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D2C brands expect 2X growth during festive period

As brands in the direct-to-consumer segment allocate increased ad-spends for digital mediums, they expect a significant uptick in growth and sales in the festive season

In the aftermath of the pandemic, D2C brands like DaMENSCH, Wakefit, Bella Vita Organic, Daily Objects, The Indus Valley, Fix My Curls and SleepyCat, among many others have resorted to an increased and more optimised expenditure for online advertising. This translates to many of them anticipating over 2x growth in terms of sales and revenue in the upcoming festive season.

The pandemic had taken a toll on all the brands, except the ones which dealt in essential commodities, as the had sales slumped during the previous two festive seasons. As a result, not only did the brands grow sceptical but went a little-tight on their pockets for advertising. However, as things are going back to being normal, D2C brands are ready to utilise the previously saved money at the opportune time and mediums, and the festive season is one of them.

Rajat Khullar

According to Rajat Khullar, Vice-President - Business, Bella Vita Organic, “The last two years have not been great. But when we look at the D2C space, I think the market has shown drastic growth. Online business has grown by almost 200% in the last two years while retail picked up pace since December 2021.”

Khullar added, “Our ad spends have gone up by 40-50% since last year. We are expecting at least 90-95% growth in our monthly numbers while our business-as-usual growth is almost 20-25%. With retail opening up at our end, this is expected to grow at almost 150%, with cumulative growth being upwards of 120%, which is almost 6x of what we see in a normal business-as-usual month.”

He also stated that the brand has a 90% overall spending so as to have a more focussed approach towards online marketing in terms of advertising on Facebook for acquiring new users, YouTube to drive conversions and build the brand, and influencer marketing and short-video sharing platforms like Moj to build growth, whilst the brand focuses on keyword searches to drive maximum growth through its campaigns.

Pankaj Garg

“Thanks to the lockdown-induced digital shift coupled with increased internet penetration and smartphone usage, we as a design and tech-focused brand have seen a 450% growth from January 2021 to June 2022 for our Home office category. Moreover, during last year’s festive season, we had seen a 200% sales growth and commensurate increase in traffic across platforms and apps,” said Pankaj Garg, Co-founder and CEO, DailyObjects.

When it comes to this year’s expectations from the upcoming festive season, Garg said, “We are expecting a 2-2.5x growth in terms of both revenue and traffic.” He also said that during the festive campaigning, as seen in previous years, the brand witnesses a 50-70% increase in daily sales owing to the considered curations, tailor-made experiences and a wide array of choices.

Be it dedicated pages, detailed filtering technology, targeted push notifications or thoughtfully curated gift bundle options, DailyObjects has it all covered, as per Garg.

“Our dedicated budgets for advertising across performance marketing and branding campaigns have grown over 2x over the past year. This year, we have allocated 20% of our annual advertising budget for our marketing strategies which includes advertising on websites, apps, marketplaces, and affiliates partners and corporates,” he stated.

Throwing light upon what channels does DailyObjects use for its marketing-related activities, Garg highlighted that they use Google Ads, Facebook ads, Google Pay, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, branding activities with fintech companies, among others to tap into the pool of hyper-targeted audience base and reach more unique customers.

Anshita Mehrotra

According to Anshita Mehrotra, Founder, Fix My Curls, “With every online website portraying and sellers strategising on offers and discounts to capture the bubble of increased demand, there is an expected incline in sales. At Fix My Curls the festive season comes with the expectation of boosted sales as consumer behaviour in India historically proves that it is during the festive period that the brands get the most business.” 

Mehrotra also pointed out that with the diversification of the customer segmentation, 20% of the cumulative advertising budget is allocated to the festive season campaigns, and in Fix My Curls’ case, also on relaunching their brand ambassador.

Fix My Curls’ Mehrotra also spoke about the marketing mix by stating, “Since we are into D2C e-commerce space, online advertising is our main focus, followed by a few print ads, as we focus on increasing average order value specifically on our official website. We use Instagram and Facebook Ads for acquiring new customers and WhatsApp and email marketing to increase recall of existing customers.”

