Q&A

Sephora e-commerce exec Carolyn Bojanowski on the growing importance of same-day fulfillment in beauty

As more beauty sales are moving online, retailers like Sephora have had to up their e-commerce game. Carolyn Bojanowski, senior vice president and general manager of e-commerce at Sephora, said that a big focus for the retailer over the past year has been adding more e-commerce services, like a same-day delivery partnership with Instacart, as well as more ways for customers to chat with Sephora employees online. Bojanowski spoke more with Modern Retail about how Sephora's e-commerce experiences have evolved over the past year.

Top Stories May 06
raining money

E-commerce technology investments are ramping up

E-commerce technology is the new gold rush. New data from CB Insights showcases just how hot the e-commerce space is. In the first quarter of 2021, funding for e-commerce startups hit $11.7 billion -- up from $2.8 billion in the first quarter of 2020 and $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. It showcases an industry-wide realization: more VCs are investing in e-commerce startups and more businesses are adopting digital features to make their businesses omnichannel.

'We're not trying to be a retailer': Google's commerce president Bill Ready on growing the shopping ecosystem

Google wants to make it crystal clear that it's not a marketplace. True, people can buy things on Google, but it also lets sellers link out to other marketplaces. On the Modern Retail Podcast, Bill Ready, the company's president of commerce and payments, discussed this important nuance.

How furniture brand Industry West pivoted from B-to-B to DTC

Historically, 70% of furniture brand Industry West's sales have come from business-to-business transactions, namely from restaurant or hotel owners opening new spaces. But in 2020, Industry West's revenue makeup flipped. Last year, 70% of its sales came from individual consumers, as more people were driven to refurnish their new or existing houses during stay-at-home orders. Now, spurred by the increase in DTC sales, Industry West is aiming for more aggressive growth, projecting this year that it will do just under $40 million in sales.

Other news to know

  • Peloton announced on Wednesday that it would be issuing voluntary recalls of its treadmills, after initially resisting calls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to do so,” CEO John Foley said in a statement.
  • CNN has a deep dive into how Walmart’s third-party marketplace efforts are faring. Merchants who sell through Walmart’s marketplace told CNN that compared to Amazon, Walmart’s sign-up process is too lengthy, and doesn’t have as great of a variety of seller tools.
  • The ghost kitchen boom continues: Five Guys opened its first delivery-only restaurant in Texas.
120 million
Amount of people who visit Walmart's website each week, according to the company

Podcasts

Latest Stories
Why Walgreens is launching an in-house delivery program

Why Walgreens is launching an in-house delivery program

After testing out same-day delivery with third party services -- including Instacart, DoorDash and Postmates -- Walgreens has designed and launched its own delivery program. To compete with large retailers, the pharmacy chain will use its store associates pick and pack orders for third party messengers to drop off at customers' homes.

What Instagram's new monetization tools could mean for retail

Two proposed new Instagram features are especially significant for the retail world: Instagram’s planned branded content marketplace and its new affiliate program. Both tools, depending on their ultimate scope and rollout, could potentially shift how brands recruit and interact with influencers, and they could also precipitate changes in where -- and how -- customers discover products.

DTC Briefing: How growth marketer became the new much-coveted jack-of-all-trades

DTC Briefing: How growth marketer became the new much-coveted jack-of-all-trades

For direct-to-consumer brands, one of the most important roles has long been the role of growth marketer. For a venture-backed direct-to-consumer brand, who might be expected to driver 20%-30% of revenue growth month-over-month it's vitally important to have someone like a head of growth who knows what levers to pull to increase sales. But as the digital marketing landscape has changed, what brands are looking for in growth marketers has also changed.

How SnackMagic went from delivery lunch provider to gift box service

When office lunches were put on pause at the beginning of the pandemic, delivery services that cater to the rush had to pivot quickly. This included New York City-based Stadium, which aggregated orders from different restaurants for corporate teams. When orders dried up, the founders repurposed the existing tech to build SnackMagic, a CPG-focused gifting service.

With Gay Burger, the pop-up model got an influencer twist

With Gay Burger, the pop-up model got an influencer twist

Ephemeral ghost kitchens are on the rise -- as evidenced by the rise of a burger pop-up named Gay Burger. For now, these programs -- which have the spontaneity and sense of humor of an internet meme -- are rare. But Gay Burger’s brief rise points to a future in which meme-able virtual restaurants might surface on third-party delivery apps: designed to go viral, then disappear, like a delivery-only pop-up restaurant.

As other channels become unpredictable, DTC brands embrace streaming and connected TV

Streaming and CTV have taken on new importance over the past year, both as people are watching more TV during the pandemic, and amidst an upheaval in digital marketing. As a result, DTC brands are speeding up their efforts to test out TV advertising, to break up their reliance on Facebook and Google.

To engineer virality, brands are making their own mystery boxes

Bundling together products into packs, while leaving some uncertainty about what is inside, is not new. Playing cards have been using the same concept for decades. But the rise of YouTube and TikTok has brought the phenomenon into newer sectors of the retail world -- including toy, grocery and fashion brands.

Modern Retail Virtual Forum
Jul 21, 2021

At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.

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