D2C Marketing

Building Blocks for Website Business

Parasar Sarma is the ex-VP-Growth at Wakefit. He is an amazing growth marketer who, with his level of knowledge and expertise, has been a key contributor to the success stories of many brands.

What is the first thing you want your customers to do when they come across your brand? Be it from paid ads or any other marketing strategy, as a D2C brand, your goal would always be to direct them to your website. 

But, is your website strong enough to hold that much traffic? Is it appealing enough to capture the attention of your audience till they reach the checkout page? Is it fast enough to guide them through before they change their mind?

According to a recent article, “47% of customers generally expect a maximum of 2 seconds for a website page to load.” This means that your website has to tick all the above boxes so as to convert your potential customers to lifelong buyers. 

Getting your customers to the website is a struggle but making them stay is what resembles the real challenge.

This week, we had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Parasar Sarma, ex- VP – Growth at Wakefit, who answered the above questions, put down ways and strategies on how D2C brands can scale their websites, share valuable insights about CRO and much more. 

Listed below are some of his many learnings from the session:

Key elements for website scale:

Though every website is unique in its own way, there are certain elements that are important for all. Now that you know the “WHY” of website scaling, let’s move forward to the “WHAT” part. 

What are the key elements that are a must-have for every website? How many have you already implemented and how many have you missed?

  1. Navigation & structure – It’s very crucial that when a new user lands on your website, with or without the context of your products, he gets a very distinct structure of navigation. As a D2C brand, if you have a set of categories and sub-categories, guiding your customer throughout their website journey is very beneficial. 
  1. Design – Nowadays, most of the products are discovered on mobile phones. 

 As per an article, “57% of users say that they are most likely to not recommend a brand if its website is poorly designed on mobile.” 

Whenever you are creating your website, make sure it is both desktop and mobile optimized.

  1. SEO hygiene – SEO is an inevitable part of marketing that needs to start its course from the very beginning. It is a door to a sea of opportunities (in our case, customers) that needs its sweet little time to unlock. But when it finally does, the quality of customers that it will get you will be the best of the lot.
  1. Product story – What makes a customer trust you? How can you make your approach a bit personal so that it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch?

The answer to all these questions is your story. When you bare a piece of your heart to your customer, they feel connected with you. They start trusting your brand and push them to be your loyal buyers. A product story is one of the key anchors of website scaling.

  1. Upsell & Cross-sell – When you are buying traffic at a cost, you need to capitalize on every customer. For eg, when a customer is buying an X product, you need to show him that there is also a Y product available. 

They might not need it at the moment but the combo will be beneficial for them.

  1. Social proof – If you have built a new site or are not present in marketplaces, then it is important for you to have some kind of social proof. You need to publish the publications you are covered by, how does your social media community work, what does your old customers talk about, etc. 

 These are the basic things you need to have to get an outlook of increasing your conversions. 

Home & product page:

The home page is the first page your user sees when they land on your website. Always try to show all your offers and discounts on the home page. Customers are more likely to increase their stay with a list of offers in front of them.

The product pages consist of all your products and services. The key elements that every product page should have are:

  1. Feature image 
  2. Gallery/product photos 
  3. Product overview, title, price, features, CTA’s, customization (if any)
  4. Product description 
  5. Reviews 
  6. Upsell & cross-sell 
  7. Chat & click to call 

Key enablers for conversion improvisation: 

Your product is obviously the main lead of your brand, but there are many other factors that a customer considers when buying a product. It is very crucial that you understand all these factors to enhance your conversion and the customer’s experience. 

Some of the key enabling factors are:

  • Delivery timelines based on pin code search.
  • Building product or service-led benefits on the website – like 100 days free trials/custom order.
  • Personalization around product selection & usability.
  • Reviews/ Pricing/payment gateway flow in detail. 

Make sure you keep all these points in check while designing your next product page.

Improve live traffic conversion with or without any automation tool – 

You might have a lot of traffic coming in from paid ads on Google and Facebook but the conversion rates are too low compared to that.

