April 23, 2020

Direct to Consumer is NOT eCommerce

By Angela Oemcke

If a duck screams in the forest will anyone hear it? Let’s get our wires uncrossed about why your online store is not DTC.

When we hear Direct to Consumer sales, or DTC, it is often being confused with eCommerce, or an online shop. Let’s be clear: DTC is NOT eCommerce. An online store is a destination and DTC is what drives customers there. DTC describes the marketing channels producers use to create a connection with the person they want to sell to. 

If your online store is the top shelf then DTC is the step ladder that gets customers to your cookie jar. Without the step ladder all you have is a hungry customer who is going to get their cookie from a shelf they can reach, or maybe they will have another snack altogether. 

The same goes for wine sales. Your online store is the same to customers as a lonesome Cellar Door sign outside your driveway, easily missed. Without enticing customers to visit your cellar door they will drive past you to a winery that does, or to a brewery or distillery instead.

It is not enough to co-exist in the same space as consumers, you need to interact with them in order to drive their traffic in your direction. An online store is meaningless if you are not paving a pathway to it. It’s as the saying goes, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?

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