In less than two years, Whatnot has become the most valuable independent livestream shopping company in the U.S. The platform for collectible trading cards, comic books and toys just raised $150M in a Series C round from venture capital firms, valuing it at $1.5 billion. Whatnot co-founder Grant Lafontaine spoke with Modern Retail about the future of livestream e-commerce, what draws investors to the space, and how his company plans to preserve its identity even as it plots its live video takeover.
Bargain clothing retailer Primark is readying a new digital strategy that has ignited rumors of a move into e-commerce, an area it has long ignored in order to keep a lid on costs. The company has said it is building a "digital platform" to "create new digital capability within the business" -- though it has given few details on what the new digital platform will look like.
Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce company Shopee is reportedly headed to Poland, India and Argentina — three markets that fit squarely into its focus on rapidly digitizing economies. But the Singapore-based company may have difficulty scaling.
The likes of Chewy, Petco and Bark benefited from two major shifts during the pandemic: Accelerated consumer uptake of e-commerce and a pet adoption boom. Now, all three companies are betting on subscriptions to help maintain revenue growth.
Hard seltzer witnessed a hot streak in the U.S., accounting for $2.7 billion in retail sales in the 12 months to June last year. But, with the hype now tempering, a number of alcohol brands -- both established and startups -- are hoping to keep growth apace by targeting the U.K.
Williams Sonoma's longstanding digital strategy established the foundation for much of its current success. Since launching its website in 2000, it has added a range of tools to help shoppers with everything from delivery scheduling to customer service to product visualization. Those investments began paying off in 2020 and continued to pay off this year.
With mini apps on Snapchat, retailers have another route to get their services in front of a massive audience. Since announcing the feature last summer, Snap has added 14 Minis within its chat section. Now, companies like Poshmark and Verishop are testing it out.
For years, retailers and tech companies have tried to harness live video as a means of reaching online shoppers. Now, numerous live video shopping startups have found themselves flush with cash as venture capitalists and celebs pour into the sector in search of the next big thing.
Health care apparel brand Figs, which recently went public, has an army of nurses and doctors online. These brand ambassadors have helped give the company a name -- as well as lowered its customer acquisition costs.
Visual search is witnessing a resurgence in interest that retailers may find difficult to ignore. On the one hand, social media and web giants are pushing visual search to the forefront of their platforms. Meanwhile, many retailers are opting to incorporate the feature directly into their existing apps, either individually or with the help of specialist tech startups.
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