more articles by

Gabriela Barkho

  • JUL 27, 2020

    Why beverage startup United Sodas is testing out a new out-of-home strategy

    Out-of-home advertising has slowly picked back up in recent months. But now DTC brands, who've long favored the sleek subway ads, are finding new ways to target potential customers as pedestrian foot traffic picks up in cities. Using LinkNYC kiosks allow new brands, like United Sodas, to modify campaign creatives based on daily factors "down to the weather, news cycle and even nearby restaurants," said CEO Marisa Zupan.

  • JUL 23, 2020

    Why delivery services are increasingly expanding into non-food categories

    Same-day delivery of food and alcohol has become expected for many consumers. This means third-party delivery services have to get even more creative in retaining and gaining new users. Besides consolidating, the latest strategy for companies like DoorDash and Postmates is to go back to the drawing board and offer non-food items.

  • JUL 21, 2020

    How Instagram is overcoming Google to become the small business hub

    Instagram has become a vital and affordable tool for local mom and pop shops, especially when it comes to live updates on hours of operation, product availability and reopening plans. With the pandemic’s quickly-evolving nature, the platform's casual posting nature better lends itself to this info than Google. Meanwhile Google's small business information is often outdated or incorrect.

  • JUL 16, 2020

    Smaller food delivery apps are seeking out more ethical business models

    The unit economics and ethics of VC-backed delivery apps have been questioned for years. However, the pandemic has brought these issues into focus and lent an alternative crop of services the chance to step in and partner with local restaurants. Platforms like Slice, Seated and Chowbus hope to reduce fees for owners while making online takeout ordering a more sustainable model.

  • JUL 15, 2020

    How the DTC concept store has evolved

    The shift in real estate planning, along with healthy online sales, has changed the way DTC brands think about real estate. It's also why the role of experiential stores -- those like Showfields, Neighborhood Goods and B8ta -- could be even more important to brands when it comes to awareness and conversion. 

  • JUL 14, 2020

    How the coronavirus changed retailers’ returns policies

    Returns and exchanges have always been a pain point for both customers and retailers, especially online. However, factors like safety concerns and shipping delays have prompted retailers in evolving their policies to be more flexible. In theory, this strategy would result in an influx of refund requests during the e-commerce boom. Instead, the competitive perk is creating more opportunity for sales and longterm customer loyalty among brands.

  • JUL 14, 2020

    ‘We’re not looked at as people’: One grocery worker on how to improve conditions

    Retail workers, especially in grocery and delivery, were lauded for being on the frontlines when the coronavirus outbreak first began. But the treatment of these often-exploited employees hasn’t always matched brands’ sentimental commercials, says one worker.

  • JUL 13, 2020

    A bold new world: 5 big changes the retail industry faces

    Long before Covid-19 hit, the industry had been grappling with the so-called retail apocalypse. Now that the pandemic has exposed many of the supply chain’s weak points, brands are rushing to pivot their strategy to survive.

  • JUL 10, 2020

    ‘Here to stay’: Why at-home cocktail kits are booming

    First came wine boxes, now it's time for curated cocktail kits. As the virus waves continue, services argue consumers are prepared to play home mixologists beyond the pandemic. Which is to say: craft cocktail kit delivery is having a moment.

  • JUL 09, 2020

    As retailers figure out reopening plans, foot traffic trends continue to fluctuate

    Even as retailers are given the go-ahead to reopen, concerns over inconsistent foot traffic is yet another factor in deciding to do so. As regions experience a second wave, a return to normal activity levels is becoming further out of reach. For brands faced with the decision of when to reopen stores, this means taking into account the pros and cons of getting immediate business through the door now when it may be more prudent to wait.

  • JUL 07, 2020

    ‘Stores will continue to be a big focus’: Deciem CEO Nicola Kilner on the future of virtual services

    Despite virus exposure fears, individualized samples aren't always the answer, said Deciem co-founder and CEO Nicola Kilner. Despite launching a successful virtual try-on program, "The Abnormal Beauty Company" will continue allowing customers to test products at home for up to a year.

  • JUL 07, 2020

    Why Microsoft is closing most of its experiential stores

    Over a decade after it opened its first store, Microsoft is scaling back its retail ambitions. Microsoft’s shuttering is yet another example of tech companies' bad luck with brick and mortar. The stores highlighted a major branding problem for the computing giant: at its core, Microsoft is essentially a wholesales goods company, with a limited history in selling them directly to end consumers.

  • JUL 02, 2020

    It took a global pandemic, but QR codes may finally take off

    QR codes have found little success since coming on the scene decades ago. With the onset of the pandemic, the encrypted prints appear to be coming back in fashion as retailers grapple with contactless marketing and payment solutions. Is this the time QR codes finally enter the mainstream?

  • JUL 01, 2020

    VC deals are slowly resuming — but not like they were before

    Digital consumer startups that happened to benefit during the pandemic are seeing renewed interest from investors. However, despite a return in fundraising activity, prospects of early stage venture backing remain stagnant. Later-stage consumer startups in hyper-growth mode have able to seek out fresh funding for extending momentum. That hasn't been the case, however, for early stage companies.

  • JUN 29, 2020

    How swimwear brands market themselves during a vacation-less summer

    After months of stocking up on essentials, summer is proving to be a bright spot for struggling industries like apparel. Swimwear is an example in which brands with a dedicated following are reframing what their merchandise is used for. It can also mark a turning point for other stunted travel-related categories.

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