Given their relatively high website traffic and access to point-of-sale data, DTC brands have more opportunity to drive on-site personalization at all stages of the consumer journey. While non-DTC brands face inherent challenges around identifying their consumers, there are opportunities to learn from the site personalization and live chat tools of their DTC counterparts.

For example, Dollar Shave Club’s site provides one of the most seamless DTC experiences in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Personal Care. It’s personalized, pushing new visitors to trial from the homepage, while presenting returning visitors with product recommendations based on user preferences. The site also highlights new product lines and incorporates innovative basket-building features like a persistent toggle that filters for bundles on category pages. In the face of declining user acquisition and retention, the brand targets visitors registering for an account without an active subscription by displaying a homepage with a Customize Your Club diagnostic tool, serving as another opportunity for explicit data capture. Once the quiz is completed, the homepage is populated with relevant product recommendations based on inputs like “because you have sensitive skin.”

Honest Company

Both Dollar Shave Club and Honest Company have also invested in live chat to drive acquisition and retention on site. They both include persistent live chat, but use the feature differently. Honest’s live chat is oriented toward consumer acquisition, personalizing prompts based on where the consumer sits on-site. For example, when you browse bundle product pages, Honest’s live chat pops up asking “Do you have any questions about bundles?” In contrast, Dollar Shave Club focuses live chat on current subscribers via personalization by tying previous chat transcripts to users’ email addresses, enabling agents and customers to reference past questions and conversations with ease.

For DTC and subscription brands, personalization continues to become table stakes, driving site traffic for both new and existing consumers. Even without access to the same level of consumer data via purchase history, non-DTC brands can still learn to personalize on-site experiences based on past browsing behavior or account features to create unique guided shopping experiences targeted towards customer acquisition and retention.

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