support – you can manage customer inquiries, support tickets, and live chat conversations all within one unified inbox.



  • Enhancing Customer Engagement: Active customer engagement is key to establishing a loyal customer base. D2C brands can achieve this by leveraging social media platforms, interactive content, and personalized communication.

    Studies indicate that engaged customers are 23% more likely to continue purchasing from a brand, who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to others.Here are some Shopify tools that can enable you to create meaningful interactions – to deepen customer relationships and build brand loyalty

    > Privy – Privy is a customer engagement platform designed to help Shopify merchants drive customer growth and engagement. It offers a suite of tools, including customizable pop-ups, banners, and spin-to-win wheels, to capture visitor emails and encourage conversions. Thus, allowing you to engage with customers at critical touchpoints throughout their journey.

    > Tidio – Tidio is a live chat and chatbot platform that helps Shopify merchants engage with website visitors in real-time. With Tidio, you can easily add a chat widget to your website and provide instant support to customers. Tidio also offers AI-powered chatbots that can handle common customer queries, capture leads, and even process orders.



  • Cultivating a Strong Brand Identity: A well-defined brand identity plays a pivotal role in customer loyalty. Research shows that 64% of consumers have a strong relationship with a brand because they share similar values. D2C brands should focus on communicating their unique value propositions, brand story, and mission to resonate with their target audience.

    Here’s a Shopify tool that can help D2C brands can create emotional connections that foster long-term loyalty with their brand experience.

    > PageFly: This is a page builder tool for Shopify that allows you to customize the design and layout of your online store to reflect your brand identity. With a drag-and-drop interface with a wide range of pre-designed templates and elements, it enables you to create unique and visually appealing landing pages, product pages, and blog posts. Helping you align with your brand guidelines and create a consistent brand identity across your entire store.


  • Harnessing Customer Data for Personalization: Customer data is a valuable asset for understanding consumer behavior and preferences. D2C brands should leverage data analytics to segment their customer base, personalize marketing campaigns, and tailor product offerings. Statistics predict that the global customer data platform market will reach $3.3 billion by 2025.

    Focussing on harnessing data can allow you to provide personalized recommendations, targeted promotions, and seamless shopping experiences and here are some Shopify tools that can help with this:

    > Klaviyo – This email marketing and automation platform that integrates seamlessly with Shopify. It enables you to capture and leverage customer data to drive personalized email campaigns and marketing automation workflows. Klaviyo allows you to create targeted email campaigns based on customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history – helping you boost customer experience.

    > Justuno – This is a conversion optimization platform that helps Shopify merchants capture customer data through various interactive tools such as pop-ups, exit-intent offers, and gamified opt-ins.It allows you to create engaging and personalized experiences to incentivize visitors to provide their email addresses or other relevant information.




In the dynamic landscape of D2C sales, building customer loyalty is vital for sustainable growth and long-term success. By implementing strategies such as loyalty programs, exceptional customer service, customer engagement initiatives, consistent brand identity, and data-driven personalization, D2C brands can foster strong customer loyalty. As consumer expectations continue to evolve, investing in customer loyalty will be the key to differentiation, higher retention rates, and staying ahead in the competitive market.


Remember, customer loyalty is not an overnight achievement but rather a continuous effort that requires a deep understanding of customer expectations and a commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. By implementing these strategies and adapting to changing consumer needs, D2C brands can build lasting relationships with their customers and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of direct-to-consumer commerce.

9 Tested Social Media Strategies for D2C Brands


Social media has transformed the way businesses operate, especially for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands. With billions of active users worldwide, social media platforms offer unparalleled opportunities to connect, engage, and convert customers. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies for leveraging social media to propel your D2C brand’s success, supported by compelling statistics.



1) Define Your Social Media Strategy

Before diving into social media, define your brand’s objectives and target audience. Determine which platforms align with your audience’s preferences. For example, if your target audience is predominantly younger, focus on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.


Interesting Stat: According to Statista, 33.4 % of the total Indian population.



