What is D2C Ecommerce and How Does it Work? - IntexSoft
November 15, 2023 • by Margarita

What is D2C Ecommerce and How Does it Work?

E-commerce development

This article is designed to help you understand the nuances of D2C (direct-to-consumer) eCommerce by breaking down how it functions in practice. We’ll explore how this strategy comes to life through digital tools and highlight its importance for online business. If you need more information regarding eCommerce sales, contact us anytime.

Reading time: 17 min.

D2C eCommerce is a concept that truly revolutionized the business world, and today, it has become an integral part of our shopping routines.


In straightforward terms, D2C is a prevalent business approach, with forecasts suggesting it will contribute significantly to the expected $212 billion in U.S. sales by 2024. The important question is: Could D2C be the perfect fit for your online store?

This image shows eCommerce sales following the D2C model in the United States from 2019 to 2024.
This image shows eCommerce sales following the D2C model in the United States from 2019 to 2024.


What does eCommerce D2C entail?


This image shows what traditional retail and D2C retail look like.
This image shows what traditional retail and D2C retail look like.


eCommerce D2C, or Direct-to-Consumer, is a modern business model where brands and manufacturers decide to sell their products or services directly to the people who will use them, the end consumers. They do this without involving traditional middlemen like wholesalers, resellers, or retailers.


In essence, eCommerce D2C represents a fundamental shift in retail, empowering brands to assume control of the entire customer journey, from product development to the final sale. It prioritizes a more personalized and direct approach to engaging with consumers and conducting commerce. This image visually contrasts traditional retail with the D2C model, highlighting the profound distinctions in the distribution process.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the D2C ecommerce platform?


Like any strategy, the D2C business model has its upsides and downsides. So, let’s dive into the significant advantages and disadvantages of a D2C ecommerce platform:

Advantages Disadvantages
Brand identity and control

(D2C gives brands complete control over how they appear to customers, ensuring their marketing messages get across as intended).

Initial costs

(There are significant initial costs, from building a robust online presence to setting up D2C eCommerce systems).

Customer insights

(Brands can collect and use customer data for product personalization).


(The D2C space is becoming increasingly crowded. With more brands entering this arena, competition for consumer attention and market share is intense).

Higher profits

(D2C business cuts out traditional retailers so that you can keep more money from ecommerce sales).

Logistics and order fulfillment

(Controlling product logistics, inventory management, and fulfillment can be complex and costly, especially for smaller businesses).

Direct relationship with clients

(This means better customer loyalty).

Customer acquisition costs

(Acquiring customers in the D2C space can be costly. Brands must often invest in digital channels, targeted advertising, and promotions to attract and retain customers).


(Brands can quickly experiment with new approaches to product personalization, pricing, and marketing decisions).

Customer service demands

(Direct to consumer entails addressing questions, handling complaints, and managing returns).

Innovation at warp speed

(D2C lets you innovate and bring new products to market faster than you can say “customer feedback”).

Scaling struggles

(As you grow, you may face challenges in maintaining product quality and entering new markets effectively).

Worldwide reach

(Borders don’t confine your D2C business. You can sell your products to folks all around the globe, even if your business started in your garage).

Limited physical presence

(For some products, consumers prefer to see or try before purchasing, and this option is limited in a D2C setup).


(D2C often means being transparent about your prices and how your products are made. This honesty can win you some devoted customers).

Supply chain vulnerabilities

(Relying on a single supply chain can be risky. Disruptions, such as shortages or delays, can send your D2C business into a tumble).


What are the best examples of eCommerce D2C? 



Many brands have already embraced the D2C model. Below, you’ll find eight remarkable examples of D2C eCommerce brands that have mastered the direct-to-consumer approach and reshaped their respective industries, making a lasting impact on online retail.


Warby Parker


Warby Parker has wholly revolutionized the eyewear industry by offering an extensive range of stylish and affordable glasses. Their standout feature is the innovative try-at-home program, which allows customers to select frames and try them out before purchasing. This approach has earned them a dedicated and fashion-forward following.




