Startups

Beyond pop-ups: How brands look for low-cost ways to test physical retail

Typically, the path to opening a permanent physical store for older DTC brands like Casper and Glossier looked like this: open a few pop-up stores in the cities where most of your customers are, make sure that they're stacked with highly Instagrammable displays and events, and use those pop-ups as a training ground for opening up your own physical retail stores. But even pop-ups that only run for a few months can be expensive. So, many younger brands are trying to strike partnerships with other DTC brands to display product in their stores for a limited period of time, or partner with companies outside of retail to display product or host events

Latest Stories

  • NOV 13, 2019

    From email giveaways to co-branded products, how brands create partnership marketing strategies

    More direct-to-consumer brands are experimenting with partnership marketing, in order to further diversify their marketing spend away from Facebook and Google. Although there are inexpensive ways to test out partnership marketing, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out which brands are actually effective to partner with.

  • NOV 11, 2019

    Mizzen+Main is launching a new customer loyalty program

    Direct-to-consumer brands like to trumpet the fact that they have more access to customer data than traditional brands. Now, as they grow and add more products, they're also looking to launch loyalty programs that give them better insight into how their customers behave compared to traditional loyalty programs. Mizzen+Main, which sells mens dress shirts and pants, is launching a new loyalty program on Tuesday that it hopes will give the company more insight into when exactly its customers are looking to shop.

  • NOV 08, 2019

    DTC brands are trying to figure out how much of their business can stay direct

    When handbag brand Dagne Dover launched in 2012, its products were only available for sale through its own website. But today, shoppers can find Dagne Dover bags for sale on Nordstrom's website, in Stitch Fix boxes, in select Apple stores, as well as some Equinox gyms. While Dagne Dover started as a direct-to-consumer brand, wholesale now accounts for just under 20% of its revenue. Founder and CEO Melissa Mash wants to keep it that way.

  • NOV 06, 2019

    SMS is the new email: DTC brands are getting into text messaging

    As shoppers' email inboxes and Instagram stories have become cluttered with ads from direct-to-consumer brands urging them to get 20% off their new rug or sleepwear collection, newer brands are in search of new places to talk to customers where they aren't yet sick of hearing from brands. One method of communication that's starting to become more popular: text messaging.

  • NOV 05, 2019

    Despite resale’s unprofitability, investors aren’t deterred

    The RealReal's latest earnings results showed the company still in the red, but growing revenue. Wall Street considered it an overall success. Most companies in the resale space are trying to grow quickly, and have yet to turn a profit. Despite that, investors continue to be interested in the space.

  • NOV 05, 2019

    The case for and against the DTC holding company

    Direct-to-consumer brands were born out of the idea that the Procter & Gambles of the world weren't doing a good job anymore of addressing consumer needs. Now some of them want to become the next Procter & Gamble.

  • NOV 04, 2019

    Despite attribution challenges, DTC brands love direct mail

    Direct-to-consumer brands are starting to invest more in traditional advertising channels, like billboards, television and direct mail as consumers' inboxes or Instagram feeds are getting clogged with ads from competitors. Brands who spoke with Modern Retail say that direct mail is proving to be a small, but useful part of their marketing mix to reach a select group of high-intent customers.

  • NOV 01, 2019

    Partnerships now make up nearly 20% of weighted blanket brand Gravity’s revenue

    Over the past year, weighted blanket brand Gravity Products has started to partner more with brands on product collaborations in order to lessen its reliance on selling directly to consumers. Today, Gravity announced that it's partnering with DTC mattress brand Purple on a product collaboration. CEO Mike Grillo said that partnerships now make up nearly 18% of Gravity's revenue, up from 2% last year.

  • OCT 29, 2019

    DTC companies are building corporate gifting programs to acquire customers more quickly

    Some direct-to-consumer companies are slowly building out corporate gifting programs, as they look for more ways beyond paid advertising to reach large groups of potential new customers. Bombas piloted a corporate gifting program for the first time last year. Today, it has a team of three that manages corporate sales, two members of which were just hired in June, according to chief marketing officer Kate Huyett.

  • OCT 24, 2019

    To stave off growth woes, DTC brands partner with others to create marketplaces

    Brooklinen announced a new marketplace called Spaces. It partnered with other DTC brands to sell adjacent but not competitive goods on the bedding company's website. It's indicative of a growing business trend where brands are banding together to try and maintain growth.

  • OCT 21, 2019

    How Affirm plans to make buy now, pay later as common as credit cards

    As buy now, pay later financing models start to gain more traction among younger customers, the businesses powering these transactions are also looking for more ways to keep customers shopping within their network of retailers. Affirm, founded in 2013 is one such business, and last week launched a redesigned mobile app that's designed to encourage customers to turn to Affirm to finance more of their purchases.

  • OCT 16, 2019

    How brands try to make customer lifetime value and retention rates look as good as possible

    Brands, especially venture-backed ones, live and die by a few metrics. Customer lifetime value and retention rates are especially critical in proving to investors that their company is worthy of being valued at five times or ten times revenue.

  • OCT 18, 2021
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    Report: The state of online marketplaces

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