One of the biggest growth areas in retail over the last few years has undoubtedly been direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. These young, disruptive brands are moving fast to shake up the retail space and get in front of their target consumers, without the need for a traditional retail middleman.
With total control over their brand and reputation and the freedom to adopt dynamic marketing strategies and sales tactics that are fine-tuned to the products they sell, DTC brands can often dramatically out-perform more established retail players. The appeal of a DTC approach for a new high-growth brand is easy to understand.
Whilst the barriers to entry are low for DTC startups, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of a lean technology stack and a super clean front-end. Consumers need to be won over from channels and websites that they are accustomed to after years of loyalty, so DTC websites need to be every bit as functionally rich and technically sophisticated as their conventional retail counterparts. They also need to offer the same compelling user experience as the brands behind them.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best examples of DTC eCommerce websites that we’ve come across recently, with details of the tech stack behind them. If you know of some other great examples that should be included, get in touch with us to let us know.
Championing a more natural beauty, Glossier sticks to a small core of essential skincare products, building a devotedly loyal following.
Technology: Custom + Headless, Contentful
Offering activewear apparel for every day, Outdoor Voices has a unique look that offers something very different in a crowded space.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Klaviyo, Kustomer
Ministry of Supply
Performance business-wear is what makes Ministry of Supply special, and the company’s focus on quality is evident throughout its website.
Technology: Shopify Plus, DatoCMS, Klaviyo
AWAY sells its premium travel products via its own bricks and mortar stores, as well as selling via its DTC eCommerce store, but it has not pursued the traditional retail route.
Technology: Spree, Contentful, Kustomer
As with many DTC brands, it’s all about doing one thing extremely well, and for Brooklinen, it’s premium-quality bed and bath linens.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Klaviyo, Steelhouse, Dynamic Yield
Ethical production and total transparency make Everlane something of a disrupter in the fashion industry – for every item they produce, they reveal to the consumer the true production costs of that item – a remarkable twist in fashion retail!
Technology: Custom, Content Square, Taboola, Criteo
In a world that wants to be more mindful and to make a difference, Patch Plants has found a niche – delivering quality houseplants straight to the consumer.
Founded by brother and sister Laura and John Nelson, Colourpop offers cruelty-free cosmetics at affordable prices, only via their own eCommerce store or on ulta.com.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Dynamic Yield, Klevu
Proving that the right team with the right product can make a success of any niche, UNTUCKit designs and sells shirts that are made to be left untucked.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Dynamic Yield, Findify, Kustomer
Thirdlove produces bras, underwear and nightwear for real women, with a focus on comfort and supporting real body shapes and sizes.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Dynamic Yield, Searchanise, Braze
Environmentally-friendly footwear has put this New Zealand/American firm on the map, with plenty of loyal consumers around the world.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Taboola, Iterable, Contentful
Beauty Pie takes a slightly different route from many other DTC brands, offering a “buyer’s club” model, for luxury beauty products.
Technology: IBM Websphere Commerce, Content Square, Bazaarvoice
Describing itself as a ‘materials science company’, Pangaia offers organic and environmentally-friendly clothing, including items made from recycled plastic bottles.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Nosto, Klaviyo
Launched in 2019, Versed’s USP is price – all of its skincare products retail for less than $20 – and yet, they have not compromised one bit on quality of effectiveness.
Technology: Shopify, Undertone, Narrativ, Bronto
Offering stylish prescription glasses and sunglasses that you can try at home, Warby Parker does have a handful of retail stores in the US and Canada, as well as its DTC online store.
Technology: Custom, Greenhouse
This UK mattress producer offers free delivery and a 100-night free trial, and its signature mattress has been championed by many reviewers, including Which?
Technology: Salesforce, Contentful, Friendbuy
Another DTC entrant that is challenging the notion that consumers want to try out a mattress in a bricks and mortar store before buying, Simba also offers premium duvets and pillows.
Technology: Shopify Plus, Google Search Appliance, Rapleaf
If you know of any more great DTC eCommerce sites that deserve to be showcased in this article, just let us know via the comments or by email.