Glossier has made its mark in the beauty industry by putting customers front and center. They actively seek out feedback from their customers, and this feedback plays a direct role in shaping the products they create. The result is a lineup of beauty and skincare products designed with utmost precision to cater to their dedicated customer community’s specific needs and desires.


But it doesn’t stop there. Glossier has also built a lively online community where customers can come together, connect, share their experiences, and engage with the brand and fellow beauty enthusiasts. It’s all about creating a sense of togetherness and belonging among their customers.


Dollar Shave Club


Renowned for its witty marketing campaigns and subscription-based razor blades, Dollar Shave Club has been a disruptive force in the personal grooming sector. Their subscription model simplifies the shopping process for customers, offering high-quality razors and grooming products at affordable prices. This approach streamlines the purchasing experience and fosters strong customer loyalty through regular and convenient product deliveries.




Casper has redefined the way consumers shop for mattresses. Their direct-to-consumer model offers a range of high-quality mattresses in a compact box at accessible price points. The seamless shopping experience, including risk-free trial periods, sets them apart. Customers can order a mattress online, have it delivered to their doorstep, and try it out for an extended period. If unsatisfied, Casper offers hassle-free returns, making it a stress-free mattress-buying experience.


Kenneth Cole


Kenneth Cole, a well-established fashion brand, successfully embraced the D2C model by strongly emphasizing online sales. They offer consumers diverse clothing and accessories, combining fashion-forward style with accessibility. This shift lets customers directly access the brand’s offerings, creating a more personalized shopping experience.




Allbirds is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and comfort in the footwear industry. Their dedication to eco-friendly materials and responsible manufacturing processes has set new industry standards. Additionally, Allbirds provides a straightforward online shopping experience, making it easy for customers to browse and purchase sustainable and comfortable shoes.




Bonobos specializes in well-fitted men’s clothing and strongly emphasizes customer service. They have effectively leveraged the D2C model to provide a personalized shopping experience. This includes the innovative Guideshop concept, where customers can experience products in person before buying directly. This seamless blending of online and offline retail has helped Bonobos stand out in the fashion industry.




Modcloth is distinguished by its unique and vintage-inspired women’s fashion. Their D2C approach allows them to curate a collection that resonates with their customer community. The brand focuses on connecting deeply with customers, ensuring that each piece in its collection embodies a sense of individuality and nostalgia.


Embarking on D2C eCommerce: 4 essential steps for the win


If you’ve ever considered D2C eCommerce, the time is now, and we are here to guide you through 4 steps to harness the unique value proposition and full potential of this model:


Step 1. Establish your eCommerce website


Imagine having a product ready to share; your first mission is to create an online platform where your customers can make their purchases. But remember, the website is much more than a mere digital storefront – it’s the very foundation of D2C brands. It’s where pivotal actions take place, from seamless checkouts and secure payments to responsive customer service.


Choosing the right website builder is paramount. You need one that offers security, scalability, and extensive customization options to build customer loyalty and ensure personalized experiences. IntexSoft can arm D2C brands with many built-in features, including secure payment gateways, lightning-fast express checkouts, dynamic shipping rate management, multichannel sales capabilities, and precise inventory control. With an intuitive drag-and-drop builder and advanced coding options, your store’s design possibilities are limitless.


Step 2. Invest in robust branding and compelling site content


For all online businesses, enhancing brand presence and enriching site content is imperative, but for D2C sellers, it’s a game-changer. Your product detail pages must offer comprehensive information because there’s no intermediary retailer to field customer inquiries. Your website should be an all-encompassing resource, from detailed buying guides to shipping specifics.


Consistency in branding across every web page is non-negotiable. Your brand’s memorability is the cornerstone of your business’s success. Choose a site template that seamlessly aligns with your brand aesthetics. If you’re yet to craft a compelling logo, consider collaborating with a designer or utilizing a logo maker to craft a distinctive brand identity that sets you apart.


