Over the past two months, digitally native startups have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of store closures. Part of this growth was due to the fact that shoppers had fewer options. Now, shoppers have more options as stores open back up in more states. The coming months will prove just how much of the growth direct-to-consumer brands experienced was a flash in the pan.
Many retailers and companies rely on people testing out their products. But with social distancing in place and many stores closed, that gets much more difficult. For some, it may mean sampling is completely off the table. For others, it means introducing new operations and safeguards that were never thought of before.
Running different channels requires skills and discipline. Brand consistency is key, especially when many channels are involved internationally and across different touch points. Ask “what are the reasons to come to the site and why is the experience special?” said Ugly Drinks CEO Hugh Thomas.
King Arthur's flour has been flying off the shelves -- both in grocery stores and digitally. The company has seen record website traffic and its DTC sales have doubled. To deal with this influx, the centuries-old flour brand has had to quickly adapt. Modern Retail spoke with its vp of marketing about how King Arthur's digital strategy has shifted and what the future of flour sales will look like.
Other news to know
While sales at Abercrombie & Fitch fell 34% while stores were closed, the teen apparel retailer said that customers are returning to stores quicker than it anticipated, attributing it to younger shoppers being more willing to venture out. CEO Fran Horowitz told CNBC that the company has recovered about 80% of sales at stores that have reopened.
Nordstrom tried to put a positive on its 40% net sales drop during its first quarter earnings, as CEO Eric Nordstrom said he was confident the company still had enough ‘liquidity to successfully execute our strategy in 2020.”
Dollar General also reported earnings today that proved it is poised to be one of the retail winners during the pandemic. The discount retailer reported a net profit of $650 million, during the first quarter and unlike other retailers, said that apparel sales have been up the past few months.
The reservation-to-shop trend is in full swing, and results have been mixed. While grocery chains like DeCicco & Sons have “received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers," other businesses that rely on heavy walk-in traffic, such as bakeries, haven't found them very useful.
Many current retail start-up founders didn't have the chance to learn from the 2008 financial crisis because "they were potentially in high school," according to seed stage investor Hunter Walk.
And even for those entrepreneurs who survived the last global downturn, the big takeaways might not apply to current circumstances. "The answers from those entrepreneurs in 2008 may or not be the right answers for companies in 2020. But the questions they asked themselves might be the things that are evergreen. And so asking some of those questions of yourself as a founder who might be going through this the first time -- I think that's where it gets valuable," Walk said on the Modern Retail Podcast.
Most American shoppers are still “fearful to shop at a grocery store." The lack of delivery slots combined with a rising unemployment rate and shopping-related health risks, is resulting in a decline in cross-shopping. Grocery stores, as a result, are trying to focus more on marketing as one-stop shops. And they're seeing results too: average basket sizes have dramatically increased.
When Nordstrom opened its New York City flagship last October, it was the epitome of experiential retail. Now, all of those experiential elements that were supposed to make the store a must-visit may deter customers. Retailers are having to rethink their experiential retail strategy, and what experiences will win over customers.
Stores are slowly reopening, but they are about to look very different. Fewer people will be inside and the technology will be used to perform easy tasks. We took a look at all of the facets required to rebuild the retail experience. While some of it may look similar to before, a lot of thought is taking place. Come on in and take a look.
Brooklinen's marketing team explains why customer feedback is valuable during a crisis. Checking with the audience helped them modifying tone and content, target offline customers and make them comfortable with e-commerce, and leverage existing social media resources to further build customer loyalty.
As connected TV ad inventory becomes more plentiful, new research finds that US buyers are taking the lead on integrating CTV into their omnichannel programmatic spends. But UK and Canadian buyers have CTV ambitions as well.
Foot Locker has long been a staple of the mall, with an estimated 80% of its stores being located in malls as of 2018. Now, the coronavirus is accelerating those plans, CEO Dick Johnson said during the company's first quarter earnings call. The sneaker retailer has had to rethink its physical retail strategy over the past couple of years, not only to lessen its reliance on malls, but also to give its customers new reasons to visit the store.
Modern Retail+ Talks: How to Maintain Brand Loyalty During a Time of Tumult
Jun 4, 2020
Exclusively for Modern Retail+ members: Hear from Connie Matisse, Co-founder and CMO and Alex Matisse, Co-founder and CEO at East Fork Ceramics, on how to maintain brand loyalty during a time of tumult.