The State of the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Industry in India – 2023

14 July, 2023

 DTC Trends

Last updated on 4 January, 2024

Written by Content Team

The State of the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Industry in India – 2023: Trends, Insights, and Growth Opportunities

Discover the latest trends, insights, and growth opportunities in the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) industry in India in 2023. Stay ahead of the competition in the Indian ecommerce market and unlock the potential of this booming sector.


In recent years, India's direct-to-customer (DTC) industry has experienced an impressive evolution as a consequence of developing customer habits and new market developments. It will be extremely important to dig deeper into this blossoming industry's state and determine the most recent advances that are altering the retail landscape. With a population of more than 1.4 billion, India now has greater influence than ever thanks to the establishment of digital technology. Customers are embracing the simplicity and affordability offered by DTC businesses as the popularity of smartphones and usage of the internet reach all-time highs. As a result, the way that products are advertised, purchased, and utilized has undergone a change of perspective.

The following sections will analyze the main patterns, issues, and prospects that will affect the direct-to-consumer market in India in 2023, exposing crucial details that you might not have known before.

Evolution of the DTC Industry in India

In India, the direct-to-customer (DTC) industry has developed substantially over the past ten years as an outcome of shifting customer behavior and increasing demand for digital technology. When they initially began establishing themselves in the Indian retail scene, customers depended on conventional brick-and-mortar enterprises to fulfill their wants for purchases. This traditional strategy has been challenged by the meteoric rise of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer firms.

Consumer behavior has been extremely important to India's DTC industry's expansion. Indian customers have grown more demanding and technologically aware as a result of the widespread use of smartphones and the availability of cheap internet connections. They now look for convenience, individualized experiences, and openness throughout the buying process. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) industry has benefited from these shifting tastes by providing personalized products, easy online shopping, and direct contact.

The shifting demographics and ambitions of Indian customers are another factor contributing to the growth of DTC brands in India. DTC expansion has been significantly influenced by the expanding middle class, which has greater spending power and a preference for distinctive and aspirational goods. Additionally, GenZ and millennial customers have embraced DTC companies as an alternative to conventional retail because they value convenience and digital experiences

Technology improvements have further expedited the DTC industry's expansion in India. High-speed internet is now widely accessible, social media platforms are expanding, and digital advertising is growing, opening up new channels for DTC firms to connect with and engage with customers.

Shifting Consumer Behavior and Its Impact on DTC Brands

India's consumer behavior has changed significantly in recent years as a result of a number of factors, including evolving lifestyles, rising internet penetration, and the expansion of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) industry. The DTC brands and their tactics in the Indian market have been significantly impacted by these shifting behaviors.

The growing preference for convenience and personalized experiences is a significant factor in changing consumer behavior. Due to their hectic routines and need for time-saving approaches, Indian customers are gravitating towards DTC organizations that offer hassle-free purchasing options and prompt delivery to their doorsteps. This shift has been made achievable by the explosive development of the Indian e-commerce market, which is projected to be worth $200 billion by 2026.

The growing popularity of social media and the culture of influencers have had a major effect on consumer behavior and DTC trends in India as well. Social media platforms are being used more and more often by consumers to research items, read reviews, and get suggestions. DTC companies utilize these mediums to engage clients, collaborate with influencers, and maintain an authoritative online presence.

COVID-19 has also boosted the use of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer companies in India. Consumers shifted to online purchasing as a result of physical retail constraints, which significantly increased the DTC industry's development. DTC brands in India reportedly saw a 50–60% increase in sales during the epidemic, according to industry reports.

Emerging Market Trends in the DTC Landscape

India's direct-to-consumer (DTC) industry is undergoing a surge of new market developments that are changing the nation's retail environment. Consumer preferences are changing, technology is advancing, and the Indian e-commerce business is expanding quickly.

1. Increase in the number of hyperlocal and specialized DTC brands

DTC businesses specializing in specialized areas are gaining popularity as consumers seek out unique and personalized items. Niche DTC firms are profiting from the desire for specialized items, whether it is organic cosmetics, sustainable apparel, or artisanal foods. This trend is being driven by shifting customer tastes for genuine and environmentally friendly items as well as the simplicity of tapping into specialized Indian e-commerce markets via internet channels.

2. Integration of virtual reality and augmented reality technology

By utilizing these technologies, consumers may virtually try on things or see how they might appear in their homes. These immersive and engaging experiences are provided by these technologies. DTC businesses increase consumer happiness and lower barriers to online purchasing by offering a more interesting and realistic shopping experience.

3. Sustainability

Indian customers are actively looking for companies and goods that are sustainable as their environmental consciousness grows. DTC companies are responding to this trend by emphasizing ethical sourcing, employing recycled materials, and using eco-friendly practices. This emphasis on sustainability appeals to customers who care about the environment and is consistent with the beliefs of the younger generation, which is responsible for pushing DTC Trends in India.

Key Challenges Faced by DTC Brands in India

While the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) industry in India has a lot of assurance, it also faces a lot of big hurdles that DTC organizations must get past if they want to achieve success there. These obstacles are the consequence of a wide range of variables that include customer behavior, DTC trends, and the constantly changing makeup of the Indian e-commerce industry.

One of the main obstacles for DTC corporations is the fierce competition in the Indian e-commerce industry. Due to the growing number of DTC firms, the marketplace has gotten more crowded, making it harder for small enterprises to stand out and pull in clients. DTC enterprises can differentiate themselves in terms of their product offerings, name recognition, and client satisfaction in order to gain an advantage over their competitors.

Another issue that DTC brands must handle is consumer trust. Even if online shopping is becoming more and more popular among Indian customers, there is still some doubt regarding the reliability and caliber of the goods offered there. DTC brands must establish confidence through the provision of high-quality products, open pricing, safe payment methods, and first-rate customer support.


The direct-to-customer (DTC) market in India has hurdles in a cutthroat e-commerce environment, including establishing customer confidence, handling logistics, negotiating laws, and being flexible to changing consumer behavior. However, by carefully addressing these issues, DTC companies may seize the numerous possibilities provided by the burgeoning Indian e-commerce market and propel success in 2023 and beyond. For expert advice on DTC opportunities, head on to GoNukkad!

Q. What challenges the traditional strategy?

A. This traditional strategy has been challenged by the meteoric rise of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer firms.

Q. What is a significant factor in changing consumer behavior?

A. The growing preference for convenience and personalized experiences is a significant factor in changing consumer behavior.

Q. What is one noticeable trend in the DTC market?

A. The increase in the number of hyperlocal and specialized DTC brands is one noticeable trend in the DTC market.

Q. What has been affected by the shifting consumer behavior?

A. The DTC brands and their tactics in the Indian market have been significantly impacted by the shifting behaviors.

Q. What is the main challenge faced by DTC brands in India?

A. One of the main obstacles for DTC corporations is the fierce competition in the Indian e-commerce industry.

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