Bank loans are difficult to get for untested business owners, and credit limits can make buying inventory difficult especially for smaller creators. In their place, a nascent group of fintech startups like Spotter, Karat Financial, Willa and XPO are popping up to give middle-tier influencers money and access to credit in order to build their brands.
In the past, Cupshe focused on selling low priced swimwear on Amazon and its own DTC site, driving $150 million in revenue this year. Last week, following a $15.5 million funding round in March, the brand is expanding to athleisure and diversifying its marketing streams.
The future of co-working spaces, which were first popularized by WeWork and others, was unclear during lockdowns. Now, these concepts are taking on a new life by opening up locations in retail spaces, such as existing shopping centers, restaurants and bars.
Last year during the pandemic, consumers invested in the home and bath space in droves: bath towel sales rose 12% to $2.9 billion while bath accessory sales rose 9% to $2.7 billion. As consumers continue to embrace self care, direct to consumer startups offer luxury items in the space and speak to self care and continued home renovations.
Warby Parker is the latest direct-to-consumer company planning to go public. The eyewear brand, which was founded in 2010 and currently has 145 stores, is preparing for a direct listing on the NYSE. The debut will come after years of major revenue growth coupled with operating losses.
After years of scooting by on beautiful aesthetics, some startups are feeling the ripple effects of DTC disillusionment. That is, customers (and high-profile writers) are increasingly expressing remorse after spending a premium to buy beautiful cookware or bedding from a startup that they think is more ethical than traditional retailers.
For decades, lottery ticket sales were restricted to authorized brick and mortar sellers, mainly made up of convenience stores and gas stations. But in recent years, the effort to digitize U.S. lotteries has been brewing thanks to platforms like Jackpocket and Lotto.com.
Professional sports teams and movie theater chains alike are doubling down on app ordering technology, finding contactless ways to get concessions to fans and minimizing traditional long lines. Still, the space is nascent, as consumers slowly shift their mindsets from impulsivity towards preplanning and concession providers work out kinks.
Despite the fact that shoppers are likely to receive a dozen-plus emails from retailers each day, direct-to-consumer startups are constantly trying to wedge their way into people’s promotions tabs. And email marketing is only likely to become more crucial -- and more complicated -- for any burgeoning DTC startups, thanks to privacy-focused changes in the digital marketing landscape.
The hair salon industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic. Now, service providers are looking to double down on growth opportunities. One of these is blowout specialist Drybar, which is looking to open hundreds of new franchise locations in the coming years.
Farmer's Fridge makes fresh salads in plastic bottles that used to be distributed via push-button machines in highly-trafficked areas -- like airports or hospitals. Its model was essentially business-to-business. When the pandemic hit, the company was forced to build out a direct-to-consumer sales channel -- and fast.
The buy now, pay later (BNPL) category has benefitted from the ongoing e-commerce boom in the past few years. Now, players in the space -- which include Afterpay, Affirm and Klarna -- are looking for ways to stand out to both retail partners and consumers. Sezzle is one upstart that's looking to differentiate by courting young customers with offerings like rewards, flexible spending and a large selection of brand partners.
In July, sales of hand sanitizer and medical face masks were up 24% and 16%, respectively, compared to June a Instacart. Now, however, consumers are looking for more stylish and buzzier versions of formerly un-sexy necessities. To play to this new consumer, brands like Rowing Blazers and Touchland are investing in more fashionable styles and sexier messaging.
With holiday planning well underway, DTC startups are planning for the 2021 holiday season to be just as chaotic as last year's. While they hope that carriers like UPS and FedEx will be better equipped to deal with the surge in e-commerce orders, port delays are shipping container shortages are in some cases worse than last year.
Last March, airports became ghost towns and as a result, airport advertising ground to a halt. While some brands are exploring airport advertising again, some are waiting until closer to the holidays, which will be the biggest advertising season for them anyways.
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