So, how do you convert these window shoppers into real-time customers?

Some of the ways to improve these live traffic conversions are:

  1. Run surveys for product learnings from non-buyers without incentivization. 
  2. Run banners to increase on-page conversion – reviews, delivery, etc.
  3. Touchbase bounce traffic (non-buyers) through automated flows. – 
  4.  Notification/emails/SMS
  5. Personalization of content based on the previous visits. 

Reviews library on the website In-depth 

Reviews are the most critical lever to improve your conversion rate. The first thing a user does when coming across a product is check its reviews. They want to know from real people about their customers with your product. 

Present a list of the following elements on your website:

  1. Review library from Amazon, Flipkart, Google, etc.
  2. Neutral presentation of all reviews from 0 rating to 5-star rating. 
  3. Influence only stacking of reviews for videos & images as first.
  4. Notify new reviews for the SKU’s to the non-buyers. 
  5. Filters to the user in order to reach the right reviews.

Pricing/Payment Flows –

As a D2C brand, your primary focus will always be your website. You might list your products on various marketplaces but your end goal is to always drive substantial traffic to your website. 

One of the most important levers of any product is Price. One of the ways you can maintain and drive more traffic to your website is by keeping your price lower there as compared to Amazon and other places. 

Some of the tricks you can use are:

  1. Try to have the lowest pricing on the website comparing market places.
  2. Its imp to show multiple layers of pricing discount – MRP to special pricing.
  3. Multiple payment gateways health & success is the key – use aggregator layers to optimize. 
  4. New payment platforms/modes unlock a new set of user bases – BNPL etc.

We are so thankful to our expert for conducting such a valuable session. 

Want to be a part of such sessions in the future? Join our next cohort:

D2C Marketing

Demystifying User Growth for your D2C Website

Shalin Bhatt is the ex-Head of Growth at Zomato. He was a key player in scaling Zomato to being a profitable marketplace and now he is helping other founders to reach their goals faster.

When people think of business growth, they typically think of some of the many initiatives that they are taking and against those initiatives they are planning to scale their business. 

But what they often fail to realize is that growth has two aspects, one is of course the initiatives they are taking and the other is the business leakage that they are incurring today, which they are or are not aware of, or unable to fix. This leakage can be one of the factors holding them back to scale faster and farther. 

As you scale your business, identifying specific patterns that are leading to business decline or growth becomes a very powerful muscle.

As a Founder, if you want to have a clear understanding of your revenue model, you will have to understand every aspect of your business. As D2C brands, the first lever for growth that we think of is Marketing. But you know that you need to be involved equally in other aspects as well, like, product, logistics, customer service, etc.

Being a D2C Founder, it becomes super important for you to decode the “D2C Dictionary” to break down growth problems and speak the language so as to prevent leakage. Listed below are some of the important terms from the dictionary for every founder:

  1. Revenue = Orders * AOV: When your revenue falls, instead of quickly going to breaking down the different aspects of the order part, start thinking around the AOV. 

Try figuring out “is it because my low SKU products are selling more?” or “is my revenue model working all right?”, etc.

If it is not an AOV problem, then move to if or why you are getting fewer orders, if the coupons codes you are providing working properly, etc. 

  1. Orders = Users * Frequency: Understanding the bridge between two branches, namely, no.of users and the repeated purchases they have made is a key factor to getting a proper understanding of the orders.

Which of the branches are breaking and causing a dip in the numbers and how you can fix it, what are the other factors that are leading to the loss of frequency or acquiring new users, are some important questions to find answers to. 

For eg, top of funnel marketing can lead to a drop in users or new users. If you offer poor customer experience, delayed orders, etc, that may lead present customers to order less and less from you in the future, resulting in a decline of frequency. 

  1. Users = New + Retained: If you are noticing a drop in the number of customers, that might be an issue of the last month and not the present one. Figure out which section of the users are leading to the drop in your sales. 

    Is it the retained customers or new users?             

     When you can figure out the source, it becomes easier to set up a plan to rectify the issue. 