Step 3. Fine-tune your shipping strategy


Here are several shipping approaches:


  • Self-fulfillment through established carriers.
  • Collaboration with third-party logistics providers (3PL).
  • Leveraging marketplace programs like Amazon FBA or MCF (especially beneficial for multichannel sellers).
  • Offering hassle-free curbside pickup (an invaluable option for businesses with physical stores).
  • Embracing a versatile hybrid approach.


While navigating these options, scrutinize critical factors such as delivery speed, shipping rates, and associated fees, including storage or handling charges. It’s crucial to have a contingency plan in place to tackle potential issues.


IntexSoft can streamline this process by integrating with various fulfillment partners and solutions. You will gain expert route orders, synchronize inventory, and enforce customized shipping rules tailored to your unique requirements.


Step 4. Cultivate your marketing channels 


At a minimum, optimize your website pages for search engines and harness email and social media channels to your advantage.


But remember, effective marketing transcends TikTok videos. You need a comprehensive plan to maintain a consistent posting schedule, engage meaningfully with comments, and synchronize promotions seamlessly with your website and email offerings. You even must facilitate direct product sales through your social media platforms.

Final words: Sell online to the end consumer with D2C 


IntexSoft is your fulfillment partner when it comes to enhancing D2C ecommerce. We create a smooth path for you in inventory management, ensuring you always have real-time visibility into your stock levels. This means you can effortlessly track what products are in store, what’s running low, and what needs replenishing. It’s like having a navigation system that makes managing your inventory a breeze.


But our assistance continues beyond there. We integrate advanced technology with your e-commerce platform. We’re up for any idea you throw our way.


With our support, you can enhance your brand’s presence through customized packaging. This strategic move is valuable for D2C companies aiming to leave an impression on customers at every interaction.


Feel free to contact IntexSoft. We’re here to provide truly exceptional customer service for your D2C business.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is D2C eCommerce?


Diving into the world of D2C (direct-to-consumer) marketing strategies, we find a game-changer for online businesses. This approach lets you forge a direct connection with your target customers without the need for intermediaries like old-school retailers and wholesalers.


This approach offers companies greater control over their brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and online shopping. It empowers them to employ innovative tactics like personalized advertisements, leveraging customer data to gain insights into shopping preferences. 


What are D2C platforms?


These include brand websites, mobile apps, digital marketplaces, and social media platforms. They also encompass subscription model services and physical pop-up shops. D2C platforms empower brands to control their narrative and build exceptional customer experiences. 


What does D2C mean eCommerce?


D2C stands for direct-to-consumer, representing a significant shift in how businesses operate. D2C brands are reaching consumers directly, bypassing traditional intermediaries like retailers.


This concept simplifies buying by allowing brands to set up their websites and mobile apps or sell on popular online marketplaces. By doing so, they gain total control over their strong brand identity. As a result, businesses can deepen direct relationships with customers, gather valuable insights, and tailor their marketing strategy to meet the specific needs of their target audience. It’s a powerful approach to rapid growth in the competitive market.


Is D2C same as eCommerce?


D2C (direct-to-consumer) and eCommerce are closely related but different.


eCommerce is the broader concept, encompassing all online commercial transactions. It’s the digital marketplace where goods and services are bought and sold through business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), or other models.


D2C is a specific approach within eCommerce. It refers to a strategy where brands and manufacturers sell their products directly to potential customers, cutting out intermediaries like retail partners. It’s like having your own digital storefront where you engage with clients directly.


What is an example of D2C?


Consider a scenario where a clothing manufacturer sells products directly to customers through its eCommerce website and mobile app. In this case, clients can visit the manufacturer’s website, browse the latest fashion collections, make product discovery and purchases, and even provide feedback, all without involving traditional retail stores or third-party platforms.


This is a prime example of D2C in action. The manufacturer directly connects with its customers, skipping the intermediaries in the retail supply chain. This approach grants the manufacturer more control over its strong branding, pricing, customer data, and overall purchasing experience.




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