“We also plan to rope in smaller influencers and celebrities that fit within our brand ethos for encompassing our target audience through the rolling out of user generated content across all platforms. They not only ensure credibility but also consistency for the purchase intent of Fix My Curls,” she added.

Khalid Kamal Rumi

When it comes to the festive season, a large proportion of consumers fall back to kitchenware brands for gifting purposes. “Over the past year, our brand awareness has grown manifolds, and our product portfolio has also expanded considerably. With the introduction of our tri-ply stainless steel range and wider assortment of cast iron and iron products, we are definitely expecting a major uplift of up to 2-3x sales compared to usual periods,” stated Khalid Kamal Rumi, Chief Marketing Officer, The Indus Valley.

Rumi also highlighted that The Indus Valley spends significantly higher on advertising and promotion during the festive season with an aim to either retain or even improve the ROI coming from advertising.

“We have a diversified approach when it comes to engaging with various marketing platforms as different platforms perform better for different marketing objectives like awareness, consideration, conversion and retention. We also keep a certain portion of our marketing budget for experimentation after we take a data-driven decision,” he added.

The Indus Valley’s Rumi also pointed out that they not only see traction coming from Tier-I cities but also from Tier-II and Tier-III cities as the availability and speed of the internet has increased with the penetration of smartphones.

Savijeet Singh

As per Wakefit.co’s Savijeet Singh, Head of Digital Marketing, “While last year's demand was conservative in the early months, we witnessed consistently high sales on the back of pent-up demand during the holiday season of both 2020 and 2021. This year, we anticipate that our overall sales will increase by more than 2x of our revenue during the festive season. Moreover, we are aiming to cross the Rs 1000 crore target for this fiscal year.”

Talking about how the brand’s advertising budget, Singh added, “As we clocked in revenue of Rs 636 Crores in FY 22 and registered a 50% year-on-year growth, our advertising budgets also increased. But since we are an ROI-driven company that optimises spending on the basis of month-to-month growth, we intend to spend approximately 28% of our annual advertising budget during the festive season, which represents a 25% increase as compared to last year.”

Wakefit.co’s Singh also pointed out that the brand focuses on the right callouts and targeting when it prioritises internet giants like Google, YouTube, Meta as ecosystems in the digital mediums and uses traditional mediums like OOH, print, television, etc to ensure that the omnichannel communication reaches the target audience through multiple channels.

SleepyCat, an online-only D2C mattress brand, is also hopeful of a boosted growth in the upcoming festive season as it has always contributed to the peak sales of the year for the brand.

Kabir Siddiq

According to Kabir Siddiq, CEO and Founder, SleepyCat, “We expect a continued boost this year, in line with the trends observed in the past couple of years. Nearly 50% of our yearly revenue has been allocated towards a 100% digital advertising for the festive season.”

He also went on to add, “Since our consumer journey is completely online, most of our marketing strategies are driven in towards high engagement. We use very sharply aimed messaging and media targeting to reach our target audience and will continue to do so during the festive season as well. Our team experiments with various trending formats and partners with relevant personalities to build brand love online.”

Deepti Karthik

Apart from kitchenware and furniture, the apparel section is also one of the most-sought out during the festive be it purchasing for self or for gifting purposes. “As the awareness about our brand has increased significantly, we are expecting around 30% of overall sales of the year to come in festive season, which would be close to 3x of last year,” said Deepti Karthik, Senior Vice-President - Marketing, DaMENSCH.

“In the apparel segment, festivities turn out to be big buying occasions, which means we double down on our marketing efforts to break the clutter. As a result, we have allocated nearly 35% of our marketing budget for gearing up for this year’s festive season,” Karthik pointed out.

Speaking of how the brand plans to communicate with its target audience, Karthik revealed that the brand intends to continue with its brand-centric communication strategy. According to her, DaMENSCH will continue to use mass media channels like Google and Facebook to drive salience through brand experience driven messaging.

Apart from this, Karthik also said, “We will also be launching our offline stores in Metro and Tier I cities wherein we will be looking at offers on bouquet pricing across ranges to offer the customers a wide variety of products at affordable prices.”

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