  1. Retained Users = Lifetime base * Retention: As a business, your rate of repeat customers should always increase. So, if your repeat users are the same for consecutively 2 months, that is an issue that you should look into first. 
  1. Orders = Traffic * Conversion: If 2500 people are visiting your website and 20% of them made it to the end and made a purchase, then 20% is your conversion rate. This is extremely helpful as it will help you figure out if the low conversion rate is a marketing issue or a product issue. 
  1. Traffic = Organic + Paid: Demystifying which part of the traffic, organic or paid, is getting you more customers would help you plan your next marketing strategy better. 
  1. Paid Traffic = Eyeballs * CTR: Paid traffic depends mainly on your ad budget and how many impressions can you buy with it. The no. of eyeballs you receive may be more or less the same but it is the CTR that will show how many people are actually making it to the website. 
  1. Eyeballs = Budget * CPM: Cost Per Impression basically depends on the channel you are advertising on. If it is Youtube, CPM would be higher and if it is a simple banner ad, it would be much lower. The budget is totally in your control. You can opt for getting half the no.of eyeballs with a particular budget and vice versa.
  1. CAC Payback = GM% * AOV: How to know that the CAC you are getting is good or bad? This can be understood basis the quality of your transactions which is a function of the no. of average orders and GM%. If you want a profitable cohort, say of 100 customers, you need to have at least 200 orders to leverage that. 

Growth FARM: 

In conclusion, whenever you are looking at your business, keep in mind these 4 tabs:

F- Frequency

A – Acquisition

R – Retention

M – Monetary Value

We were thrilled to have Mr. Shalin Bhatt, Ex-Growth Head at Zomato who shared such amazing pointers, walked the cohort through his journey at Zomato and helped them crack and understand their growth models.

Interested in being a part of these sessions?

Join our next cohort: 

D2C Marketing

Building your Amazon Flywheel

Arindam Paul is Founding Member and Head, Marketing & Strategy at Atomberg. He is an amazing marketer and an exponential player in the D2C game, helping fellow founders and marketers scale their business profitably.

When you launch a product, you want people to know about it. You want them to look for you, get to know your products, and make a purchase. 

But, you just created a website and most of your target audience are not even aware of it. So, where are all your customers? Where and how can they find you?

This is where Marketplaces come into play. A place where your buyers are ready to buy exactly what you are offering. Amazon is one of the biggest marketplaces with over 100 million registered users making it one of the hotspots for every D2C Founder. But with the huge customer base, also comes the pressure of heavy competition.

So, how to build your Amazon Flywheel to make your mark in this pool of unending opportunities?

We were lucky to have Mr. Arindam Paul, Founding Member and Head, Marketing & Strategy, Atomberg Technologies as our expert on “Building your Amazon Flywheel”. 

From sharing his journey at Atomberg & explaining the mechanics of Amazon to putting forth real niche thought starters for our members, he helped our cohort to set a clear idea about their future marketplace listings.

The Marketplace Flywheel

What is the starting point on the Marketplace Flywheel? No one is aware of your product when you first launch it. 

In that case, it is necessary to hold paid campaigns on social media platforms so as to spread awareness about the category and the brand. That will cause your audiences to visit the marketplaces and search for your product, thus leading to organic discovery. This will get you “Product Page Views”.

Once more people start visiting your product page, gradually your will start making Sales, thus reaching the second step of the flywheel. 

 From these sales, you build your Reviews and Ratings which is a key component for every business. Good reviews can give you an amazing hike in your sales whereas bad reviews can take it down significantly. 

As your listing history starts to get more pronounced, you start getting discovered organically on generic keywords as well. You will reach the stage where you will also start getting customers from Organic Discovery and not just the paid ads. This is when the Flywheel starts moving

Next comes your Brand. Now that people are starting to discover your product, it’s time to introduce them to your brand. On-platform advertisements like sponsored product ads & product listing ads on social platforms will increase your website traffic. Knowing your brand better now, they will come back to Amazon and search for it, which will again lead to more product page views, sales and reviews and ratings thus keeping the flywheel moving. 