2) Craft Compelling Content

Creating engaging and valuable content is essential to capture and retain your audience’s attention. Share informative posts, tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and user-generated content (UGC) to establish a genuine connection with your followers.


Interesting Stat: Social Media Today reports that UGC posts generate a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts.



3) Utilize Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool to expand your reach and build trust among potential customers. Collaborating with relevant influencers enables you to tap into their loyal following and leverage their credibility.


Interesting Stat: According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, businesses earned an average of $5.78 in earned media value for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.



4) Engage with Your Audience

Social media is a dynamic platform that allows direct interaction with your customers. Actively respond to comments, messages, and mentions promptly. Encourage conversations, run polls, and ask for feedback to foster engagement and build a loyal community.


Interesting Stat: Smart Insights found that 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to others.



5) Leverage Data and Analytics

Data-driven decision-making is key to optimizing your social media strategy. Utilize analytics tools to gain insights into your audience’s preferences, engagement patterns, and demographics. Identify peak engagement times, top-performing content, and areas for improvement.


Interesting Stat: Hootsuite reports that 54% of social marketers use social analytics tools to understand their audience better.



6) Embrace Visual Storytelling

Visual content has a profound impact on social media platforms. Utilize high-quality images, videos, and infographics to captivate your audience’s attention. Visual storytelling evokes emotions, enhances brand recall, and drives engagement.


Interesting Stat: HubSpot reveals that tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than text-only tweets.



7) Paid Advertising and Retargeting

Paid social media advertising enables you to amplify your reach and target specific demographics. Utilize advanced targeting options to reach your ideal customers. Additionally, retargeting campaigns allow you to reconnect with users who have previously shown interest in your brand.


Interesting Stat: WordStream reports that Facebook ads have an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1.33% for the e-commerce industry.



8) Collaborate with User-Generated Content (UGC)

Encourage your customers to create and share content featuring your products or brand. UGC fosters authenticity, builds trust, and increases engagement. Showcase UGC on your social media platforms to strengthen your brand’s credibility.


Interesting Stat: Stackla reports that 86% of millennials believe that UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service.



9) Stay Agile and Experiment

The social media landscape is ever-evolving. Stay up to date with emerging trends, platform updates, and changing algorithms. Experiment with new features, formats, and strategies to keep your brand fresh and relevant.


Interesting Stat: Buffer’s State of Social Media report highlights that 73% of marketers agree that social media marketing has been effective for their business.





Social media presents a goldmine of opportunities for D2C brands to connect with their target audience, drive conversions, and foster brand loyalty. By crafting a well-defined strategy, creating compelling content, engaging with customers, leveraging influencers, analyzing data, and staying agile, your brand can unlock the true potential of social media marketing.


Embrace these strategies, supported by the aforementioned statistics, to propel your D2C brand towards unprecedented success in the digital era.

D2C vs B2C Business Model: Understanding the Differences


Today’s business landscape is constantly changing. Companies are exploring new strategies and models to increase their sales and efficiently reach their target audience.


Two business models have become popular in recent years. These are Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) models. They have gained significant traction.


Both models involve selling products directly to consumers. However, they differ in several ways. These include sales channels, profitability, marketing strategies, and customer service. In this blog post, we will delve into the differences between these two models and highlight their respective advantages and challenges.



Sales Channels:


One of the primary distinctions between D2C business model and B2C business model lies in the sales channels they employ. D2C companies focus on selling their products directly to consumers, primarily through online stores and their websites. D2C brands can create a more direct connection with customers by removing middlemen and retail stores. This gives them the opportunity to gain useful knowledge about customer preferences and buying behavior.


B2C companies often use many different distribution channels to sell their products. These include retail stores, e-commerce platforms, and third-party marketplaces. All of these are aimed at consumers.


B2C companies can use a multi-channel approach to reach more people. This also enables them to benefit from the existing customer base of their retail partners.





When it comes to profitability, D2C models have a significant advantage over traditional B2C models. By removing the middlemen and selling directly to consumers, D2C companies can achieve higher profitability margins. They can reinvest these savings into product innovation, marketing, and customer service, thereby enhancing their overall value proposition.



