The rise of direct to consumer during the Coronavirus

An explosion in the growth of online shopping has left traditional retailers trailing in the wake of digital natives during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The impact of the virus has accelerated the speed at which companies are selling goods and services straight to consumers, with more and more recognising that people now expect and demand to buy products directly from them.  

The growth in online shopping has been rapid over the last decade, but the impact of COVID-19 on all our lives has accelerated it even faster, with a whopping £5.3billion added to UK ecommerce sales this year as a direct result of it. In the United States, research from Adobe suggests the pandemic has added another $107billion to online spending since March alone. 

Over the last decade, there is a clear trend in people switching from high street shopping in favour of the convenience of online. Figures from the Office of National statistics reveal the number of people shopping online is almost doubling every five years since 2010. In August that year, internet sales accounted for 7.1% of total retail sales. Five years later, that figure reached 13.7%, and last month, it had nearly doubled again to 26.6%.

Between April and June this year, online sales made up over 30% of total retail sales in the UK. But while there’s been a slight drop in online shopping since lockdown restrictions began to ease, some people’s habits will have changed for good. This is evidenced by in-store footfall on the UK high street falling 41% year-on-year when stores reopened in June.

This trend is hurting legacy brands whose primary channel of selling products has been through physical stores. The scary reality for those organisations is that they are now competing against digitally native upstarts, who are data led and able to understand what customers want quickly and meet their demands fast, with slicker supply chains and logistics.  

The attraction for traditional brands going direct to consumer are clear; it offers them the opportunity of taking back control of how their brand merchandises and messages its products without involving third-party retailers, wholesalers or other middlemen. 

And consumers have increasingly come to expect and demand buying directly from a brand – no matter what they sell.  

So it is more important than ever that companies get their digital strategy right – especially those in the retail space with Christmas on the horizon. With 61% of UK shoppers saying the pandemic will affect their shopping habits this Christmas, now is the time to act.

Here at Pushologies, we can help app owners drive increased revenue and ramp up engagement with new and existing audiences. Our proprietary technology gives you all the tools you need to fully understand your consumers, meaning you can make better marketing decisions and improve your bottom line. 

The software we’ve developed gives you the ability to understand the best time to contact individual customers, so you can send them the right content, at the moment they are most likely to engage with it or make a purchase. 

More and more people are downloading retail apps, with 38% of consumers reporting using them for their festive shopping last year. Prior to COVID-19, downloads of retail apps on the Google Play Store rose 30% between February and March. The change in behaviour since the full impact of the pandemic has been felt is likely to have accelerated that figure further still. 

And with consumers becoming less loyal, more are willing to try new brands delivering the best customer experience. Half of the people surveyed by Ipsos said they will buy from a new retailer at some point in the run up to Christmas. 

Studies how app adopters buy 33% more frequently, purchase 34% more items and spend 37% more than those who don’t use them.

Brands who go direct to consumer take ownership over their most important assets; their customers. Someone might be a customer of Tesco or Walmart, but not a customer of your brand and that means you’re unable to communicate directly with them. That lack of control is a big loss for most organisations.

Owning the customer relationship is what allows retailers to have much more leverage to increase customer lifetime value. Creating or reinvigorating your own app has never been more important. 

With an app, you’re able to present customers with a wider range of products, take advantage of impulse buys and connect with them throughout the day, on their terms. Going direct to consumers also saves them the hassle of physically going to a bricks and mortar location. And in a pandemic, fewer people are likely to want to visit stores anyway. 

Best in class retail apps enable customers to bridge the mental gap of not having a product in their hands where they can touch, feel and try it on. Sales can be delivered far more easily with compelling and comprehensive visuals.

And with our proprietary technology plugged into your app, we’ll help you drive sales and engagement and increase revenue. We’ll give you industry-leading insights into your customers’ behaviour, allowing you to better target them at moments when they are most likely to interact with you. 

Our push notifications are the best in the world and deliver a visual impact unlike any other on the market, meaning your messages promoting the latest must-have items in fashion will never be missed by your subscribers. And our interactive buttons will help drive your customers directly to the checkout, enabling them to experience a faster sales process. 

Best of all, targeting and retargeting them with new offers and exclusive first looks at forthcoming items can be done on a one-on-one basis at the touch of a button, with content delivered to them based entirely on their individual previous purchase behaviour and preferences.

Contact one of our friendly Pushologists today to find out how we can help transform your app strategy, drive better engagement and increase revenue for you. 


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