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40 Percent of Americans Shopped Direct-to-Consumer in 2019

A study by Diffusion shows 40 percent of Americans have made a purchase from direct-to-consumer brands in the last year.

According to a new survey from communications agency Diffusion, 40 percent of Americans have made a purchase from direct-to-consumer brands in the last year.

The study found 14 percent of those shoppers made between one percent and 19 percent of their purchases from DTC companies. Another two percent of respondents said they did almost all of their shopping through DTC brands.

DTC purchases overtook traditional retail in notable categories such as health and beauty products at 35 percent, apparel at 34 percent and tech and gadgets at 26 percent. Leading reasons for choosing DTC purchasing over a traditional retailer was cost at 48 percent followed by fast, free shipping and easy returns at 43 percent.

Social media or influencers accounted for 19 percent of how consumers heard of the direct-to-consumer brands, followed by print or online ads at 18 percent, word of mouth from friends at 15 percent and print or online reviews at 14 percent. About nine percent of respondents also reported hearing of direct-to-consumer brands through podcast ads.

Though DTC was popular, the survey also found that consumer had interest in visiting a DTC’s physical store. As many as 37 percent of those studied wanted to visit a physical shop to get a sense of the product, 32 percent wanted to visit for convenience, and 28 percent wanted to receive the product right away. Another 27 percent expressed interest in visiting multiple DTC brands in a single location. Even with those options, over 26 percent of Americans still look for positive reviews or media coverage before making a DTC purchase.

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