Inside Amazon’s internal initiative to woo DTC brands

Brands that have participated in Amazon's one-year emerging brands program, which encompasses the initiative to launch DTC startup brands on Amazon, said they get access to a level of customer service and account management that others sellers don’t, and the participation opens doors to more opportunities working with Amazon.

Top Stories Jul 19

With b8ta, Toys ‘R’ Us is pitching a new experience to wary brand partners

Toys 'R' Us is angling for a comeback, but in order to do so, it will have to win over vendors who may be skeptical of working with a brand that's fresh out of bankruptcy. On Thursday, Tru Kids Brands – the new holding company of Toys 'R' Us – announced that it would be opening up two stores, one in Texas and one in New Jersey, in time for the holidays. Tru Kids will be partnering on the new stores with b8ta, a startup that's built both its own physical storefronts as well as a software platform to help retailers build experiential concepts

What Amazon's Brand Accelerator contract terms mean for small businesses

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Amazon's Brand Accelerator program includes a clause that grants the company the right to purchase any brand it works with for a set price. Essentially, what this means is that Amazon agrees to provide resources to help a business's sales, but it can – at a moment's notice – decide to purchase the brand and bring the entire operation in-house.

How the gig economy is transforming retail

Much of retail work is seasonal and volatile. A growing number of new companies aim to tackle that uncertain labor force by partnering with brands and retailers to offer gig work. At first glance, this may look like temp work. But these new services are transforming the model by which brands and retailers find talent, as well as quietly shifting the labor makeup of the stores we visit.

Other news to know

  • Grocery store chain Giant Eagle is going up against Amazon Go. The retailer is partnering with tech company Grabango to set up check-out free technology in stores, which the company said in a press release would eliminate wait times.
  • ThirdLove is testing in-store retail. After holding out, the company is opening a New York City pop-up through 2019 to figure out what customers want from a physical retail experience.
  • Party City has a new CEO. Brad Weston, the former CEO of Petco, has taken over to lead retail operations and strategic growth initiatives for the company, according to Party City’s announcement.


Number of Party City stores in the U.S.
Latest Stories
'The evolution continues': Target is expanding its clean beauty offering

'The evolution continues': Target is expanding its clean beauty offering

Shortly after Sephora announced it was upping its clean standards in July to include 50 free-from ingredients versus 13, Target revealed more details around its clean program this week. Though Target Clean also extends to the retailer's household essentials and baby departments and spans approximately 5,500 items across the entire assortment, its beauty and personal care is its largest and entails 4,000 products

Moving from transactional to conversational: The newest trend in customer support

People are accustomed to instant replies through messaging apps, email and social media. In today’s omnichannel world, any effective customer service strategy must account for the sprawling variety of support channels that are now available to their consumers.

Uber ramps up e-commerce efforts with launch of shopping app

Uber is turning to e-commerce to keep both its riders and drivers happy as it faces stiffer competition in the ridesharing market. The company announced today that it's launched a shopping app in conjunction with Cargo, a startup that signed a deal to become Uber's exclusive "in-car commerce provider" a year ago.

An 'experience gap': Brands need performance marketing experts, but struggle to find them

An 'experience gap': Brands need performance marketing experts, but struggle to find them

More businesses are forgoing CMOs and looking toward more digitally savvy talent to lead marketing. The problem is: It's unclear if there's enough talent to meet the growing need.

'An arms race': Retailers are running into limitations as they turn stores into fulfillment centers

Big-box retailers like Target and Walmart increasingly want their stores to double as fulfillment centers. They see their existing store footprints as one of the biggest advantages they have over Amazon, which has had to build more than 100 fulfillment centers in order to enable next-day delivery on millions of products for Amazon Prime members. But, there are limitations on just how much the store can do.

Report: Why consumers are frustrated with mobile streaming

Report: Why consumers are frustrated with mobile streaming

As OTT viewership has continued to grow, so have viewer frustrations with issues like lag and buffering. As more apps enter the competitive streaming video market, it’s crucial that businesses offer a seamless streaming experience.

Spoiled for choice: Combat cart abandonment

Online consumers still crave the personal, human experiences they’re used to in stores to help them find the perfect product — so how can brands best provide that desired customer service?

Beyond shelf space: As DTC brands grow up, multi-brand retailers are shifting strategies

As a number of startups are now competing to build more modern stores for direct-to-consumer brands, they are starting to think about how they can help these brands grow beyond just giving them a space to sell their product. Startups like Bulletin, Neighborhood Goods and Showfields increasingly want to build solutions to help brands grow online and offline.

On Prime Day, Amazon is prioritizing exclusive products and first-party vendors

Amazon’s algorithms always favor high sell-through rates, consistent ad spend and low returns, but Prime Day sees the peak of those algorithmic preferences as Amazon is expected to bring in $6.1 billion in sales on July 15 and 16, according to marketing platform IgnitionOne.

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