Big-box retailers Walmart and Target have been among the most aggressive in adding a variety of delivery options to match consumer expectations that have been set by Amazon. But now, with the holiday season approaching, department stores are also taking more aggressive steps to prove to shoppers that they too can win on fast delivery.
Multi-touch attribution has become the attribution method of choice for brands, especially direct-to-consumer ones, once they start advertising on more channels than just Facebook and Google. But switching to a multi-touch attribution model isn't as simple of a switch as transitioning from one software vendor to another. It is often a months-long project, that requires close communication between a brand's marketing and data science teams.
As Facebook and Google ads, the bread-and-butter of many direct-to-consumer brands' customer acquisition efforts, become more expensive, there's also been a rise in companies eager to give money to cash-strapped DTC companies -- for a fee. One of the most prominent of these companies is Clearbanc.
On Wednesday, Foot Locker is launching Greenhouse, a new incubator for emerging brands. Greenhouse will live as a standalone shopping app, where it will release limited-edition product drops in partnership with select brands and designers. Greenhouse is one of a number of ways that Foot Locker is trying to reinvent itself as a destination for more than just athletic gear.
As J. Crew's denim-focused brand Madewell prepares to go public, it will be depending upon its loyalty program to fuel customer retention and personalization efforts, which the company thinks is key to driving more direct-to-consumer sales.
More than 80% of Steve Madden's revenue still comes from wholesale. But that doesn't mean that the footwear retailer can totally ignore its e-commerce business. "If someone discovers your brand at Nordstrom, the odds are very good that they will [eventually] come to your site," said. Jeff Silverman, president of global e-commerce for Steve Madden.
As direct-to-consumer brands expand into new categories, they're starting to hire more marketers with a special focus on retention, whose goal is to win over more business from repeat customers. Brands that currently have openings for retention marketers at various levels include Brooklinen, Care/Of, Peloton and Prose.
Target's Cartwheel rewards program has for the past several years been pointed to as one of the most successful loyalty programs from a big-box retailer. Yet, late last year, Target announced that it was testing a new loyalty program called Target Circle, that would replace Cartwheel. The new loyalty program is meant to bridge the gap between Cartwheel, a digital couponing app that was free, but still geared towards diehard Target shoppers, and Red Card, Target's private label credit card.
In April, Lululemon set a five-year-strategic plan with an aggressive goal for its international business: to quadruple sales generated outside of North America by 2023. In order to do so, Lululemon is opening stores in Europe and Asia at an aggressive pace -- of the 45 to 50 stores Lululemon is projecting it will open this year, about 30 of those will be outside of North America. But it also sees hosting localized events and developing customized e-commerce sites for each country it wants to gain market share as critical to its goals.
Attribution has been a sore spot for brands, especially those that are diversifying their marketing mixes, for years. There are many different methods to figuring out attribution. One that's increasingly popular is "fractional attribution." And for so-called DTC brands, who are now diversifying their ad spend beyond Facebook and Google, they're more likely to allocate their marketing dollars based on a fractional attribution model instead of last-click or click-based attribution model.
As they grow up, direct-to-consumer startups are starting to partner more exclusive product drops, giveaways and events, all in the name of cheaper customer acquisition. While many of these partnerships are only responsible for incremental revenue, they are one of a number of ways that today's DTC brands are trying to find cheaper and more organic ways to get more people to hear about their brands.
Brick-and-mortar remains an important sales channel for any mall-based retailer, but especially those whose most frequent customers are teenagers. According to a study last year from the International Council of Shopping Centers, 95% of Gen Z shoppers visited a mall between February and April 2018, compared to 75% of millennial and 58% of Gen X shoppers.
When Dan Levitan, along with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, launched consumer-focused venture capital fund Maveron in 1998, the pair decided on eBay as their first investment. Maveron's thesis was that technology was going to play a bigger role consumers' lives and how they buy products. At the time, that meant getting in early on marketplace startups, where customers could for the first time buy from a wide selection of products online. Today, it means that brands are able to go from "obscurity to ubiquity" in an unprecedented amount of time, thanks in large parts to investments in digital media like Facebook and Google.
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