Resale platforms are all the rage these days, but some brands are choosing to keep secondhand sales in-house. This week, direct-to-consumer furniture brand Floyd is launching its own resale marketplace, called Full Cycle, as a way to prolong their products' life cycle in the market. The move is part of the company's sustainability mission, but also offers customers a discounted alternative to Floyd's products.
As more consumers shop online, brands are looking for ways to minimize return rates and keep logistics costs low. One solution for this is "try before you buy," which allows customers to test out their order and pay for what they want to keep. While services like Amazon's Prime Wardrobe and Stitch Fix helped popularize this model, smaller fashion brands are testing it out to drive conversion and keep returns minimal.
With the e-commerce boom comes a costs -- for shipping that is. Over the past year, shipping carriers FedEx and UPS imposed surcharges on large fulfillment orders, which are still in place. These additional costs, on top of fixed annual increases, are expected to keep delivery costs rising. The issue is prompting small and medium sized brands are looking for ways to minimize e-commerce costs to improve margins.
Like many traditional retailers, Bed Bath & Beyond has been forced to adapt to consumers' needs with a robust digital strategy. Now, Bed Bath & Beyond is turning its attention to overhauling merchandise with the help of private labels -- or "owned brands" -- as the company calls them. Chief merchandising officer Joe Hartsig spoke to Modern Retail about the launch of these in-house brands, modernizing stores and the importance of understanding today’s consumer.
Flower delivery became a big winner during the pandemic. The category, which taps into the socially-distanced gifting trend, saw major growth, especially during celebrations and holidays. Now, DTC players like UrbanStems are looking for ways to retain their new cohort of customers with self-gifting and add-ons.
After a year of postponed and canceled events, wedding-focused retailers are ready for a demand spike. The pandemic has led many shops to shutter or adapt by offering virtual consultations. However, industry experts note that unlike other categories, bridal dress shopping is still largely reliant on in-person appointments and made-to-order production. These factors are making the return of weddings vital for these businesses' survival.
After growing its private labels alongside selling eco-friendly home essentials by brands like Seventh Generation and Method, Grove Collaborative is venturing into retail. Later this month, the DTC marketplace will launch its cleaning products at nationwide Target locations and on Target's website.
As the demand for delivery eases, pandemic winners are looking to maintain their momentum and retain customers. For example, delivery services Instacart and DoorDash are reportedly thinking about launching rewards credit cards that entice customers with cash back and encourage repeat purchases.
As retailers grapple with shipping delays and massive e-commerce growth, they're looking for more ways to ease pressure on their fulfillment process. To mitigate this, Gap Inc. is planning to roll out a loyalty program feature that rewards higher-tiered customers with faster delivery times.
This year, DTC plants startup Bloomscape introduced a new line of outdoor and patio plants, its first venture outside. The company said the new category is way to retain customers, and attract new ones, as more millennials invest in their homes.
Target being a go-to for DTC brands' physical retail strategy is nothing new. Over the years, the big box retailer has become known for attracting digitally-native brands like Quip, Harry's and Schmidt's to its shelves. Now, the company is tapping young health-focused brands to offer clean alternatives for national over-the-counter names.
Despite the record number of closures of brick and mortar stores over the past year, some retailers are finding an expansion opportunity. Several brands -- especially in booming categories like athleisure and discount stores -- are taking advantage of real estate deals to increase their footprint. Among them are Gap Inc., Lululemon and Dick's Sporting Goods.
With concerns about wasteful packaging increasing, brands are looking for more sustainable and cost-effective options to ship orders. The issue is prompting a slew of startups to create reusable packaging that attracts retail partners. To incentivize brands, these solutions promise environmentally friendly options that offer a better return per-use on cost.
The rise of the "niche online grocery store" is in full effect. The newly-launched Umamicart, which focuses on Asian-inspired ingredients and products, joins other specialty marketplaces looking to reach home cooks via curation and convenience.
As retail brands look for new ways to collect consumer information outside of social feeds, rewards programs are becoming an appealing method to do so. In recent months, several brands have launched or announced loyalty programs meant to reward repeat customers in exchange for feedback and data.
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