All brands need to be selling to and engaging with consumers online. The experiences of the 2020 pandemic have only accelerated consumers’ shift to digital touchpoints.

When it comes to brands’ digital commerce opportunity, it’s not “one size fits all.” So, where should brands focus their digital direct-to-consumer (DTC) efforts, and what will each yield in terms of digital sales, profitability, and customer relationships?

Some brands’ digital commerce strategy will prioritize direct-to-consumer sales across their own digital touchpoints; others will focus on building joint business partnerships with retailers to drive indirect digital sales. However, geographic region and branded product type will change the relevance and projected sales volumes and margins of each digital commerce touchpoint (whether a company’s own brand, marketplaces, or retail partners).

This updated report explains how brand leaders can identify their brand product type and understand regional differences in the digital commerce landscape to identify their brand’s digital commerce opportunity globally. Key takeaways from the research include:

  • DTC digital commerce is not “one size fits all.” Brand type heavily dictates digital commerce opportunity. Forrester identifies four branded product types, which factor in how commoditized the product is and how frequently customers purchase it. Factors like product category and a brand’s dependence on existing retail partner sales relationships also impact the relevance of different digital commerce tactics.
  • Regional differences in the commerce landscape must also be considered. To gauge the opportunity at stake, brands must factor in regional context to any global digital commerce strategy. Markets around the world vary significantly due to multiple factors, including the relative maturity of e-commerce, the proportion of consumers who regularly shop online, and device adoption.
  • Most importantly, it’s not all about sales. Consumer insights, ongoing consumer engagement, and a platform for product testing and innovation are among the additional benefits that brands must factor in as they analyze what their digital investments will yield.