Everybody seems to love Amazon, or at least feel dependent on them in some way. It’s hard to beat that free two day shipping! But if you’re looking for a more catered and user friendly experience that isn’t just about finding something quick, there are other ways to shop online besides Amazon! In fact not only are there other ways, but there’s usually perks that may outdo the typical 2 day free shipping. Let’s take a look…
Shopping Direct to Consumer
The term “direct to consumer” is a little new to most shoppers. In fact, most of us didn’t even know the term until about 5 to 10 years ago. Think of it this way, direct to consumer just means you’re buying directly from the brand as opposed to buying from a retailer that carries multiple brands. So instead of going to the mall and shopping at Nike or Gap, you’re just doing so directly online.
There are usually perks to shopping direct to consumer that you won’t find on Amazon. Why? Because brands will make a higher profit margin when you buy directly from them, thus cutting out the middle man. This method allows them to give extra discounts you may not find at retailers. Most brands online offer an initial discount for signing up for their mailing list or even just making a first purchase with them. You know those ads that annoy you on Facebook or Instagram? They may be worth checking out because many have discount codes directly in the ad copy that you can use right away!
Most brands offer some sort of free shipping – either for any purchase or if you spend a certain dollar amount.
Direct Brand Contact & Brand Authenticity
Another benefit of buying directly from a brand is that you can directly contact them about your order or with questions. Usually when you’re buying from Amazon, you’re not buying directly from the brand, but yet another retailer that sells on Amazon. And beware of counterfeit items on Amazon. This is a growing problem with Amazon and obviously when you’re buying directly from the brand on their site, you know you’re getting the real thing.
Personalized Packaging Experience
Let’s face it, when you receive an Amazon package, it’s not the most exciting thing to come through the mail. Many brands have a whole packaging experience to make receiving your shipment special. Whether it’s a pretty box, free samples, or even fun free things like stickers, receiving your order directly from the brand can make you feel like a special customer and more apt to buy from them again.
Amazon may seem like a great deal, but if you’re paying the same price on Amazon that you would directly from a brand or specialized retailer, is it really? When you add up all the perks that brands and specials that retailers offer, you may actually not be getting the best deal. Enter reward programs, which are becoming more and more popular. Brands want loyalty and that means getting extra perks buying directly from them time, whether it’s extra discounts, prizes or free gifts.
It’s not just direct to consumer brands that are able to offer discounts, reward programs, free shipping and amazing packaging. Specialty stores like Sephora, Thrive and Urban Outfitters also cater to the online experience in a way that Amazon just doesn’t. Sometimes Amazon can feel just too big with too many options to find that special type of product that you’re looking for.
As you can see, Amazon is the not the end all for online shopping. And with only around 10% of purchases being bought online, you could say we’re still in the beginning stages of online shopping!