US D2C ecommerce sales have more than tripled in the past six years. The market has grown nearly $100 billion in five years, from $36.08 billion in 2016 to $128.33 billion in 2021. We expect it will add almost another $100 billion in the next three years, reaching $212.90 billion by the end of 2024.

The nature of the D2C model, which bypasses third-party manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, has meant low barriers to entry for those looking to sell. Although that’s allowed a wide range of new brands and products to emerge, it’s also resulted in an increasingly competitive market—one that’s difficult to scale, especially with established, incumbent brands adopting D2C strategies, too. 

Today, even some of the most well-known D2C brands have seen momentum stall, causing them to explore new avenues to growth—most notably, physical retail—to fulfill their ambitions.

Here, using data provided by SimilarWeb, we round up the top five D2C brands worldwide based on web traffic.

1. Chewy 

Chewy is a pet supply retailer expected to bring in $11.08 billion in 2022—a 24% increase year-over-year. Acquired in 2017 by PetSmart, Chewy ranks first in our list of global D2C brands with the highest number of web visitors. Most recently, Chewy has expanded its pet insurance and wellness offerings with the launch of CarePlus. Adding insurance to the mix gives Chewy the opportunity to increase net sales per active customer, which reached an all-time high of $446 in Q1 2022.

2. OpenSea

OpenSea is the largest marketplace for NFTs, accounting for a whopping 97% of the NFT market share. The peer-to-peer platform saw significant YoY growth in web traffic with a surge of 10,010% in 2021. Most recently, in Q3 2022, OpenSea reported $144.5 million in revenue.

3. Fitbit

Fitbit specializes in health wearables, with signature products including smart watches, fitness trackers, and heart rate monitors. Founded in 2007 and acquired by Google in 2021 for $2.1 billion, Fitbit brought in $1.4 billion in revenue last year—a 7% increase YoY.  

4. Lulu’s 

What started as a small Californian vintage shop in 1996 is now Lulu’s—a women’s clothing brand that went public last year at a valuation of up to $706.6 million. As a digitally native brand, Lulu’s prides itself on being customer-centric, providing personalized shopping experiences and service. In Q2 2022, Lulu’s reported 3.2 million active customers, a 52.6% increase YoY.

5. Grailed 

Grailed is a marketplace to buy, sell, and curate rare luxury, streetwear, and vintage fashion. The New York-based fashion resale platform expanded into womenswear after it was acquired by GOAT Group in October 2022, which will bring together a combined global community of over 50 million members across 170 countries. 

Top D2C brands worldwide
NFT marketplace OpenSea saw significant growth in web traffic in 2021 compared to the year prior.

The pandemic-driven acceleration of ecommerce growth has led to a bigger market from which D2C brands can claim a share. We forecast that US ecommerce sales will surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year, almost doubling from 2018.

Scaling, however, doesn’t come without challenges, especially amid disruptions to the retail product, media, and marketing supply chain.

Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) initiative, for example, made it hard for D2C brands to target their niche audiences and measure return on ad spend. Also undercutting profitability are rising ad costs, making it more expensive to acquire new customers. 

Many of these findings are discussed in Insider Intelligence’s Great Realignment webinar, a presentation that covers the ways in which ecommerce, social media, fintech, and other industries are being transformed in this era of uncertainty. To learn more about the D2C market and rising trends, view a recording of the webinar by signing up here