D2C: Explore 1,000+ Direct To Consumer Brands By Category

What is D2C? What are popular D2C brands? How does the business model work?

D2C stands for direct-to-consumer, which means that a brand sells directly to its end customers rather than through retailers or wholesale channels.

The direct-to-consumer business model lowers costs for the brands and for consumers by cutting out the middleman and allowing brands to sell products directly to customers.‚Äć

Direct to consumer (D2C/DTC) brands own their customer relationships, which enables them to offer more personalized experiences, gather more feedback and collect first-party customer data. With these advantages, DTC brands can offer faster customer support, more personalized marketing messages and better products for their customers. Legacy retailers like Walmart, Target and more are not as agile and adaptive to changing consumer preferences as DTC brands.

Starting in 2007, direct to consumer brands began to take advantage of the unprecedented consumer access the internet offered them. The internet immediately became a brand new, highly profitable sales channel for DTC brands and allowed them to cut out the traditional retail and wholesale middlemen.

The first direct to consumer brands like Warby Parker, Bonobos, Away, Dollar Shave Club and more were able to quickly scale their brands through digital channels and capture immense amounts of first party customer data. This ability to capture customer data allowed them to rapidly innovate and adapt their products, customer experiences and brand positioning.

The direct-to-consumer (D2C/DTC) market is expected to grow beyond $200 billion by 2024, a massive increase from $128 billion in 2021. Research from the International Trade Association also shows that 55% of consumers prefer to shop directly from brands rather than retailers.

Nowadays, more and more shoppers are making the switch to online, direct to consumer brands. Consumers are seeking out real, authentic connections with brands for personalized experiences and even personalized products. This rapid consumer adoption of DTC has given rise to major competition and endless choices for consumers. 

Because of the low barriers to entry, new D2C brands in various categories are started every single day. In our list below, you can explore over 1,500 of the top direct to consumer (D2C/DTC) brands on the market today by category and learn more about their products, brands and experiences.

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Explore 1,500+ Direct To Consumer Brands

ASRV
ASRV
ASRV develops best-in-class technical apparel for running, training, and rec. We believe that training has the power to unlock our full potential - mind, body, and spirit. Their mission is to elevate individuals in their pursuit of progress. ASRV striveS to innovate at every level of design in order to bring truly unique products to the market, from the fabrics to the functionality of each piece.
Planet Paleo
Planet Paleo
Planet Paleo creates collagen supplements and paleo-friendly nutrition products. Their offerings include pure collagen powder, bone broth protein powders in flavors like chocolate and vanilla banana, as well as superfood subscriptions for convenient delivery of their nutritious supplements.
Antler
Antler
Antler is a luggage brand that offers premium suitcases, travel bags, and accessories designed for durability and longevity. Their product range includes the newly launched Icon Collection featuring hard and soft shell suitcases in various sizes, as well as carry-on bags, backpacks, and other travel essentials crafted with high-quality materials and components.
Collars & Co
Collars & Co
Collars & Co. creates innovative dress shirts and polos featuring their patented firm collar technology. Their product offerings include the Dress Collar Polo with a real English spread collar, Quattro Flex short-sleeve and long-sleeve button-downs designed for ultimate comfort, and the CEO Chino pants for a polished yet casual look.
Proper Cloth
Proper Cloth
Proper Cloth specializes in custom-made dress shirts, suits, and other tailored menswear. Their product offerings include made-to-measure dress shirts with customizable options for fabric, collar, cuff, and fit, as well as custom suits, sport coats, and trousers crafted to each customer's precise measurements and style preferences.
Makara Wear
Makara Wear
Makara is sustainable activewear brand that specializes in high-quality, functional swimwear, apparel, and accessories crafted from eco-friendly materials like ECONYL regenerated nylon. Their product offerings include long-sleeve swimsuits, surf leggings, rash guards, dresses, and other activewear designed with a focus on empowering women through fashion-forward, comfortable, and environmentally-conscious pieces.
Manual
Manual
Manual offers prescription treatments, ongoing medical care, digital tracking tools, and at-home diagnostics for various health concerns. Their product offerings include science-backed solutions for hair loss, weight management, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, sleep issues, skincare, nutritional supplements, and more, all accessible through their online platform with support from medical experts.
Kinn
Kinn
Kinn Studio is fine jewelry brand that specializes in modern heirloom pieces designed to be cherished for a lifetime. Their product offerings include diamond tennis bracelets and necklaces, nameplate necklaces, signet rings, and other timeless jewelry crafted from precious metals and gemstones.
Birddogs
Birddogs
Birddogs is a D2C men's apparel brand based in New York City, known for pioneering shorts and pants with a built-in underwear liner for enhanced comfort and support. Their product offerings include athletic shorts, casual shorts, dress pants, and other bottoms designed with their signature built-in liner technology, providing a chafe-free and unrestricted fit for an active lifestyle.
Bulgari
Bulgari
Bulgari is an Italian luxury brand renowned for its exquisite jewelry, watches, fragrances, and accessories crafted with impeccable attention to detail and the finest materials. Founded in Rome in 1884, Bulgari epitomizes Italian excellence and creativity, drawing inspiration from the brand's Roman roots to create iconic designs that blend contemporary style with timeless elegance.
Amika
Amika
Amika is a professional haircare brand that offers a range of shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and tools designed to cater to different hair types and concerns. Their products are formulated with high-quality ingredients and utilize advanced technologies to deliver effective solutions for issues like frizz, dryness, and damage.
Lolli and Pops
Lolli and Pops
Lolli & Pops specializes in gourmet candies, chocolates, and sweet treats. Their product offerings include gummy bears, cotton candy, crispy cakes, hot cocoa bombs, bulk candy bags, international snack boxes, and retro/nostalgic candies from various eras.
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Apparel
ASRV
ASRV develops best-in-class technical apparel for running, training, and rec. We believe that training has the power to unlock our full potential - mind, body, and spirit. Their mission is to elevate individuals in their pursuit of progress. ASRV striveS to innovate at every level of design in order to bring truly unique products to the market, from the fabrics to the functionality of each piece.
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What Are Direct To Consumer (D2C/DTC) Brands?

