Unilever hopes it can apply what it learns from Dollar Shave’s subscription model to its array of other big brands to cut out retailers and deal with the threat of instant consumerism.
Despite dabbling, P&G has so far been more circumspect about the trend. Finance boss Jon Moeller has cautioned that direct-to-consumer only accounted for 0.3pc of sales.
“For categories like clothing and electricals there is a clear, tangible benefit to going direct to consumer. But it’s unrealistic a consumer will buy a bottle of shampoo directly from a brand because there is no benefit to going to that brand’s site instead of Amazon or Boots where they can fulfil the rest of their shopping orders, says Jaju.
“Without a clear consumer benefit, manufacturers will find the direct to consumer model challenging,” he added.
Regardless of such doubts, brands are still investing heavily in technology to help them respond to consumer demands faster.