Marketing Strategy:


D2C brands often prioritize building a strong online presence and employ digital marketing strategies to engage with their target audience. They leverage social media platforms, influencer partnerships, and content marketing to create brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions. D2C companies are known for their agile marketing strategies, allowing them to quickly adapt to market trends and consumer preferences.


B2C companies often use digital marketing techniques. They also have a wide range of traditional marketing methods, including television, radio, and print media.


They aim to target a wide range of consumers. To do this, they use market research and segmentation. This helps them create customized messages and campaigns.



Customer Service:


In terms of customer service, D2C companies have a unique advantage. They have full authority over the customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase. This allows them to give a personalised and continuous experience. D2C brands prioritize customer satisfaction and often have dedicated customer support teams to address queries, concerns, and provide timely assistance.


B2C companies prioritize customer service. However, they may struggle to maintain consistency and personalization. This is due to the involvement of multiple distribution channels and potential third-party partners.



Brand Loyalty:


D2C brands often excel in fostering brand loyalty among consumers. By establishing direct relationships and engaging with customers through personalized experiences, D2C companies can create a strong emotional connection. This connection can lead to increased customer loyalty, repeat purchases, and brand advocacy.


B2C companies may struggle to create the same level of customer loyalty as D2C brands. This is especially true for companies that have an existing physical retail presence. B2C companies can use their wider distribution channels to reach more people. This may allow them to take advantage of the brand loyalty associated with well-known retail stores.



Market Presence:


D2C companies have become more popular in recent years. However, they still make up a smaller part of the market than B2C companies. B2C models have long been the traditional approach to consumer sales and continue to dominate various industries.


The D2C market is growing quickly. Several startups have disrupted traditional supply chains and established their own place in the market.





In conclusion, the D2C and B2C business models offer distinct advantages and challenges. D2C models provide higher profitability margins, enable direct customer relationships, and foster brand loyalty through personalized experiences. They leverage digital marketing strategies and online stores to reach their target audience effectively.


B2C models use multiple distribution channels. This gives them a wider market reach. It also enables them to take advantage of existing brand loyalty for retail stores.


The decision between D2C and B2C models depends on numerous elements. These include the type of product, the intended customers, the industry’s operations, and the company’s objectives. Companies must assess several factors when selling products directly to consumers. They must determine the best business model to achieve growth and success in their markets.

Increasing AOV and Conversions for D2C Brands


As a D2C Founder, you want to increase revenue. One of the best ways to do this is to increase your average order value (AOV) and conversions. In this blog, we’ll look at some statistics and strategies to help you achieve these goals.



First, let’s define AOV and conversions. AOV stands for Average Order Value. It is the average money spent per transaction by a customer. Conversions are the percentage of visitors to your website that perform a desired action, such as making a purchase.

  • Offer Bundles and Discounts

One effective way to increase AOV is to offer product bundles and discounts. Product bundles can encourage customers to buy more items by offering a discount when they purchase multiple products together. Discounts are an incentive for customers to spend more. They offer a percentage off the purchase when a certain amount is spent.

According to a study by Invesp, 60% of shoppers say that discounts and offers influence their purchase decisions. Additionally, a study by Shopify found that offering bundles can increase revenue per customer by up to 60%.

  • Use Upselling and Cross-Selling Techniques

Another way to increase AOV is to use upselling and cross-selling techniques. Upselling is the practice of persuading customers to purchase a more expensive version of a product. Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves suggesting related products that could be useful to the customer.

According to HubSpot, upselling can increase revenue by up to 10-30% per transaction, while cross-selling can increase AOV by 3-15%.

  • Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your website is critical for increasing conversions. One important factor is page load speed. According to a study by Google, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases by 113% if it takes more than three seconds to load.

It’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Additionally, product descriptions should be clear and concise. Lastly, customer reviews can provide social proof.

  • Use Personalization and Segmentation

Personalization and segmentation are two strategies that can improve conversions. Personalization means customizing your messages and products to each customer, based on their behavior and preferences. Segmentation involves dividing your audience into smaller groups, based on similar features.

A study by Epsilon revealed that personalized emails have an average open rate of 29.3%. This is significantly higher than the open rate for non-personalized emails, which is 22.2%. Additionally, a study by HubSpot found that segmented email campaigns have a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.

  • Implement Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are a powerful tool for recovering lost revenue. A study by SaleCycle found that abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 45%. They also have a click-through rate of 21%. Additionally, these emails can recover up to 10% of lost sales.

  • Optimize Your Checkout Process

Optimizing your checkout process can also improve conversions. According to a study by Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. Some common reasons for cart abandonment include unexpected shipping costs, complicated checkout processes, and lack of trust in the website.

Consider offering free shipping or flat-rate shipping to optimize your checkout process. Simplify the checkout process for customers. Display trust badges or security seals to reassure customers.



In conclusion, increasing AOV and conversions is critical for the success of your e-commerce business.

  • Implement strategies like bundles, discounts, upselling, cross-selling, and website optimization.
  • Use personalization and segmentation to tailor experiences. Send abandoned cart emails to maximize sales.
  • Finally, optimize your checkout process to drive revenue growth and improve customer experience.

D2C Unlocked Chapter 9 : AAPNU GUJARAT


In eCommerce, it’s important to standardise two major factors:

  • Customer journeys
  • Trust


Yes, in e-commerce it is important to standardize the customer journey to ensure a consistent and positive experience for all customers. On the other hand, customers also need to feel confident and secure about purchasing from a brand which further enhances their shopping experience and boosts loyalty.


We set foot in Ahmedabad for Chapter 9 of the D2C Unlocked after 8 Successful chapters in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and and Bangalore on the 4th of May, 2023.


In our first Ahmedabad chapter, we had a huge turnout of founders who had the opportunity to connect with their fellow founders, meet industry experts and gain valuable insights from an exciting panel discussion.


This chapter, our panel discussion featured great founders including Sulay Lavsi (Bummer), Siddhartha Nangia (Smytten) and Shaili Shah (Mortantra) who shared their experiences on customer acquisition and market research strategies.


The AHA Moments


Every founder has their own unique story and of course and ‘aha moment’ or moment of realisation on their journey towards building a successful business.


Bummer is a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand that started with a mission to make underwear fun. The founders noticed that there wasn’t much innovation or excitement in the underwear category, so they decided to shake things up. They used the advantages of D2C to bring their vision to life, connecting directly with consumers to get feedback and improve their offerings. Their success really highlights how important it is to differentiate and innovate in the D2C space, and how even navigating through a stagnant category can lead to breakthroughs and success.


Shaili’s inspiration for Mortantra came from her own experience as a bride. She didn’t want to spend a lot of money on jewellery, and realized there was a gap in the market for affordable gold pieces. She traveled around and made a few sets of jewellery, which quickly gained popularity among the masses. However, the unique nature of the business made e-commerce a challenge, as jewellery requires a personal touch. Even after 6 years, the Mortantra team is still working on finding ways to overcome this challenge. Despite the niche nature of the business, Shaili’s AHA moment highlights the potential for success in identifying unmet needs and catering to them.


Siddhartha, the founder of Smytten, had a personal goal to start his own business before turning 40. Although he began planning in 2009, Smytten officially launched in 2015. The company’s AHA moment came from the realization that there were other channels that could help brands acquire customers beyond traditional performance marketing. Smytten provided a platform for brands to showcase their products and reach new audiences. This innovative approach has paid off, as the company has raised over 200 crores in funding over the years.


On Creating a Category and Customer Acquisition


  • Strong brand recall is crucial for success in the market.
  • Building a memorable and aspirational brand can be a challenging task.
  • Customers can be divided into two categories: impulse buyers and those who save products for later.
  • The first group tends to make more direct purchases while the second group, mainly from tier 2 and tier 3 markets, requires a more customized approach.
  • A strong brand, coupled with excellent product offerings, is a winning combination.
  • To achieve growth, focus on retaining existing customers, not just acquiring new ones.


On Retention


  • Establish an emotional connection between customers and the brand to capture the market.
  • This connection is built on the emotional idea behind the brand, which is the story that attracts customers.
  • Don’t rely solely on advertising and platforms to acquire customers.
  • Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to establish an emotional connection with customers and capture the market more meaningfully.
  • Providing a great experience is crucial for customer retention.
  • This is especially important for products that aren’t easily announced.
  • Effective strategies include minimizing the rate of return-to-origin (RTO), highlighting the packaging, and creating a memorable first impression.
  • Customers tend to associate the brand with the initial experience.
  • A great experience doesn’t have to be expensive.


The Smytten Numbers


Smytten is a platform that serves 15 million consumers, with 5 million monthly active users. The initial one million users were the hardest to acquire, with a strong focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience. The next 6 million users were obtained through increased spending, while the last 8 million were acquired through referrals and partnerships, including roadshows and offline marketing. 


Only 30% of users were acquired through traditional means. During tough market conditions, the focus was on acquiring more users, despite a high cost of customer acquisition. The platform uses data from multiple sources, including demographics and algorithms, to provide the best possible user experience and succeed in the market.


Key Takeaways


  • Standardizing the customer journey and building trust are key factors in the success of an e-commerce business. Customers expect a seamless experience from the moment they discover a product to the point of purchase and beyond. Standardizing the customer journey involves mapping out the different touchpoints and ensuring that the customer experience is consistent across all channels. Building trust is also important as it helps to establish credibility and encourages customers to return for future purchases.
  • Differentiating and innovating in the D2C space can lead to breakthroughs and success. With the rise of D2C brands, it’s important to differentiate oneself from competitors by offering unique products or experiences. Innovation can also help to set a brand apart and attract customers who are looking for something new and exciting.
  • Identifying unmet needs and catering to them can create potential for success. By understanding the needs of customers, businesses can create products and services that meet those needs. This can lead to a competitive advantage and help to establish a loyal customer base.
  • Building a memorable and aspirational brand, coupled with excellent product offerings, is crucial for success in the market. A strong brand identity can help to differentiate a business and create an emotional connection with customers. Excellent product offerings are also important, as customers expect high-quality products that meet their needs.
  • Establishing an emotional connection with customers and providing a great experience are important for customer retention. By providing a great experience, businesses can establish a loyal customer base that will return for future purchases. Establishing an emotional connection with customers can also help to create brand advocates who will recommend the business to others.



5 Best Practices for eCommerce Shipping & Fulfillment


E-commerce has revolutionized the way people shop, and shipping and fulfillment have become integral parts of the online shopping experience. But with so many options available to consumers, it can be challenging for eCommerce businesses to stand out from the crowd. 


In this blog post, we’ll delve into five best practices for eCommerce shipping and fulfillment that will help you improve customer satisfaction, reduce support requests, and increase sales.


  • Free Shipping is a key differentiator: Who doesn’t love free shipping? According to a Shopify, 80% of consumers say that free shipping is the most important factor when making an online purchase. Moreover, 58% of consumers say they will add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. Offering free shipping can be a powerful way to attract and retain customers. But if it’s not feasible for your business, don’t worry. You can still offer flat-rate or discounted shipping options, as long as you’re transparent about shipping costs throughout the checkout process. 
  • Keep your customers in the loop with tracking information: Customers want to know where their package is at all times. In fact, 90% of consumers say that they actively track their shipment while 20% customers track it more than once a day. Providing accurate and timely tracking information can increase customer satisfaction and reduce support requests. SMS updates are the preferred tracking method for 70% of consumers. Additionally, offering email updates and push notifications can be effective as well. 
  • Offer Multiple Delivery Options: Consumers have different preferences when it comes to delivery options. Some may prioritize faster delivery options, while others may prioritize cost or convenience. Offering multiple delivery options can help you meet the needs of different customers and increase customer satisfaction. According to a survey by UPS, 63% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because the delivery time was too slow. Moreover, 56% of consumers say that same-day or next-day delivery is important to them. Offering expedited delivery options can help you capture these customers and increase sales. 
  • Packaging and presentation can keep your customers coming back: Packaging and presentation can have a significant impact on the customer experience. In fact, 52% of consumers say that they are more likely to make a repeat purchase from a retailer if their order arrives in premium packaging. Investing in high-quality packaging materials and incorporating branding elements can help create a positive customer experience. Additionally, providing a personalized message or a small gift can help you stand out and create a memorable experience for customers. 
  • Streamline Your Fulfillment Process: Efficient fulfillment is essential for a successful eCommerce business. Slow or inaccurate fulfillment can lead to negative customer experiences and increased support requests. Streamlining your fulfillment process can help you reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. Implementing automation can help you automate processes such as order processing, inventory management, and shipping label generation. Additionally, integrating your eCommerce platform with your fulfillment center can help you streamline your operations further.


In conclusion, shipping and fulfillment are critical components of a successful eCommerce business. By implementing these best practices, you can create a positive customer experience and grow your eCommerce business. 


Offering free shipping, providing accurate tracking information, offering multiple delivery options, focusing on packaging and presentation, and streamlining your fulfillment process are all effective strategies that can help you stand out in a crowded market. Don’t let shipping and fulfillment be an afterthought – prioritize these aspects of your business, and you’ll reap the rewards.

D2C Unlocked Chapter 7 : AAMAR Kolkata


India has technologically evolved over the years with more people using the internet and smartphones, the country is now witnessing a rise in online buying despite previously being skeptical about eCommerce – even in non-metro cities.


We were in Kolkata for Chapter 7 of D2C Unlocked, following six successful previous events. 


In our first Kolkata Chapter, D2C founders had the opportunity to connect with their peers and other industry leaders, as well as gain valuable insights from experienced professionals in the industry.


This time around, our speaker panel featured industry leaders, including Sunil Saha, the founder of Blue Tea, Udayan Bubna, the co-founder of Miss Chase, Aishwarya Biswas, the founder of AULI, Sujata Chatterjee, the founder of Twirl.Store and Anurag Agrawal and Aditi Murarka, the founders of Nestasia – moderated by Megha Mathur of Simpl. 


They shared their experiences and knowledge on building a successful D2C brand. They discussed the strategies and insights that helped them stand out among other brands and attract customers.



The AHA Moments


These are different stories of how successful businesses were founded, and each of them had their “aha moment” or realization that led them to start their business.


Blue Tea is a company that initially struggled to find its unique selling point. They believed that their product wasn’t very distinct, but they still wanted to launch it as it was the most affordable option. After launching in India, the USA, and Europe, they eventually achieved a valuation of 100 crore. It’s possible that their “aha moment” was realizing that they could succeed even without a completely unique product, as long as they found a way to market and sell it effectively.


Aishwarya, the founder of AULI, wasn’t enjoying her previous job but was passionate about skincare. People often asked her about her glowing skin, so she decided to turn that passion into a business. Her “aha moment” was likely when she realized that she could combine her love of skincare with her desire to start her own business.


Sujata had too many things piled up at home and wanted to put them to better use. She realized that upcycling products done by rural women could be a viable business idea, and it’s now embraced by consumers and organizations in bulk. Her “aha moment” could have been when she realized that she could solve a common problem in a way that was sustainable and socially responsible.


The founders of Miss Chase initially wanted to launch a lingerie brand but never got to selling that. Their “aha moment” came when they transformed from one brand to a house of brands. This allowed them to leverage resources, partnerships, and strategies to build more than one brand. Their realization was likely that diversifying their offerings could lead to more success than focusing on just one product.


Finally, the founders of Nestasia had a love for home decor, which eventually led them to start their own business after setting up three homes from scratch. Their “aha moment” could have been when they realized that they could turn their passion into a profitable business idea.



The challenges of building a brand in Kolkata 


Building a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand in Kolkata, like in any other city, comes with its own set of challenges. One of the major hurdles is changing the traditional mindset of consumers who are more accustomed to buying from brick-and-mortar stores. This requires investing heavily in marketing and creating brand awareness to generate demand and establish trust among consumers.


Another challenge is the increasing competition in the D2C space. With the rise of e-commerce platforms, more brands are entering the market, making it harder to stand out and attract customers. This means that companies need to be innovative in their marketing strategies and find ways to differentiate their products from the competition.


However, Kolkata also presents many opportunities for D2C brands. It is a large and growing market, and the city has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem with support from government agencies, accelerators, and incubators. This support can help new brands overcome the challenges they face and scale their operations quickly.


A significant challenge for D2C brands in Kolkata is finding and retaining skilled manpower. Many brands struggle to find and afford skilled talent that can help them scale their operations efficiently. This can result in delays in production, fulfillment, and customer service, which can harm the brand’s reputation and bottom line.


In summary, while building a D2C brand in Kolkata has its challenges, there are also opportunities to grow and succeed. To overcome these challenges, brands need to focus on building a strong brand identity, differentiating themselves from the competition, and finding innovative solutions to production and manpower challenges.



On Being Successful in Marketplaces


If you want to crack the marketplace game and become a successful seller, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Find your superstar product: In most cases, 99% of your sales will come from less than 1% of your products. That’s why it’s important to identify your superstar product, the one that drives most of your sales. Focus on promoting and improving that product to maximize your revenue.
  2. One or two products can make a major difference: Sometimes, a single product can make a huge difference in your sales. Keep an eye on the performance of each product and identify the ones that have the potential to become bestsellers.
  3. Listen to customer feedback: Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into what your customers like and dislike about your products. Use this feedback to improve your products and tailor them to your customers’ needs. Also, make sure to showcase your products in the best light possible through high-quality images and descriptions.
  4. Be patient: Building a successful marketplace business takes time and effort. Don’t expect overnight success, and be willing to put in the work required to grow your business. Stay persistent, continue to analyze your performance, and adjust your strategy as needed.



Solving for cold starts and building trust


When you’re starting a new business, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is building trust with your potential customers. Here are a few tips to help you solve for cold starts and get people to trust your product when you’re starting out:

  • Content is a key driver of traffic: Creating high-quality content, such as blog posts, social media updates, and videos, can help you attract new customers and build trust with them. By providing valuable information and showcasing your expertise, you can demonstrate the value of your products and services and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
  • Trust takes time to build: Building trust is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and consistency to establish a good reputation and earn the trust of your customers. Focus on building a strong brand identity, providing excellent customer service, and delivering on your promises to create a positive customer experience.
  • Initially, a lot of COD orders: When you’re starting out, many customers may prefer to pay cash on delivery (COD) instead of paying upfront. This is because they are not yet familiar with your brand and may be hesitant to trust you with their money. Offering COD as a payment option can help you win over these customers and build trust over time.



Leveraging content


Using content as a mover is an effective way to drive traffic to your online store, build credibility, and establish a strong brand identity. Here are a few ways that content can help you achieve these goals:

  • Builds credibility: Creating high-quality content, such as blog posts, videos, and social media updates, can help you establish your expertise and build trust with your audience. By sharing valuable information and insights, you can demonstrate your knowledge and establish your brand as a credible authority in your industry.
  • Listening to your customers: Paying attention to customer feedback and using it to inform your content strategy can help you create content that resonates with your target audience. By understanding what your customers want and addressing their pain points, you can create content that is both informative and engaging.
  • Making people love themselves more: Ultimately, people don’t love brands – they love themselves. To succeed in the marketplace, your product or service must make people feel good about themselves and enhance their lives in some way. By creating content that focuses on the benefits of your product or service and how it can improve people’s lives, you can create a strong emotional connection with your audience and build a loyal customer base.



Key takeaways:

  • Building a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand in Kolkata comes with challenges, including changing traditional consumer mindsets, increasing competition, and finding skilled manpower.
  • To be successful in a marketplace, focus on identifying and promoting your superstar product, listening to customer feedback, and being patient.
  • To build trust with customers when starting a new business, focus on creating high-quality content, building a strong brand identity, and offering cash on delivery as a payment option.
  • Using content as a mover is an effective way to build credibility, listen to customers, and make people love themselves more.