As a result of this accelerating cycle, your dependence on ads keeps decreasing. You will start getting 60-70% of your conversions organically, reducing your expenditure on ads significantly. 

How to Increase Your Sales on Marketplace?

Sales = Traffic on Product Page * Conversion Rate

So, when you say your sales are reducing, it is either a traffic issue or a conversion issue. It is very important to first figure out the problem before starting to work on it. 

TIP: Start keeping a track of your traffic and conversion rates on a daily basis. It is a very straightforward but very powerful hack to understand the nature of the issue. 

Levers to Increase Traffic:


a) Rank on top in Generic Searches – This is one of the dream possibilities for any D2C Founder. It takes time but when you start appearing on top, it will grow your sales very significantly. 

b) Brand Searches ( Function of Off-Platform spends, repeats, WOM, etc) – When someone searches for a very specific product that exactly replicates what you are selling, it will bring very high-rated conversion traffic to your website. 

All the off-platform spending that you do will translate into “Brand Searches” for the platform. Tracking brand searches is very important because when it will start diminishing after a certain point in time, you won’t be able to scale profitably.

c) Get discovered on Category/Deal Pages 


a) Search Ads ( Generic, Competition) 

b) Display Ads ( Custom Intent, Product Display)

Levers to Improve Conversions:

  1. Listing Quality:
  • Hero Image – Whenever we are creating content, we make it on the desktop thus making it suitable only for website searches and not app searches. 

But it was noticed that 70-80% of the purchases from Amazon were made on apps. As the interface of the ads and the website are different, the most significant feature that you can add is images. Amazon showcases the lists of products in the form of scrollable images making it easy for customers to browse. 

  • SKU Name 
  • Other Images and Videos ( Most Important when purchase happens through the app)
  • A+ Content – This comprises the content you present to your customers. A customer would always be interested to know what are the benefits he will get from your product. 

      So, instead of focusing your piece on the technicalities of your product, including how it will help the customer. 

  • Bullets 
  • Question and Answers – Q/A gives you an insight into the customer’s thought process that will help you in understanding what are their issues and what do they want. Answering these questions is a very good way to stay in touch with your customers and let them know that you care about them. 
  1. Operations: 
  •  Fulfillment ( Has to be FBA/FBF) 
  • Regional Replication (This ensures time to delivery is minimum)
  1. Reviews and Ratings
  • Seller-Central Mails
  • Packaging Inserts
  • Product Seeding with Influencers and Reviewers ( Not very common yet)
  1. Deals and Discounts: Deals and Discounts are also an effective way to increase sales and acquire customers, but overdoing them is never a good idea! Overdoing discounts on the marketplace makes it the reference price and customers will refrain from purchasing from your website at a higher price.

Marketplaces to Focus On

There are so many marketplaces present for every category that it becomes difficult to pick the ones that will actually be profitable or fit for your industry. 2 Parameters you should consider while taking this decision are:

  1. Current share and future Outlook towards the category –  

How to do:

  • Talking to Category Managers – Customers prefer marketplaces where there are options. So, if a particular category in a marketplace has a very deep set of options, it is a good match.
  • Performance on generic searches on Google – Search for very generic terms on Google and check which marketplaces are bidding on them. If a marketplace is bidding on those keywords or ranking high on them, that means it has a strong focus on that category.
  • The current selection available in the marketplace
  1. Marketplace-TG Match with Product/Brand – This is a very important parameter to consider before listing your products. You need to understand if the marketplace you chose has the right kind of customers you are looking for. 

At some places, the prices may be too much for your target group but the other marketplaces might work wonders for you. 

Newer/Upcoming Marketplaces

  1. Relationship Driven – Newer marketplaces are generally relationship-driven, thus wanting to create a level of trust among its customers.
  1. Chance to be a first-mover – You can get to be a first-mover in these marketplaces and capture the market share faster.

Evaluate newer marketplaces on the only parameter, “ Can they generate incremental sales for the brand”?