Direct to consumer (D2C/DTC) brands sell products and services directly to their customers through owned distribution channels rather than through third-party retailers and wholesale channels. This new distribution channel for DTC brands enables them to deliver better customer experiences, own the customer relationship and capture more customer data.

Why Is Direct To Consumer Becoming So Important?

While the direct to consumer business model isn’t exactly a transformational discovery, it still is driving significant change in the retail industry. The model existed all the back in the 1920s when apparel brands created an opportunity to sell products directly to their customers through their own retail locations. 

In 2007, Bonobos, one of the original DTC brands, built an entire business focused on selling just one product directly to their customers through the internet and owned retail stores. The concept of direct to consumer has grown rapidly in recent years for two reasons: ecommerce growth and consumer behavior changes.

The direct to consumer model removes multiple steps and friction from the traditional buying cycle for the customer. This allows brands to provide better and faster customer experiences for loyal customers.

  • The traditional wholesale model for brands: manufacturer > wholesaler > distributor > retail location > customer (5 total steps).
  • The direct to consumer model for brands: manufacturer > website > end customer (3 total steps)

Originally, the direct to consumer business model was pioneered by early DTC brands like Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, Allbirds, Glossier and more.

The first DTC brands served a digitally savvy customer base initially and expanded to much broader audiences as direct to consumer become more adopted. 

D2C Growth Across The World

According to the International Trade Administration, ecommerce sales are expected to reach over $5.5 trillion by 2027. Retail locations and wholesalers are beginning to feel the pressure of ecommerce. Shoppers are slowly starting to no longer venture to physical locations to discover products and shop.

Brands are also ditching the retail and wholesale channel in favor of the direct to consumer model. It’s difficult for brands to stand out in-store when their products are surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of similar products. This drives brands to quickly adopt the direct to consumer business model to grow and stand out.

Nike, a traditional wholesale and retail-focused brand, saw 15% of their total revenue coming from the direct to consumer model in 2010. But in 2023, Nike’s overall direct to consumer revenue grew to 43.7% and is predicted to scale beyond 60% by 2025.

Consumer Behavior in D2C

Nowadays, consumer expectations are higherS and harder to meet than ever before. If retailers are not able to deliver exceptional customer experiences, then customers will not shop with them anymore. The competition has grown rapidly and the barriers to entry have become significantly less in recent years. 

