Just weeks after Allbirds and Warby Parker filed to go public, online wine club Winc followed suite. The company, founded in 2011, is betting on an IPO to help it scale its DTC and wholesale operations as it attempts to gain market share.
When Ember launched its temperature-controlling mugs in 2015, the company thought that striking wholesale deals would be critical to building brand awareness fast, Ember svp, head of global marketing and e-commerce Jolene Abbott said at the Modern Retail Summit in Palm Springs, California this week. Six years after launching, Ember is now sold in 10,000 retail locations, including in Apple and Target stores, as well as in Starbucks coffee shops.
Last week, Modern Retail hosted its first multi-day event since 2019, where executives from companies like Mars, Olipop, Made In and Exploding Kittens gathered to talk about what was top of mind for them at their respective businesses. The big takeaway from the event is that what it takes to successfully run and scale an e-commerce startup has been upended over the past 18-plus months.
Fire pit maker Solo Stove had such explosive growth in 2020, that the company's owners decided to raise capital, pivot into an e-commerce holding company and as of last week, filed to go public. The company is betting that after gaining a huge swath of new, loyal customers during the pandemic, it can parlay that into continued success.
As e-commerce begins to leave its mark on the buying and selling of vehicles, a small group of startups are betting that consumers will soon demand the same of other aspects of the vehicle world -- namely, vehicle repair, fueling and other services.
The U.S. Postal Service announced it will begin "slowing down" mail and parcel to offset costs. The move comes as the holiday season ramps up, along with long delivery windows and peak package rates. Here's how brands are responding to these changes.
In just a few months, quick-delivery grocery companies like Gorillas, Jokr, Fridge No More and others have moved from a relatively niche curiosity to some of the best-funded startups in the grocery industry. As they race to expand, they are also, more subtly, changing the face of retail real estate in major cities.
Over the past year, store openings were few and far between -- with the exception of some pop-ups -- as direct-to-consumer startups decided to direct their focus to their e-commerce channel. But within the past week, a few startups like Parade and Studs have announced significant new funding rounds, with the express purpose of opening more stores.
In partnership with CPG incubator The Naked Market, the Jonas Brothers are today expanding distribution of their popcorn brand, Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, nationwide via its own e-commerce site. As more brands in general go direct-to-consumer, celebrity-driven brands are no exception.
With Black Friday less than two months away, direct-to-consumer brands are starting to finalize their holiday marketing strategies. One big question on many founders' minds this year, is just how much they need to rethink their initial plans in a post iOS14 landscape. The answer for many brands seems to be: spend less on Facebook and Instagram than they were initially planning.
Over the years, young direct-to-consumer brands relied on Facebook's algorithm to cheaply find new customers. As Facebook's cost-per-click increase and it continues to grapple with the latest Apple iOS update, brands are looking to get back to basics. Some are trying out discovery platforms like Pinterest and YouTube Shorts, others are re-investing in the trusty Google Search.
The alcohol e-commerce boom is driving online wine clubs to ramp up their personalization tools. With thousands of wine SKUs on hand, digital wine club Firstleaf developed a machine learning model to help narrow down each customer's suggestions. The process, according to the company, has helped increase revenue and boost retention over the years.
Retailers are trying to bring digital ads into brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Starlite Media and Cooler Screens have begun offering ad services to both brands and retailers. It points to a bigger trend: retailers are eagerly testing ways to display digital ads to consumers, closer and closer to the point of sale.
Over the past year, there's been an explosion of holding companies raising money to acquire e-commerce brands -- Pattern Brands, for example raised $60 million in debt and equity to acquire brands in the home goods space. But one of the most interesting -- and newest entrants -- in the space is OpenStore. The company's co-founder spoke about the booming industry of e-commerce holding companies.
Last week, Elvie launched Stride – an insurance-covered, hands-free, no-noise breast pump – across a variety of DME distributors in the U.S. As Elvie seeks to become a larger player in women's health care going forward, its playbook involves investing in traditional retail partnerships and splashy marketing campaigns, while also balancing partnerships with medical suppliers.
At the Modern Retail Summit, retail marketers will discuss everything from the Amazon effect to new infrastructure to the shift in the direct-to-consumer world.Book Passes