Direct-to-Consumer Brands Changing the Agency Game

Posted on January 1, 2019

This most certainly feels like the Age of Amazon in e-commerce. The online retail powerhouse is dictating so many of the recent and future trends. It’s done so with the mentality of a data company. And that data collection has allowed Amazon to begin pushing brands out of its marketplace

There’s a way for smaller e-commerce businesses to hit back, though. It starts with detaching the reliance on Amazon and shaping your brand around a direct-to-consumer approach. Because remember, when you’re selling on Amazon as a primary source of revenue, your customer ultimately belongs to Amazon. And, as we’ve stated, you’re very likely to be undercut as a result. 

So we’ve seen savvy brands with an eye on the future beginning to win big with the direct-to-consumer plan. It’s already changed the e-commerce space considerably, and this is just the beginning. 

While this is obviously changing the way brands and consumers approach interaction, it’s also having quite the impact on agencies. It’s important as ever to work with agencies that not only can help your brand but that also truly feel as if they are a member of your team. When you’re a direct-to-consumer business, you’re selling a message that should be your voice from the early stages. That voice has to consistently resonate with your target audience through every stage of the sales funnel and customer lifecycle. Otherwise, you’re hardly better off than just another brand that’s too reliant on Amazon’s marketplace. 

As a result, many agencies are tailoring their abilities to help direct-to-consumer brands thrive. These are changes that are largely being embraced, according to digital product agency Work + Co. founding partner Mohan Ramaswamy.

“[Direct-to-consumer] brands have been able to be a little more disruptive. They don’t have that legacy footprint and all of those upfront costs,” Ramaswamy told eMarketer Retail. “What makes them a good fit for a digital agency is that they don’t necessarily have that fragmented or federated brand marketing structure that you would see at a Unilever or P&G.”

So while this is the Age of Amazon, that doesn’t mean it’s doom and gloom for brands trying to survive in e-commerce. If anything, it’s produced a far more promising opportunity if you’re pushing a direct-to-consumer plan. It’s changed everything, including the way digital agencies are operating.