Consumers are now craving personalized experiences, messages and products. Consumers also want to feel personally connected to brands and feel like they‚Äôre buying from another human ‚Äď not a big retail store. This is partly why DTC brands have been so successful in recent years and taken market share from legacy retailers.

How Does The Direct To Consumer Business Model Work?

The direct to consumer business model works exactly as it seems: DTC brands sell products directly to their customers through their website, digital channels or owned retail locations. Then, customers will receive the product directly from the brand - no intermediaries involved. 

The whole process is owned by the brand and the customer, with the brand taking full control over the customer experience and the fulfillment process for orders. The direct to consumer business model relies on building strong customer relationships and creating personalized experiences that prioritize the customer. 

DTC brands show a true understanding of shopper pain points and consumer preferences. Many brands use discounts, loyalty programs, robust product reviews, and user-generated content to build customer relationships and drive long-term customer loyalty.

Benefits of Direct To Consumer (D2C/DTC) For Stores

The shift towards a direct to consumer (D2C) business model for many brands is driven by several compelling reasons:

Direct Customer Relationships via D2C

The direct to consumer business model allows brands to build direct relationships with their customers. This direct engagement leads to a better understanding of customer preferences, enabling brands to tailor their products, services, and marketing strategies more effectively.

Control Over Brand Image and Customer Experience

By selling directly, brands have complete control over their branding and customer experience. This control is vital in maintaining consistency in messaging, presentation, and customer service quality, which can strengthen brand identity and loyalty.

Data Collection and Personalization in D2C

D2C models enable brands to collect first party customer data. This data is invaluable for personalizing marketing efforts, optimizing product development, and improving customer experiences based on real insights.

D2C Enables Higher Profit Margins

Eliminating intermediaries in the supply chain can reduce costs and increase profit margins. Brands can save on retailer or distributor margins and invest more in product development, marketing, and customer service.

Brands Can Be Agile to Market Changes

D2C brands can be more agile and responsive to market trends and consumer feedback. They can quickly implement changes in products, pricing, and marketing strategies without the need to coordinate with third-party retailers or distributors.

Opportunity for Subscriptions and Memberships

The direct to consumer model facilitates innovative add-on models like subscriptions, memberships and product customization. DTC brands that offer these benefits are able to strengthen customer loyalty and relationships. 

Ecommerce Digital Marketing Advancements

The growth of e-commerce and digital marketing tools has made it easier for brands to reach consumers directly. Online platforms like Meta, Google, TikTok and Snapchat offer scalable and efficient channels for marketing, sales, and distribution.

Key Areas To Focus on To Grow a Direct To Consumer Brand

Growing a direct to consumer (DTC) brand requires a strategic approach that leverages digital marketing effectively and builds strong customer relationships from the start. Key areas to focus on when first building a brand include:

Leverage Influencer Collaborations

Partnering with social media influencers like YouTubers, TikTokers, and Instagrammers is an effective way to reach new audiences - especially when you link to customized landing pages or shops. Influencers in your product space can provide a significant boost in visibility and credibility, introducing your products to their followers. This approach is akin to a media buy but aligns well with the DTC ethos of cutting out middlemen.

Kourtney Kardashian & Lemme Live (D2C Brand)

D2C Referral Marketing Program

Utilize your loyal customer base as brand evangelists. Referral programs incentivize existing customers to spread the word about your products, creating a powerful word-of-mouth marketing campaign. This strategy can organically grow your customer base and enhance brand loyalty.

Flexible Shipping and Payment Options

Flexibility in shipping and payment methods is crucial. Provide various shipping options, from express to standard, and consider offering free shipping where viable. Ensure your payment system accommodates all common methods, including credit cards, ACH payments, and foreign currencies, to cater to a diverse customer base.

Leveraging Customer Feedback and Reviews

Displaying transparent customer feedback and reviews, including negative ones, on your ecommerce platform and product pages builds trust and authenticity. Respond to negative reviews to provide context and manage customer expectations. Honest feedback helps set realistic perceptions of your products and can guide future improvements.

