Merchandise has always been a part of canned water brand Liquid Death's marketing strategy; the company started telling t-shirts just a few months after launch in 2019. But what started as a marketing expense has now become a "revenue driver with great margins," Cessario said. Liquid Death did nearly $45 million in sales last year, and $3 million of that came from merchandise.
In this frothy venture capital market, keeping track of which startups or sectors are poised for a breakout year is more difficult than ever before. Four venture capitalists sound off on which types of companies they expect to attract a lot of VC funding this year.
This week, Stitch Fix launched a marketing campaign this week featuring tennis star Venus Williams. The company's goal is to get people to think of Stitch Fix as a go-to place to pick up a new pair of workout leggings or a dress for a party. But as Stitch Fix wants to be more things to more people, it remains to be seen how well the company can move beyond its core styling service.
Most retail companies have been laser-focused on driving as many sales as possible from Black Friday through Christmas, and are taking January to cut back on marketing. But for startups that sell workout supplements or vitamins, one of their biggest sales months is just getting started.
Despite fears at the beginning of 2020 that the pandemic would usher in a recession that could wipe out many unprofitable consumer startups, more startups are putting near-term profitability on the back-burner, after two years of record online sales growth. At all of these companies, profitability, it seems, is always just around the corner -- but they can't stay unprofitable forever.
Maveron senior associate Veronica Reaves believes that the pandemic has led people to reevaluate where they spend their money -- a trend that she believes will continue into 2022. She spoke with Modern Retail about the areas she's looking out for in the year to come.
In 2020, the decades-old traditions of rushing to stores for Black Friday deals or to get a last-minute Christmas gift were out of the question for many people. While foot traffic during big sales days like Black Friday and Super Saturday rose this year thanks to no stay-at-home orders, in many cases, it didn't surpass 2019 levels. Experts say it may never return to pre-pandemic levels.
At the beginning of 2021, many DTC startups were coming off of a banner year of growth – but also faced a ton of uncertainty. Still, 2021 proved to be another banner year for e-commerce startups in a myriad of ways.
During Nike's second-quarter fiscal earnings report, executives acknowledged that ongoing supply chain challenges were hurting the company's ability to grow sales in the short term. But in 2022, the footwear and apparel retailer has its eye on growing loyalty, with the help of NFTs.
When Moiz Ali sold his natural deodorant brand Native to P&G in 2017 for $100 million, it was one of the first major acquisitions among the modern spate of direct-to-consumer brands. Fast forward four years, and there are many more DTC exits that aspiring entrepreneurs can view as case studies. While not all of these companies have succeeded on the public market, Ali said in an interview with Modern Retail that he views the fact that there are more companies going public as a positive.
Each holiday season comes with its own series of unexpected shipping delays, but last year was particularly challenging for direct-to-consumer startups. Inventory shortages combined with higher-than-expected levels of online shopping meant some brands had already sold out of their holiday inventory come early December. As a result, DTC startups are taking no chances this holiday season.
Over the past several years, affiliate marketing has become a more important part of direct-to-consumer startups’ marketing strategy -- particularly as gift guide season is in full swing. But for many brands, affiliate marketing remains a murky, relatively untested channel -- and they are still trying to figure out which websites or affiliate commerce networks are the best place to spend their time and money.
After experiencing record e-commerce sales last year, many DTC startups generated more revenue this past week compared to Cyber Weeks of years past. We spoke with four executives at DTC startups yesterday afternoon who said that, while sales were still rolling in, they were on track to bring in record revenue on Cyber Monday.
Nicole Johnson said that as a partner at venture capital firm Forerunner -- which has invested in some of the most notable consumer startups over the past decade, ranging from Away to Stadium Goods to Oura -- her focus has been on understanding the "consumer psyche -- where the consumer is heading and why.
Nearly two years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are still getting accustomed to operating in uncharted territory. That was evident during a series of third-quarter earnings calls last week from some of the biggest retail chains -- Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, Kohl's and Macy's all reported earnings.
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