Brands, especially venture-backed ones, live and die by a few metrics. Customer lifetime value and retention rates are especially critical in proving to investors that their company is worthy of being valued at five times or ten times revenue.
New and existing sites are increasingly seeing an opportunity in helping both shoppers and industry members make sense of the growing DTC landscape. The founders of these sites say that because it's easier now than ever before to start a new brand, and many of these brands gain traction through a mix of paid Facebook and Instagram ads, influencer partnerships, and affiliate deals, it's hard for even someone who works in the consumer industry to understand which new mattress or razor is best.
As retailers are leaning on their stores to do more than ever before without significantly raising labor costs, store associates can get caught in the middle. Over the past few months, big-box retailers, from Target to Home Depot to Kohl's, are encouraging more customers to take advantage of in-store fulfillment options like buy online, pickup in-store or ship-from-store. That in turn requires more investment in their backroom operations. Others, like Kohl's, are now offering more front-facing in-store services.
As Snapchat's created more in-app commerce opportunities over the past year, it's also sought to encourage consumer brands to spend more on the platform by creating more shoppable ad formats, and improving its ad targeting options.
Email addresses have become the currency of choice for direct-to-consumer brands. As a result, many DTC brands offer customers a discount off their first order, if they sign up for the company's email list
The "treasure hunt" shopping experience that's been popularized in outlet and off-price stores has historically been difficult to recreate online. But as more people general are doing their shopping online, that isn't stopping more retailers from trying their hand at building a more appealing discount shopping experience online.
As a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer, Lowe's doesn't solely rely on digital marketing channels to raise brand awareness -- it's also looking to drive them more of its existing customers into stores, or get them to buy products in other categories. Lowe's has zeroed in on YouTube in particular as an important channel in driving customer traffic to its website, and that its customers see YouTube as a "resource for product inspiration and knowledge."
Many malls in the U.S. are about to lose yet another brick-and-mortar tenant, as Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. Forever 21's bankruptcy filing has prompted discussion about whether or not fast-fashion is dying, or just evolving. But there are some lessons that every retailer would be wise to take away from Forever 21's bankruptcy filing.
As Bed Bath & Beyond looks for a turnaround, one of its few bright spots has been its wedding registry business. But, as more couples are adding cash and trips to their registries instead of products, the company could lose its spot as a go-to place for wedding registries.
As digitally-native brands are spending more on brand marketing, they find they may have to manage tension between different members of their marketing team, as what's best for the brand may not always be deemed best by performance marketing standards.
As the resale market grows, it's ushered in a wave of startups that see a lucrative opportunity in helping retailers navigate the secondhand apparel space. Some marketplaces that started out as peer-to-peer are striking more partnerships with brands and retailers to increase revenue, while at the same time trying to direct traffic back to their own site. Another startup called Yerdle, which last week announced it had raised a $20 million round of venture capital financing, has created a white label service that retailers like REI, Eileen Fisher and Patagonia have used to build resale services that pull from their own inventory.
As eBay looks to install new leadership, its struggles have made clear just how difficult it is for alternative marketplaces to win over both sellers and shoppers thanks to Amazon's dominance. On Wednesday, the company's CEO, Devin Wenig stepped down after five years. The company named CFO Scott Schenkel interim CEO as it looks for a replacement.
Big-box retailers are starting to make bigger pushes into health care to target older shoppers. This week, Best Buy announced that it hired its first chief medical officer and announced at an investor meeting its plans to ramp up services like remote monitoring of seniors. Last month, Walmart began piloting a new standalone health care clinic in Georgia that offers primary care and mental health services.
Rakesh Tondon, CEO of clothing and accessories rental provider Le Tote, said that his company's decision to acquire Lord & Taylor for $100 million was driven primarily by technology. Speaking at the Evolving E e-commerce conference in New York City on Tuesday, Tondon said that Le Tote was initially in talks with Lord & Taylor to open up Le Tote boutiques in some of its stores, as well as license its technology stack to Lord & Taylor, when reports broke that parent company HBC was looking to sell Lord & Taylor.
Shopify's list of competitors keeps growing, as other businesses see how valuable of customers early-stage, fast-growing e-commerce startups can be.
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