Strategies for Production Forecasting: A Guide for DTC Brands

November 6, 2023

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have seen substantial growth, especially highlighted during the pandemic when e-commerce surged. However, this growth also brought to the forefront the challenges in the supply chain and the need for robust production forecasting [1]​​. Production forecasting is crucial as it not only streamlines inventory management and simplifies production planning but also directly impacts customer satisfaction ​​[2].

To accurately forecast, DTC brands often employ methods such as trend projection, using past sales metrics to predict future demand. This is particularly effective for anticipating demand patterns for new products​​ [3]. A well-organized warehouse is also a key strategy, where high-demand items are more accessible, contributing to smoother operations and fulfillment​​ [4].

With the e-commerce sales for established DTC brands in the US expected to reach significant billions, it’s clear that the market is competitive and growing. Therefore, brands should focus on strategies that scale growth while managing customer expectations for variety, speed, and cost-efficiency [5]​​. The most valuable functions for DTC brands include areas such as product development, supply chain and logistics, planning and analytics, and marketing — all of which are crucial for a brand’s survival and growth in the highly competitive DTC space​​ [6].

Performance marketing is another angle that DTC brands leverage. By forecasting customer journey touchpoints and identifying pain points, brands can build strong recognition and improve customer lifetime value. This customer-centric approach is crucial for DTC brands to meet and predict demand effectively [7]​​.

Creating agile supply chains is another focus for DTC fashion brands, facing the challenge of meeting consumer expectations for larger product collections, faster launches, and lower prices. This puts additional pressure on forecasting and inventory management, highlighting the need for adaptive and responsive supply chain strategies [8]​​.

To better meet customer demand, DTC brands must harness data analytics, understand consumer trends, and build flexible operations that can adapt to market changes. Technology plays a pivotal role in achieving this, as it provides the tools necessary for detailed analysis and forecasting. Effective forecasting ensures that brands can manage their inventory proactively, avoid stockouts or overproduction, and keep pace with consumer expectations for timely and reliable product delivery.


[1] The Top 9 Supply Chain Challenges For DTC Brands (And How To Overcome Them) (
[2] Production Forecasting Methods: A Complete Breakdown (
[3] How to Forecast Demand For A New Product | Cogsy
[4] Inventory management and shipping strategies for DTC brands | Metrilo Blog
[5] D2C Brands 2022 – Insider Intelligence Trends, Forecasts & Statistics
[6] 20 DTC Strategies That Will Help Brands Survive (and Thrive ) In 2024 (
[7] Why Performance Marketing Works for Direct-to-Consumer Brands (
[8] Creating Agile Supply Chains in the Fashion Industry | BCG

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