DTC startups didn't invent the practice of bombarding customers multiple times a week with emails. But DTC brands do face a unique challenge compared to other retailers: how to get customers to keep opening their emails when they only have a few products to promote.
In its early days, being direct-to-consumer meant lower prices. Because there was no middleman, so the theory went, companies were offering better quality goods at more competitive prices. But as the industry matures, there has been a shift away from branding DTC products as the most affordable alternative to traditional retail shopping for personal products.
The strategy to offer “no markups” was integral for the success of Warby Parker and Everlane, among others when they launched a decade ago. However, that’s no longer the case, as evident from a new crop of luxury DTC brands that are looking to duplicate the model’s biggest success stories, in diamonds, luxury fashion and more.
All eyes are on Casper and its plans to go public. The company has long been considered a leader in the DTC space, but now that things don't look great for its public market debut, the question remains how its performance will impact other digitally native brands.
"The cost to acquire customers online is unsustainable for a lot of companies," Iris Nova founder Zak Normandin said on the Modern Retail Podcast. "So we've learned to actually do retail in our own way now and actually use retail to our advantage."
Other news to know
Grubhub is launching new tech to help restaurants make it easier for customers to pick up orders. Called Ultimate, it’s currently being tested at restaurants in New York City and Chicago, as well as at restaurants on Ohio State University’s campuses.
Gap chief marketing officer Alegra O’Hare has left after less than a year on the job, Adweek reported. Gap did not give a reason for her departure.
Tik Tok has managed to attract large retailers in just two years. From Old Navy to Walmart to supermarket giant Krogers’ shoppable campaign, everyone from big box and smaller retailers have hopped on the Tik Tok wagon.
Over the last six months, Walmart has made many changes to its leadership. While some of these changes are natural to growing multinational businesses, they also hint at the retailer's evolving and more cohesive online strategy.
A year ago, when Gap announced plans to spin off Old Navy, the brand had reported nearly two straight years of revenue growth. Old Navy had brought in $8 billion in revenue in 2018, while the rest of Gap's portfolio -- which includes Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Hill City and Janie and Jack -- brought in $9 billion in sales total over the same time period. The idea was the spin off would give Old Navy room to grow.
Google is phasing out support for third-party cookies within two years, a move that has major implications for how some retailers advertise -- and may also be a boon for retail media operations at major companies like Target and Walmart.
Third-party cookies are pieces of code that track what a user or their device does across different websites, and help retailers figure out when to serve an ad to various groups of users.
They're most commonly used for ad retargeting and behavioral advertising. As such, as Google prepares to phase out support for third-party cookies, it could limit the number of ways retailers can target and advertise to users across the web.
Payless ShoeSource has come out of its latest bankruptcy proceedings with big plans to relaunch in the U.S. It's provided scant details about what that would look like. But with all of its U.S. locations closed, a large brand and business overhaul will be necessary to keep the retailer alive.