If you've been patting yourself on the back because you have an eCommerce website in the knowledge that all that business that used to go through physical retail stores is now coming your way, perhaps now is the time to wake up and smell the digital coffee?

People today don't have to go to your website, in fact it's probably one of the last places to go to.

They also don't have to be interrupted with your intrusive adverts, they can block out your digital intrusions across multiple devices, they have greater control over how/if you can use personal data, and as a result inertia is very much with them, not you!.

This year Supermarket chains were given what seems like a very welcome kick up the arse by this pandemic.

 If it did one thing it got them to really think about the consumer and choice.

But what's the longer term impact going to look like when brands that relied heavily on that retail trading estate exposure for their products are now sat within the 'funnel' of a shopping list, transactional, experience website?

What about the D2C effect?

Prior to this crisis it was no secret that brands who previously relied on the traditional retail distribution strategy to drive revenues was starting to unbundle. 

Several global brands have already started down this path of going 'direct to consumers' (D2C) and with the continuing rise of 'social commerce' which includes millions of micro influencers they are now learning how to bypass the traditional retail model.

In the past, consumers had no choice but to pay attention to what brands had to say across a handful of radio or television channels, print media, corporate website, trade show, and eCommerce site. 

Today, every single Instagram page or Twitter account is a media outlet in its own right. Social media has democratized share of voice; people are no longer passive consumers, but creators in their own right. 

They are also avid discount hunters who love promotional offers, so they are happy to remove the middleman and source directly if it guarantees them a more competitive price. 

So it’s not surprising that they are open to Direct to Consumer (D2C) trends.

Another good example is Feelunique, which kicked off a six-day group-buying campaign on its mini-program in March. The brand invited customers to buy a set of six Caudalie skin supplement products at a 37-percent discount if they could convince a friend to purchase the same product at the same price. “Group-buying promotions like Feelunique’s lower new customer acquisition costs without spending on ads – over 90 percent of participants in this particular campaign were new customers,” says Insider Trends.

If you're the biggest and best in your sector today you won't be for long.

The internet, and this pandemic has allowed millions of people around the world to take what today might be a small micro bite out of your very large macro cake, and if enough of them do this consistently and better than you then it's inevitable they will quickly dilute what you think is a dominant position.

The reality is the digital Pandora box is open, and it isn't closing anytime soon.