Rarely, if ever, does a startup’s first year in business go according to plan -- but DTC founders who launched their businesses in 2020 had to deal with an unprecedented amount of chaos. Now, going into their second year of business, these startups are ramping up marketing investments, and resuming some of the brand-building tactics they previously had to put on hold.
Green home-cleaning brand Safely launched an in-store assortment at 750 Bed Bath & Beyond storefronts on Monday. Co-founder Emma Grede hopes the Bed Bath & Beyond partnership will help Safely to meet consumers where they are, and get the brand closer to a 50/50 mix between retailer and DTC sales.
For years, hard seltzer has dominated the ready-to-drink alcohol space, especially among young consumers. Now, brands offering elevated packaged cocktails are hoping the success of spiked seltzer will spill over into their growing category.
The 15-minute delivery trend is in full swing -- thanks to the arrival of several ultra-fast grocery services like Fridge No More, Gorillas, Jokr and 1520. These startups, which rely on ghost stores and in-house couriers, are hoping to court urban customers by competing with local grocery and convenience stores.
Within the past several years there has been an explosion of new specialty marketplaces through which e-commerce brands can also sell their products. As a result, e-commerce brands have more options than ever before when considering where to sell their products online -- and many of them are expressing more interest in moving beyond DTC distribution earlier on.
For brands that focus on seasonal products, marketing efforts can be tricky to balance throughout the year. Rosé makers, for example, often have to plan for quiet winter months and demand surge during the summer. Yes Way Rosé, which primarily focuses on French-made rosé, is testing out new strategies so that it doesn't rely on only the summer months for sales.
Getting products manufactured overseas, transporting them over to the United States and shipping them out to customers globally is still nearly as difficult as it was in 2020 -- and in some cases more difficult. As a result, nearly every decision that a burgeoning e-commerce startup has to make these days has to account for shipping or production delays on every little item.
Modern convenience store chain Foxtrot plans to open 50 new stores over the course of the next two years, expanding to New York City, Austin, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston. Under the expansion, Foxtrot will retain its commitment to under thirty minutes delivery and under five minutes pickup, data-driven merchandizing and 40% local goods.
In the past, refurbished technology was typically associated with second-rate or used, unwanted inventory. But thanks to the secondhand boom, consumers are increasingly considering professionally refurbished electronics over new ones. As a result, some online marketplaces are boosts in sales.
Weighted blanket brand Bearaby's hyper-localized digital advertising helped the brand increase revenue by 600% in 2020. Going forward, Bearaby will maintain the strategy, while adapting advertising narratives towards trends like travel and working around IOS 14 app privacy tracking by keeping users' purchasing path in a single creative-to-cart, new ad type.
Last summer, brands took a muted approach to marketing. Now, the mood is much more celebratory as some brands are rushing to host their first in-person events in nearly eighteen months. Many of these events are being planned on the fly, as some brands were hesitant to plan any indoor events until a month or two ago.
Over the years, many health and beauty direct-to-consumer brands have chosen to expand their physical retail via standalone stores or marketplaces. However, there is also a growing trend of partnering with traditional department stores or big box retailers, such as Nordstrom and Target. Urban Outfitters, once known as a hip millennial clothing retailer, is quietly building its own hub of digitally-native skincare and wellness brands.
Health care apparel brand Figs, which recently went public, has an army of nurses and doctors online. These brand ambassadors have helped give the company a name -- as well as lowered its customer acquisition costs.
Outside of athleisure, fashion sales were some of the hardest hit during the pandemic. Now, with apparel sales ticking back up again, retailers and brands are looking for ways to stand out in the crowded field -- including those in the kids clothing category. One way online children's boutique Maisonette is approaching this is by launching its third private label.
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