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D2C e-commerce - statistics and facts

Over the last few years, the emerging direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model has disrupted and transformed the e-commerce industry. A growing number of companies design, manufacture, market, sell, and ship their products themselves, without intermediaries. These D2C companies are typically digitally native brands, as they have the innate agility and savviness that legacy retailers are trying to adopt. With the D2C channel, manufacturers can bypass conventional retailers and bring their products straight to customers via their online stores.

Why buy directly from manufacturers?

There are several factors that motivate global online shoppers to buy directly from manufacturers, with better pricing being the key factor followed closely by free delivery and returns. This is echoed by consumers in the United Kingdom, where 36 percent of respondents claimed it was cheaper to buy directly from manufacturers. Also, about one-third of UK buyers wanted to support local manufacturers heavily challenged by the pandemic economic crisis. Digital shoppers usually want a direct connection to sellers, with about four in ten online shoppers from Mainland China preferring online stores that directly connect customers to the original seller. For Polish online shoppers, the most significant advantage of D2C online sales is simply that it saves time.

A promising future

In 2020, D2C e-commerce sales in the United States reached 111.5 billion U.S. dollars. By 2023, they were projected to be near 175 billion dollars. And the U.S. is not alone in the direct selling wave. Owing to China’s favorable policies and the rise of social commerce, China's D2C market has grown significantly in the past years and is forecasted to maintain its robust growth, exceeding 122 billion yuan by 2024. In addition, the online retail sales value of D2C platforms in Hong Kong amounted to almost 16 billion Hong Kong dollars in 2021. By 2026, this value is estimated to nearly double.

D2C sales generated by British manufacturers stood at 96 billion British pounds in 2020. This volume is forecast to increase 25 percent in the next three years, reaching 120 billion pounds by 2023. The D2C sector is responsible for more than half a million jobs in the UK. The total addressable D2C market in India – which includes online as well as offline direct-to-consumer sales – is expected to grow fifteenfold from 2015 to 2025. In 2020, the Indian D2C market was estimated at 33 billion U.S. dollars and it is forecasted to multiply by three, reaching 100 billion by 2025.

Emerging players

Direct-to-consumer growth has not escaped the attention of investors, as attested by the staggering amount of funding raised by leading D2C startups in the United States. Grove Collaborative, a San Francisco-based D2C e-commerce company focused on sustainable products, has raised close to 475 million U.S. dollars to date. Another example is Lenskart, an eyewear retail chain and the most funded D2C startup in India, with almost 360 million U.S. dollars raised as of April 2021.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "D2C e-commerce".

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