Staying on Top of New D2C Trends 

Stay informed about the latest trends in ecommerce, from data privacy and sustainability to new technologies like AI and machine learning. Understanding and adapting to these trends can position your DTC brand at the forefront of the rapidly changing direct to consumer landscape.

How Is The Direct To Consumer Landscape Evolving?

The direct to consumer (DTC) industry is experiencing several big changes in recent years, largely driven by evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and shifts in the marketing landscape.

Increased Focus on Customer Experience

DTC brands are placing a greater emphasis on enhancing the customer experience. This includes everything from improving website design and functionality to offering personalized customer service. Brands are leveraging data to understand customer preferences and behaviors, enabling them to tailor their offerings and communication strategies.

Adoption of Omnichannel Strategies

While the DTC model inherently focuses on selling directly to consumers online, many brands are expanding their presence through omnichannel strategies. This includes pop-up shops, permanent brick-and-mortar stores, and partnerships with major retailers. These strategies help brands increase their visibility, reach a wider audience, and provide consumers with more ways to interact with and purchase their products.

Allbirds Retail Location

Emphasis on Sustainability and Ethical Practices

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact and ethical practices of the brands they support. DTC brands are responding by incorporating sustainability into their products, packaging, and supply chains. This includes using eco-friendly materials, minimizing waste, and ensuring fair labor practices. Brands that prioritize sustainability and transparency are building stronger connections with their customers.

Leveraging Advanced Ecommerce Technologies

Technological advancements are playing a crucial role in the evolution of the DTC industry. Brands are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to enhance personalization, from product recommendations to customized marketing messages. Augmented reality (AR) is being used to create immersive shopping experiences, allowing customers to visualize products in their own space before making a purchase.

Shift in Marketing Strategies

The digital advertising landscape is changing, with increased scrutiny on data privacy and changes to tracking technologies. DTC brands are adapting by exploring alternative marketing channels and strategies, such as content marketing, influencer partnerships, and community building. These approaches help brands engage with their audience in more authentic and meaningful ways.

Product Innovation and Diversification

To stand out in a crowded market, DTC brands are continuously innovating and diversifying their product offerings. This includes limited edition releases, collaborations with influencers or other brands, and expanding into new categories. Brands are also focusing on creating high-quality, unique products that meet specific consumer needs and preferences.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Data is at the heart of the DTC model, enabling brands to make informed decisions about everything from product development to marketing strategies. Brands are investing in data analysis tools and expertise to gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiency. This data-driven approach helps brands remain competitive and responsive to market changes.

Community and D2C Brand Loyalty

DTC brands are focusing on building communities and fostering brand loyalty through engaging content, exclusive offers, and personalized experiences. By creating a sense of belonging and connection, brands can encourage repeat purchases, positive word-of-mouth, and a strong brand advocacy among their customer base.

The DTC industry is evolving rapidly, with brands constantly adapting to new challenges and opportunities. By focusing on customer experience, sustainability, technology, and data, DTC brands are poised to continue growing and reshaping the retail landscape.

Who Are The Best DTC Brands?

Several direct to consumer (D2C) brands have made significant impacts in various categories and built themselves into global brands. Some of the biggest and most well-known D2C brands include:

Warby Parker

Revolutionizing the eyewear industry, Warby Parker offers stylish, affordable eyeglasses and sunglasses, providing a home try-on option for customers.

Warby Parker

Casper

Casper has gained popularity in the mattress industry by selling high-quality mattresses directly to consumers, simplifying the mattress shopping experience.

Casper Mattress

Dollar Shave Club

Known for its subscription-based razor delivery service, Dollar Shave Club expanded its product line to include other grooming products, appealing to a broad customer base.

Dollar Shave Club

Glossier

A beauty brand that grew out of a beauty blog, Glossier sells skincare and makeup products directly to consumers, focusing on simplicity and user experience.

Glossier

Everlane

Specializing in clothing, Everlane emphasizes transparent pricing and ethical manufacturing practices, resonating with consumers who value sustainability.

Away

A travel and lifestyle brand known for its stylish and functional luggage, Away has expanded its product line to include other travel accessories.

These brands have successfully leveraged the D2C model to build strong customer relationships, offer unique value propositions, and disrupt traditional retail in their respective markets.

Away Travel