Key Metrics to Track

Platform Wise

  • Sales Volume and Value
  • Returns
  • Marketshare
  • Ratings and Reviews( Volume as well as Quality)
  • Platform wise Ads Effectiveness ( Total ad spends in the platform/Total sales due to ads in the platform)
  • Percentage of Order from Platform Ads

Overall E-Commerce

Total digital spends( On+off platform)/Total e-commerce sales ( Hardest metric to track and improve).

We would like to thank our expert for this very insightful session! All the learnings and experiences that he shared with our cohort was very valuable. 

Want to be a part of his next session and many more like this?

Join our next cohort:

D2C Marketing

21 Immutable Laws of Digital Growth for D2C Brands

Prathamesh Dembla is the Head of Growth at Licious – Born to Meat. He is the best person to guide D2C Founders in their journey of growth and has been doing the same, helping many brands build their business.

Why do mothers pester their children to drink milk every day when they are young? Why do your seniors challenge you with new tasks every day? Why, as a Founder, do you push your brand to try new horizons and prepare them for every possible outcome? 

The answer to all the above questions will be one & the same: GROWTH.

Be it for your development or your brand’s, consistent growth has always been the key factor we strive towards. As Founders, our brand is like a child to us and their steady and speedy growth is what we want for them.

We had the privilege to have Mr. Prathamesh Dembla, Head of Growth at Licious – Born to meat, who walked our cohort through his journey at Licious, shared his insights about various revenue models and most importantly, put forward the 21 Key Principles Of Growth as listed below: 

  1. Organic is dead on Facebook (& Instagram soon): In your initial stages, organic returns may work wonders for your brand. But with time, organic growth has the tendency to reach a saturation point. As a Founder, investing too much time & focus on organic might not be a good idea.
  1. Video is the future: According to an article in Hootsuite, “People spend billion hours worth of time watching videos on Youtube every day”. Today, the whole content platform is shifting to videos and that should be enough motivation for you to start investing in videos. 
  1. Digital Marketing is driven by video: The main three types of content that we focus on are Text, Images, and Videos. On one hand, where texts content generally depends on the search terms of the audience and images get to showcase only half of our brand story, videos eliminate the pain points of both and get us the best possible results. 
  1. Influencer Marketing is useless (unless you are in Fashion or Cosmetics or operating at a 75% Gross Margin): Though Influencer Marketing has created quite a stir in the marketing world, it has been noticed time and again that it might not be as useful for most of the industries. 

For fashion and cosmetics, it might hit the target once in a while but it should not consume much of your brand’s capital and time. 

  1. Affiliates – Can be your Worst Enemy: Affiliates can be your friend or your enemy depending on how you pursue it. As a Founder or as a Marketer, you need to stay aware of 3 important red flags when working with them, namely:
  • If it is more than 10% of Marketing spends.
  • You are working with more than 5 Affiliates.
  • They claim to scale your brand faster than Google.

       If you noticed any of these red flags in your affiliate marketing strategy, think again.  

 6. Ideal mix of channels: When you are at an early stage of your product-market fit, around 70-80% of your returns will be organic with 20-30% from paid advertising. As you grow, the mix of both organic and paid will start to reach a midpoint with both of them generating around 40-50% returns.

7. Lookalike audiences work best on FB: For any D2C Founder, 2 types of audiences work typically well namely, Lookalikes and engaged shoppers. Engaged Shoppers are those who have made an online purchase in the past 7 days. 

Make sure to always target at least 1% of both these types of audiences in your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

8. Emailers are not dead – Newsletters come with 10%+ Open Rates:  Don’t stop investing in your emailers or start investing if you haven’t yet. Email Marketing is kind of that ignored kid in school that no one expects much from but does wonders when given the right opportunity. 

4 things to keep in mind when working with emailers are:

• Keep Testing subject lines

• Be Consistent – every Thursday / Saturday

• Keep replies open

• Founders should write to consumers

9. Don’t go for Big Creative Agencies for the Brand Story – best videos are created at less than Rs.1 Lakh/video: No one knows your brand better than you, so no one else can tell its story better than you. Instead of paying agencies huge chunks of your capital, make 4-5 small videos in-house and some of them are bound to get you amazing results.

