NEW YORK: Eight in ten US consumers expect to be able to make a purchase directly from a brand, according to new research, emphasising the need for brands to offer a robust direct-to-consumer e-commerce experience as part of an overall digital strategy.

The 2017 Digital Consumer Preferences Survey from BrandShop, a digital commerce solutions provider, based on a poll of 1,242 US consumers, found that 90% of consumers visited a brand's website to shop.

Only slightly fewer, 82%, expected to be able to make a purchase directly from the brand. And 87% of consumers indicated they would buy products directly from a brand online if given the option.

Further, the survey reported that in some product categories, like clothing and apparel, they would strongly prefer to buy direct rather than from a retailer.

But many frequently abandoned inadequate brand sites to research products on retail sites like Amazon where they are exposed to offers from the brand's competitors.

Brands may be failing to exploit an area where they have an advantage, since almost a third of consumers said they visited a brand's website in order to view the brand's full product line – retailers may stock only a portion of a brand's products.

But 63% of consumers said they found shopping online with retailers to be highly satisfying, compared to only 43% who felt the same way about shopping directly with brands.

By neglecting to implement an adequate DTC option, brands are squandering the opportunity to capture more sales and to solidify their relationship with the customer by providing a satisfying brand experience, BrandShop said.

Earlier this year WARC"s Toolkit 2017 noted that many consumer goods brands are experimenting with direct-to-consumer opportunities, but added that most had yet to create sustainable value-generating initiatives.

Ganesh Kashyap, GM & Director, E-commerce, Asia, Middle East & Africa, Mondelez International, highlighted how DTC was allowing the snack good giant "to pursue single-item retailing as an occasion in itself and take our snacking categories and our brands into a new space that we wouldn't normally have done".

Data sourced from BrandShop; additional content by WARC staff