Venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures is well-known for funding the first generation of direct-to-consumer startups like Bonobos and Dollar Shave Club. But the firm has also been taking a more broader approach to consumer, with recent investments. Senior Associate KJ Sidberry spoke with Modern Retail about his investment thesis.
The rise of the "niche online grocery store" is in full effect. The newly-launched Umamicart, which focuses on Asian-inspired ingredients and products, joins other specialty marketplaces looking to reach home cooks via curation and convenience.
With concerns about wasteful packaging increasing, brands are looking for more sustainable and cost-effective options to ship orders. The issue is prompting a slew of startups to create reusable packaging that attracts retail partners. To incentivize brands, these solutions promise environmentally friendly options that offer a better return per-use on cost.
Major brick-and-mortar players have begun investing in live-stream shopping -- with Walmart testing out TikTok livestreams and Nordstrom beginning to roll out their own livestream platforms. But the phenomenon is not new in the U.S. -- small businesses have been building sizable livestream audiences for years, especially on Facebook. Yet the reaction from businesses has been mixed -- and some remain leery of selling directly on the platform, opting instead to let third-party apps handle their sales.
Two resale apps, Poshmark and ThredUp, have gone public within the past three months, and as a publicly-traded companies, now face more pressure to maintain revenue growth, namely expanding into new products and services. But, the biggest challenge standing in the way of these companies' expansion plans, analysts say, is in ensuring that people keep wanting to sell products through their sites.
The e-commerce boom has led to an influx of startups trying to build businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars by selling software to DTC brands. And it’s a surge that shows no signs of slowing down.
Virtual Dining Concepts is a ghost kitchen company -- meaning it connects industrial kitchens with restaurants that only distribute through dining apps like DoorDash. But there's a Planet Hollywood-esque spin: instead of simply ginning up a dark restaurant that will live on the various dining apps, he's aligning his businesses with celebrities and influencers. It's a growing online commerce trend, and hints at some business model hurdles.
After a year in which many subway and airport ad placements sat idle, some startups are beginning to dust the cobwebs off of their out-of-home strategies. This week, Glossier launched an ad campaign with an out-of-home component that's betting on people returning to the movies. Other startups are waiting to see whether an uptick they say they are waiting to see a larger uptick in people taking the subway or flying on a plane before committing to any out-of-home campaigns
Covid has led to an explosion in interest in livestreaming. There’s been an uptick in established retailers like Macy’s or Nordstrom hosting livestream shopping events this year, while livestreaming startups like NTWRK, Popshop Live and Whatnot have recently announced significant rounds of venture capital. But the go-to partner livestreaming partners for many DTC brands is still QVC.
Owning the supply chain has become a growing trend among digitally-native brands in recent years. Unlike the first generation of DTC players, emerging companies like Rothys and Caraa are choosing to own their production over partnering with manufacturers. But, as apparel brand Duer came to find during the pandemic, there are limits to what you can realistically own.
The installment payment space is infiltrating local businesses. After a year of customers seeking the financing options from tech startups like Klarna and Affirm, buy now pay later startup Sunbit is hoping to ride that wave by attracting small merchants.
After a year in which social gatherings have essentially been limited to Zoom or Clubhouse, and people had to postpone major events like weddings and vacations, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. With President Joe Biden announcing last week that all states should open up coronavirus vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1, people now have a closer idea of when they’ll be able to resume activities they’ve been putting off since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how startups are preparing for people to spend their money come summer.
Companies have updated packaging and sourced new product ideas after reading through the comments on TikTok. Combing through the comments can be labor-intensive on both organic and paid posts. Yet brands have found that customers’ comments can lead to easy product improvements if they can become comfortable with the tone of the app and put in the man-hours of listening to their customers there.
Direct mail marketing is nothing new. Yet the strategy to send print catalogs to customers homes is becoming more popular among brands and retailers. In recent years, DTC brands have successfully tested out direct mail to acquire and retain customers. With people stuck at home due to the coronavirus and the volatile digital advertising market, the traditional method is getting even more traction.
Since launching more than 20 years ago, Simplehuman has become known for its high-end kitchen and bath products, such as the brand's flagship line of trashcans. The company had historically focused more on wholesale distribution and physical retail partnerships. However, founder Frank Yang explained that the pandemic proved an e-commerce DTC strategy is a must for long term growth.
At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.Book Passes