Building a D2C community - the key factors to success!

Building a D2C community - the key factors to success!

D2C audience growth and engagement has moved up the priority list for most marketing teams. It isn’t just the improved margins on book sales but the ability to connect directly with your audience, to grow a loyal community, collecting invaluable information and feedback on current titles, understanding your audience profile as well the future proofing sales in the years to come. 

In 2022, approximately 64% of consumers worldwide made regular purchases directly from the brands they know and trust with online sales accounting for 26.5% of total retail sales. Publishers are increasingly recognizing the importance of having an effective ecommerce solution to meet consumer expectations. To ensure you are ready we have outlined some simple considerations which will help you successfully improve your website, drive sales and go on to build a responsive direct-to-consumer (D2C) community.

How frequently do you review your metadata?

How effective is your website?

A well functioning product details page will provide a great user experience and ultimately increase discoverability. Most websites need an excellent website search with custom filters searching across all formats, catalogues, and other website content such as events. Around 43% of organic users go straight to a search bar, with users typically trying out 3–5 search queries before abandoning the site if they can’t find what they’re looking for. So make sure you deliver a full set of results. If you have a diverse and perhaps large catalogue then allow the user to easily filter and modify a search query. Landing pages are an excellent way to connect users from marketing and sales activities into your website and store.

How user-friendly is your cart?

Ideally what you want to achieve is a one-click checkout to really maximise your sales conversions making it a faster and better experience and minimising cart abandonment. We recommend one cart for all formats; epub, audio and physical titles. When the purchase experience is straightforward and fast, customers are less likely to abandon their cart and are more likely to return to shop again. Ensure you offer shipping & tracking notifications and a customer account area showing order history and subscriptions. We also advise that you try to always notify your users about any delays or cancellations.

Bring ecommerce capabilities directly to your marketing channels

Smart buy buttons are an intelligent way to ensure minimum cart abandonment. By bringing the cart to your marketing channels such as on a blog, newsletter, or third party website readers can buy instantly from wherever they find you.

Reader engagement with subscriptions and promotions

Subscriptions and promotions have been a marketing method that bookshops have used to sell books for years. Through offering your customers a special promotion such as 50% off or buy one get one free, free epub with every print copy, readers are incentivised to buy and sign up for future offers, allowing you to grow your audience whilst increasing sales conversions. We recommend you use promotional offers, coupons or other sales drivers on all your marketing campaigns and review which one works best for your audience over a 12 month period.

Utilising author networks

Author-led reader events are a fantastic way of maintaining customer engagement. By using your authors community you can engage readers quickly and easily, directing them to your website to find out more information. These events can come in the form of online interviews, in person readings/ signings or even promotional videos. Encourage your authors to become more than just a name on the cover of their novels and allow the audience to connect quickly and easily. 

Using video content across your social channels

In the world of social media, individuals who find books on platforms such as Instagram make split second decisions to buy something or not. When you create content that the consumer has to read through, you will immediately lose a portion of potential buyers because they simply are not willing to read too much text and would rather watch a quick video. With video content becoming bigger and bigger in the modern world, quick eye catching promotions allow you to utilise these split second decisions that consumers are making.

Community areas in your website for feedback, & discussion.

Some publishers have book clubs, discussion boards and successfully communicate with reader groups enjoying direct feedback on their titles. You can follow up with your community in numerous different ways such as with newsletters, mail blasts or even opinion polls in your website and on your social media.  Understanding your audience allows you to tailor and improve your marketing activities moving forwards.

Building a D2C community is a key step forward for driving D2C sales and ultimately creating a highly profitable sales channel with the bonus of a loyal audience that will continue to buy from your website.

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