February 29, 2024

D2C shipping essentials: what brands must know 2024

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) commerce has become more than just a trend—it’s an important part of how brands connect with their customers. By 2025, D2C sales in the U.S. are projected to hit $226.53 billion, with digitally native brands contributing $39.93 billion and established brands $186.6 billion.

North America leads globally, with 77% of D2C brands operating solely online. The need for efficient, reliable D2C delivery is at an all-time high.

Top D2C delivery challenges to watch out for

Balance fast and cost-efficient shipping

Consumers today expect fast and low-cost shipping when ordering online. Almost half of D2C shoppers expect to receive their parcels within 3-5 days. The big turn-offs? Having to pay for shipping (17.6%), shipping costs over $5.50 (23.7%), and costs hitting above $10.50 (13.1%). To meet these expectations without eroding your profit margins, it could be wise to negotiate better rates with shipping carriers or consider joining a shipping consolidation to leverage collective bargaining power.

D2C shoppers opinions of  delivery in the United States 2022

Achieve scalability

As your business grows, so must your shipping operations. Implementing automation across the board — from order processing to label generation — to boost efficiency and minimize errors. This ensures your shipping infrastructure can support your business as it scales, avoiding bottlenecks and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Provide real-time order tracking

Consumers always want to know where their order is at every step. End-to-end tracking becomes a must-have for every online business. For D2C brands, maintaining personalized communication with customers is their key strength, extending beyond the initial sale into the post-purchase phase. By integrating directly with carriers for seamless shipping notifications, brands can keep customers informed and cut down on “Where’s my order?” inquiries.

Manage multi-carriers to find the best rates

Managing relationships with multiple carriers to secure the best possible rates is not an easy task; achieving bulk rate discounts requires large volumes, which is a challenge for emerging or medium-sized D2C brands without extensive shipping quantities.

Popular delivery methods that D2C brands should embrace

On-demand delivery

Customers value flexibility and speed, opting not only for varied delivery locations (e.g., PUDO, parcel lockers) but also for the timing of their deliveries – aiming for the shortest possible delivery timeframe. They seek the fastest possible delivery windows to fit their busy schedules.

Two-day delivery

Offering an Expedited Shipping Solution or (two-day shipping) allows D2C brands to cater to customers desiring quicker delivery times without the high costs of same-day or one-day shipping. This balance between speed and expense has made two-day delivery popular among consumers, setting a new standard in e-commerce delivery.

Standard delivery

Standard delivery (known as economical delivery) is particularly appealing for start-up D2C brands. This method is also a budget-friendly option for consumers not rushing to receive their orders. D2C brands usually offer standard delivery as a free shipping option. 70% of customers prefer free standard shipping over paying extra for faster delivery. Offering free standard shipping can be an excellent way to compensate for longer wait times, aligning with consumer preferences for cost over speed.

Harness the power of Logistics Service Provider for best carrier rates and scalability

Emerging D2C brands may struggle with managing multi-carriers to look for better rates, scalability and maintain clear communication with end-to-end tracking. CIRRO E-Commerce has got your back.

  • Big network, quick shipping: We offer an extensive network with seven logistics hubs in the United States, one in Canada, and fifteen throughout Europe, ensuring rapid order processing and delivery. Our strategic locations mean faster lead times and swift delivery.
  • Seamless last-mile delivery integration: Our unified API effortlessly links with top-tier last-mile delivery services, merging multiple carrier strengths for the most reliable deliveries. Benefit from our bulk discount rates without compromising on speed or quality. Your products reach your customers efficiently and affordably.