10. Vernacular Communication matters when your core audience is in AP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala: Only and only invest in vernacular communication if your core audience lies in any of the mentioned states. You will notice the following upgrades in your returns soon enough:

• View Rates – at least 2X – 3X

• CTR – at least 2X

• CAC – less by 30% +

• Local Influencer is a must

11. Get your Ad Accounts – Google, Facebook Whitelisted for key features: There are some of the key features you should get whitelisted in your Ad Accounts to get better returns, namely:

• Running Video Only App Campaigns on YouTube

• 20 seconders Non-Skippable

• Performance Max Campaigns

• Instagram Shop integration

• Image Extensions in Search Ads

12. Videos in Digital Brand Marketing: You read how important videos are but how exactly are you going to execute it? Follow the steps below for a detailed view of how you can apply video marketing in your strategy:

• Lead with 20 seconder Non-Skippables, Build Recall with 6 


• Add the Google Play store link / Website Link

• 20 seconders – 3-5 frequency, and 6 seconders – 3 to 5 


• CPUR (TV) more than 15 times CPUR (Digital)

13. Beyond 20 sec, Video Length does not matter: Try to convey most of your brand story in the first 20 seconds of the video. As the 20 seconds will be non-skippable, it will be your greatest weapon to get your story conveyed to your target audience.

14. Branding Impact Analysis: If you are planning to run a campaign specifically on Branding, there are 6 metrics you can use to measure its success:

• First-click attributed ROI

• Spike in Brand Search Volume

• E-Commerce conversion rate of new users

• Spike in CTRs for Non-Brand Searches (Brand Recall)

• Control Experiments Analyses

• Reduction in Avg. Sales Cycle duration

15. Check out DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimizations) + 25% higher CTRs: DCO offers personalized ads to its viewers based on their interests, behavioral aspects, etc. It has worked very well for Licious and it is an area you as a D2C brand should definitely explore. 

16. Traffic is expensive, Conversion has a higher ROI: Instead of focusing on bringing more traffic to your website, work on converting the ones that have already walked to your door. Keep checking the following metrics to get a better understanding of your conversions:

• Click to Sessions

• Sessions to Check-out

• Check-out to Order

• Time spent

• Conversion Rate

17. Keep track of the Facebook Quality Score: Facebook takes anonymous feedback from your customers’ basis which gives you a quality score. If your score goes below 2, then your ads will come under penalty and your CPMs will increase. Keeping track of those is a must to make sure you don’t fall below the minimum score.

18. Invest in SEO from day 1: Start investing in SEO from the start. It will not get you the results from day one but the day it will, the ROI will be so good that you will get most of your organic business from there. 

19. Use of Dynamic Ads on Facebook: If you are from Retail/eCommerce, Travel, Real Estate, or Automotive, do make use of Dynamic ads on Facebook. It has a very Integrated Approach and provides better solutions for your brands.

20. Audience Creation for Website Users: You can create “Audience Cohorts” on Facebook for people who have visited your website, added products to the cart or viewed your products in the last 30 days. This will help you in retargeting that audience. 

Make sure your Google Analytics and your Adwords are directly in link and the events are passing through correctly because as much data you are providing them, it’s moving to automation. As you provide more information, your CPC should come down by 20-30%

21. Key Metrics to Check: After executing all the above learnings, what are the metrics to check how well they are working for your brand?

Listed below are some of the key metrics you should check:

• Click to Session to Goal Completion – Across Source / Medium

• Checkout to Order Ratio

• GA to CRM Transactions

• FB Ads – New To Retargeting Sessions

• New to Repeat Customers

• Conversion per impression

• Search Impression Share

• Account Base Selling Top of Page %

Our expert shared all these learnings and much more with our cohort members, guiding them to the right path in their growth journey. Leading the growth team of Licious for quite some time now, he has been a true sport and helped many of our cohort members with their growth models.

Click here to join our next cohort for many such learnings: