What is D2C – Direct-to-Consumer?

The D2C model, also known as the Direct-to-Consumer model, involves product makers bypassing traditional middlemen like retailers, wholesalers, or any other third-party seller, and selling directly to consumers.

This model has been gaining significant traction in the business world since the turn of the century. It has transformed how companies that make things interact with their customers, offering a much more personalized and efficient shopping experience.

The Internet and D2C

The D2C business model has expanded since the rise of the Internet and digital platforms. It is much easier now for companies to set up their own online stores, manage digital marketing campaigns, and communicate with consumers, prospects, and customers without the need for physical storefronts. A prospect is somebody you think could turn into a paying customer.

Apart from significantly reducing costs, this direct line also allows businesses to gather and analyze valuable customer data. They can use this data to improve their products and personalize the consumer’s shopping experience.

This definition of the term comes from salesforce.com:

“Direct-to-consumer is when a brand sells their product to the end user. In the past, brands often distributed products only through retail partners. Many industries are launching direct-to-consumer channels, including telecommunications, grocery, and even automotive, with manufacturers selling vehicles to new owners without the involvement of a dealership.”

Controlling the brand narrative

One of the key benefits of the D2C model is being able to control the brand narrative. Product makers can now ensure that their brand’s message is delivered exactly as intended, without distortion from third parties.

This direct communication helps build a stronger relationship with customers, fostering loyalty and trust. Thanks to consumer feedback, it is possible for companies to quickly adapt and respond to people’s needs and preferences.

Image depicting concept of D2C or Direct-to-Consumer
Image created by Market Business News.

D2C saves money

There is great potential with this business model for cost savings. By doing away with intermediaries, companies can offer their products at lower prices or with greater profit margins. In fact, with careful calculation, they might be able to achieve both.

In fiercely competitive markets, where price and value propositions are critical to success, the D2C model makes sense.


Companies must invest in creating a robust e-commerce platform, managing logistics, and developing effective online marketing strategies to reach their target audience.

Thy also become responsible for returns, after-sales support, and customer service.


Despite these challenges, it appears to be worth it, otherwise, there would not be so many product makers today using the D2C model.

As technology evolves apace and consumer preferences shift towards more personalized and convenient shopping experiences, the D2C model will become an increasingly important part of the retail landscape.

More abbreviated business models

There are many business models like “D2C” that consist of “Letter + Number + Letter.” Let’s have a look at some of them, their meanings, and how we can use them in a sentence:

Companies sell to other companies.
Example: “A software company providing accounting programs to other businesses is an example of B2B.”

Direct sales to individual consumers.
Example: “An online retailer selling clothes directly to people is an example of B2C.”

Individuals sell directly to other individuals.
Example: “Using an online marketplace to sell used furniture to another person is an example of C2C.”

  • B2B2C (Business-to-Business-to-Consumer)

A business sells to another business before reaching the consumer.
Example: “A manufacturer selling baby products to a retailer, which then sells them to parents, is an example of B2B2C.”

  • B2G (Business-to-Government)

Companies sell products or services to government agencies.
Example: “A software company providing document management systems to government offices is an example of B2G.”

  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business)

Individuals sell products or services to businesses.
Example: “A graphic designer creating a logo for a company is an example of C2B.”

  • G2C (Government-to-Consumer)

Government services offered directly to citizens.
Example: “A government website allowing citizens to renew their passports online is an example of G2C.”

  • G2B (Government-to-Business)

Government services or products offered to businesses.
Example: “A city government issuing permits through its website to local businesses is an example of G2B.”

A decentralized model where two individuals interact directly.
Example: “Using a digital platform to lend money directly to another person is an example of P2P.”

  • D2D (Door-to-Door)

Salespeople sell products or services directly to consumers at their homes.
Example: “A salesperson offering cleaning products directly to homeowners is an example of D2D.”