More and more companies are announcing plans to have most employees work remotely. For smaller DTC brands, that rely on both selling physical products and having a scrappy agile work culture, this is especially difficult. But as the coronavirus spreads, so too does the need for a work contingency plan.
Though stocks are tumbling and some businesses are facing big obstacles, the coronavirus is causing some brands to see big gains. In the DTC space, companies offering higher-end home and health products have observed more new customers and bigger order sizes. It makes sense: Why go to Costco when you can buy nice toilet paper online?
This week, Neighborhood Goods opened its third location in Austin, Texas. With it, the company is also offering brands a new digital dashboard to better understand store analytics. As more physical retail concepts become popular with digital brands, the ability to analyze and contextualize real-time data is increasingly becoming table stakes.
Companies that sell primarily direct-to-consumer already faced a tough time raising venture capital funding in 2020. And that was before an outbreak of COVID-19. Most investors say it's too early to tell if other venture capital firms will prove less willing to make investments in the coming months, and certain categories like like travel may be more negatively impacted than others. But nearly all are counseling companies to rethink their growth projections for 2020, and start thinking now about how they can tighten up expenses in a worst case scenario.
Andrea Lisbona, founder and CEO of hand sanitizer brand Touchland, was hoping for a year of fast revenue growth. But her projections were completely shot out of the water thanks to a surge in demand over the past few weeks for hand sanitizer, caused by people buying more of the product over concerns of catching the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Lisbona said that within the past few weeks, Touchland has sold more than 250,000 orders, which works out to about 800% growth.
DTC healthcare startup Ro announced a new assessment tool for COVID-19. It's the latest -- and perhaps most extreme -- example of businesses shifting strategies to deal with the epidemic. Questions abound about how such a program will be executed.
Everyone is trying to get their hands on hand sanitizer and other cleaning products in the wake of the coronavirus. One top brand on Amazon is retooling its strategy in the height of the increased demand. Modern Retail chatted with its head of e-commerce about how it's approaching this dramatically changing retail landscape.
Last January, direct-to-consumer furniture brand Article took a step that's still relatively unusual for a startup: it launched an in-house last-mile delivery program. As an online-only startup that has yet to open a single store, Article viewed building its own in-house delivery operation as a necessary customer service investment. The biggest benefit of launching ADT is that it has allowed Article to reduce delivery times. The company is now able to deliver roughly half of its orders in under a week, compared to 30% in 2018
Super Heroic, a direct-to-consumer children's clothing and footwear startup, is shutting down, according to the company's website. A message posted on Super Heroic’s website, with the headline “mission complete,” said that “we started this company with the desire to encourage and inspire our youth to dream bigger and to live boldly….in these uncertain times, we have now reached a place where we must hang up our capes for a while.” The website states that the company “will honor all sales and exchanges until our closure,” but does not give an exact date.
When DTC health care startup Ro launched in 2017, the startup was initially focused on connecting male patients with doctors to discuss medical conditions like erectile dysfunction and hair loss. Today, Ro now sells medication to treat 11 different conditions under three brands: Roman for men, Rory for women, and Zero, which is focused on nonsmokers. As Ro's potential audience grows, it is finding it is increasingly having to rely on more than just Facebook and Google search ads to reach new customers.
Victoria's Secret's market share has declined for years as consumers have grown tired of its overtly sexualized marketing and merchandise. But the number of startups and retailers vying to take a slice of the business that previously belonged to Victoria's Secret hasn't slowed down.
In 2020, e-commerce startups are facing a greater sense of urgency to turn a profit, and furniture company Wayfair is no exception. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was cutting 550 jobs, or about 3% of its workforce. In an email to Wayfair employees obtained by the Boston Globe, CEO Niraj Shah said that "We find ourselves at a place where we are, from an execution standpoint, investing in too many disparate areas, with an uneven quality and speed of execution."
From startup burnout, to business strategy pivots, to mismanagement, here's why people choose to leave their consumer brand jobs.
Bombas is slowly building up its roster of wholesale partners, focusing on finding retailers that align with its one-to-one giving model, and have a customer demographic that fits well with new product offerings. It's one of a number of brands that started direct-to-consumer that is starting to test out which wholesale partners make the most sense for them.
As direct-to-consumer startups feel greater pressure to rely less on digital channels like Facebook and Google, other, they're considering investing more in traditional media advertising. That includes out of home advertising (OOH), like billboards, digital bus stops and painted murals.
In a new guide for brand and agency marketers, learn the most cutting-edge measurement and attribution techniques preferred by advertisers that have successfully scaled their TV budgets.
Exclusively for Modern Retail+ members: Hear from Colin Darretta, CEO and Founder of Wellpath, on the future of direct to consumer business.Subscribe