Did you know that Trinny Woodall is speaking at TNW Conference this summer? View the full list of speakers here.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has encouraged consumers to rethink their shopping habits, with more than half now preferably buy direct from brands† In reality, D2C market growth in the US is expected to be just under $175 million by 2023†
As the market continues to grow and become increasingly competitive, a strong D2C growth strategy has never been more important for a brand to stand out.
Bee Trinny London, we’ve worked hard to make sure we’re much more than just a makeup brand. We have a community of customers who share our values of authenticity and inclusivity, and our multifaceted D2C strategy has paid off. Since the company was founded in 2017, our turnover has increased to £55 million by the end of 2021.
Here are my top four tips for building a successful D2C strategy:
1. Trust your gut – it’s your most valuable advisor.
When raising capital for Trinny London, I was initially met with skepticism from male investors who believed that a digital-first beauty brand wouldn’t work for our original target market: women over 35. Traditionally, this audience preferred to buy products first. test at a beauty salon before purchasing.
Instead of being beaten back by their doubts, I stuck to my guns. I had been in this position before, when I launched my first company at the height of the .com bubble in 1999.
This time I knew I was the best person to rely on. I was convinced that there was a strong demand for the inclusive and personalized D2C brand I was creating, after speaking with thousands of women over 20 years of my career.
Remember, when you’re in front of investors, there’s a good chance they’ll bring their previous experience into your meeting. But what worked for their last investment may not work for you – you have to stand your ground. And for me, trusting my gut has paid off; in 2017 we raised £2.4m and used the capital to…
2. Invest in technology.
To join the world’s largest D2C brands, you need to provide customers with a seamless and personalized digital shopping experience.
We partnered with data scientists to create Match2Me, a leading personalization service. The service allows customers to purchase makeup that matches their unique combination of skin, hair, and eyes. Now 75% of customers use Match2Me with their purchase.
Not only is Match2Me tremendously valuable to the customer experience, it is also an incredibly useful tool from a business growth standpoint. Instead of guessing at the counter, these customers now have the confidence to shop online, and this confidence is integral to building consumer trust, which we know is the key to success — 61% of UK customers are willing to pay more to buy from a trusted brand†
In addition, the customer data we retrieve from both Match2Me and in-store from pop-up store experiences allows us to track each customer’s journey from the start.
We have now expanded the capabilities of our Match2Me to include skin care, which will give us a much deeper understanding of our customer. For example, if we can see how many of our customers have oily skin, we can ask ourselves if we are doing enough to support this group of people and give them the products they really want and need.
The key is to collect data in such a way that it can be easily analyzed. We took the time to build a data team, so when we launch something new, the data points we need are integrated into the build. A strong data team is non-negotiable for an effective D2C strategy.
3. Strength is the ability to adapt.
The business world is full of risk and instability – with globalization, new technologies and extraordinary events like the Covid-19 pandemic in the minds of CEOs, being agile has never been more important.
To adapt, it is essential that your D2C strategy includes monitoring changes in the industry and around the world. If it is detected, act quickly by assessing your business model and current resources and finding ways to adapt them to the new demand.
Trinny London adapted quickly as the world began to shut down in March 2020. It was one of the first beauty brands to offer virtual appointments to customers (in fact, 3,000 appointments were booked on launch day).
We now have a 24 hour booking schedule with professional makeup artists who can provide clients with a personalized service from the comfort of their own home – no matter what time zone they are in.
Thanks to our adaptability, Trinny London grew by 330% in 2020, with the number of new customers more than doubling from 95,000 in 2019 to 260,000 in 2020.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of community.
The most valuable asset for a D2C brand is undoubtedly the community. But don’t be fooled, a true ‘super’ community is more than just your social media followers or your customer base – it’s a group that provides real connections and empowers a brand to make informed decisions that really put the needle on everything. from product development to marketing spend.
Trinny London’s community, the Trinny Tribe, now has more than 100,000 members in more than 30 countries around the world, serving as a place for customers to not only discuss future product launches and beauty tips, but also build lifelong friendships .
And an online community can be powerful in more ways than one: recent research from HBR reveals that, among other benefits, resolving queries within a community is 72% cheaper than support channels.
Trinny London’s Facebook groups have had a huge positive impact on both the company’s growth and our product development strategy. In 2019, we made it our mission to bring our Australian market sales to 12% (which is about 6%). Thanks to a particularly inspiring tribe in Sydney, whose word of mouth was incredibly strong, we exceeded targets and reached 16%.
Hearing our Tribe members loud and clear, we recently launched our 2-in-1 Lash2Brow as a direct result of Facebook comments asking for a Trinny London mascara. The product is one of our most successful launches to date, highlighting the value of nurturing brand communities.
I believe Trinny London’s success is due to the strong relationship each customer can establish directly with the brand. As a founder, take the time to think about how the community becomes your customer and build a meaningful and lasting relationship with your brand, beyond the product or service you offer. Then you will see real success in D2C.