Emerging direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have ample opportunity to win over shoppers of all generations– provided they take the right approach to connecting with them through the channels they visit most.

Rakuten Advertising surveyed 1,000 adult shoppers who have bought from a D2C brand in the past. Rakuten Advertising defines D2C brands as businesses that are founded online and sell products directly to consumers without relying on third party retailers.

Today we take a closer look at our D2C research to examine shopping trends by vertical and consumer habits by age group, to help brands improve their marketing and advertising efforts.

Some highlights in this latest report include:

  • Beauty and Personal Care and Food have higher awareness: The D2C revolution has been driven primarily by beauty and personal care brands as well as meal kits and specialty food brands. Two-thirds or more of D2C buyers across all generations are aware of D2C brands in those product categories.
  • Know your prospective audience: Data shows that 70% or more D2C buyers across all generations are learning about digitally native brands through online channels including shopping sites as well as discount, loyalty, and rewards sites. Standing out requires a keen understanding of who your target buyer is and which types of publishers in an affiliate network they are more likely to visit.
  • Get social: 80% or more of buyers in Generation X and younger recall seeing or hearing about D2C brands on social media. This isn’t entirely surprising given that the success of many game changing D2C brands has been built on the backs of edgy and entertaining content. Emerging D2C brands must formulate a solid social strategy prior to launching, taking time to understand which generations are more active on which platforms and tailoring content so that it resonates with its intended target. Established D2C brands must be willing to dip their toes into unfamiliar waters such as TikTok and Instagram Stories to see how they can create content that gets them in front of an audience that tends to be more engaged online.
  • Don’t forget traditional ad platforms: Nearly three quarters – 72% — of all Baby Boomers who have bought from a D2C brand recall seeing or hearing about those brands through more traditional advertising channels such as television or newspaper ads. This means that while D2C brands cater to an online audience, those that are looking to appeal to older consumers cannot afford to abandon more established advertising channels.

These insights are just the beginning. Our D2C Report offers a complete playbook of how to engage with shoppers of all generations, helping you to reach new audiences and build an ongoing relationship with your customers.

Download the Report Today