8 US direct-to-consumer trends that will shape 2021

American consumers are hungry to shop with brands online. Discover the key D2C trends for 2021 and how your brand can take advantage of them.

Direct-to-consumer looks set to take center stage in 2021, as the opportunity for online sales continues to grow amid high street turmoil. 

Want to take advantage of the growth? Brands should be focused on strengthening their e-commerce offerings – and even looking at the possibility of diversification through a subscription revenue model.  

American consumers are hungry for the convenience of D2C, with the products they love delivered directly to their doors. How do we know? We recently surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 2,000 working-age people. 

The full results of the research can be downloaded below, but here we present eight key trends set to shape the D2C landscape in 2021.

The 2021 guide to direct-to-consumer trends (US)

Discover what’s driving Americans to shop D2C and how your brand can best leverage the e-commerce boom.

Get your copy now

D2C trend #1 – increasing demand

More than 80% of Americans have shopped directly with a brand online in the last 12 months. The most popular category is clothing, shoes and accessories; nearly 48% have shopped with a D2C brand in this category. 

D2C trend #2 – more choice

According to 41% of Americans, being able to access a brand’s full range is why they like going direct, rather than shopping through a third party. Meanwhile, nearly 43% of people say this lets them discover new products they might like. 

D2C trend #3 – value for money

Today’s D2C consumer is driven by a desire to get the best deal possible. Over 85% of shoppers say it’s important that D2C provides them with better value than other channels by offering more competitive prices, special deals and perks. 

D2C trend #4 – fast and free delivery 

The main deterrent that stops people shopping D2C is brands’ delivery terms. Nearly 37% of people are put off purchasing directly by delivery times or costs, rising to 43% of people who prefer to shop offline.

D2C trend #5 – male subscribers

American men are more likely to have product subscriptions than women; 49% of men have at least one active subscription versus 44% of women. Meanwhile, 24% of men say they have more than one current product subscription (versus 17% of women). 

D2C trend #6 – subscribing to save

The primary reason for consumers to sign up to a product subscription is because it offers them good value. Men especially believe their subscriptions provide value for money (26% versus 20% of women). 

D2C trend #7 – flexible terms

Brands offering products by subscription can win more customers by making their terms more flexible. 42% of US consumers say they don’t want to be locked into subscriptions while 19% are deterred from subscriptions because they don’t want to receive goods too frequently.

D2C trend #8 – shifting priorities

American consumers say they are currently most attracted to practical subscriptions that replenish the things they run out of. Meanwhile, indulgent subscription types are the least attractive.

Already thinking about how you could apply these trends to your business? Download the 2021 guide to direct-to-consumer trends for even deeper insight… 

The 2021 guide to direct-to-consumer trends (US)

Discover what’s driving Americans to shop D2C and how your brand can best leverage the e-commerce boom.

Get your copy now

Bel Booker

Senior Content Writer 

Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 125 million global consumers. She also likes cake.

See all articles by Bel