Survey: Cost, convenience drive direct-to-consumer popularity

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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shopper looking at shopping cart in cloud

A substantial majority of shoppers have engaged in direct-to-consumer (DTC) commerce.

According to a survey of roughly 1,000 consumers from online deal platform CouponFollow, 80% of respondents reported making at least one or more purchases directly from a brand or company, rather than from a large retailer, in the past year. Of these respondents, 30-to-44-year-olds were most likely to opt for the DTC avenue. Also, consumers purchased directly from mid-sized companies slightly more often than large retailers, and much more than from small brands or companies.

Overall, the most common reason why a respondent would buy directly from a company is that it was the cheaper option (67%) with the elimination of transportation and handling costs that are tacked on to items being sold in large retail outlets. Over one-third of respondents also claimed that DTC shopping had better shipping options (39%) and was more convenient (35%).

Furthermore, over half of respondents felt as if their experiences buying goods directly from companies were better than their experience with Amazon.

Consumers who purchased directly from brands typically spent under $100 (46%), and 36% spent between $100 and $300. Comparatively, purchases between $300 and $599 were more commonly made through large retailers (24% vs. 13%). Consumers also made purchases from large retailers more frequently, as 70% did so a few times a month or more, compared to 28% who made DTC purchases a few times a month.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Close to half (46%) of respondents said they wanted to increase their DTC spending over the next year.
  • A leading 44% of respondents connected with their favorite DTC brands via word-of-mouth.
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents are motivated to engage in DTC shopping to support small businesses.
  • One-third (34%) of respondents started engaging in DTC shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • One in five respondents said that in the near future, they would like to make the transition from shopping at large retailers to purchasing directly from a brand or company.