DTC Briefing: After a year-plus of disruptions, the e-commerce startup playbook has changed

Last week, Modern Retail hosted its first multi-day event since 2019, where executives from companies like Mars, Olipop, Made In and Exploding Kittens gathered to talk about what was top of mind for them at their respective businesses. The big takeaway from the event is that what it takes to successfully run and scale an e-commerce startup has been upended over the past 18-plus months.

Latest Stories

  • OCT 12, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Solo Stove makes an opportunistic pivot after a year of explosive growth

    Fire pit maker Solo Stove had such explosive growth in 2020, that the company's owners decided to raise capital, pivot into an e-commerce holding company and as of last week, filed to go public. The company is betting that after gaining a huge swath of new, loyal customers during the pandemic, it can parlay that into continued success.

  • OCT 05, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Startups are accelerating plans for new store openings

    Over the past year, store openings were few and far between -- with the exception of some pop-ups  -- as direct-to-consumer startups decided to direct their focus to their e-commerce channel. But within the past week, a few startups like Parade and Studs have announced significant new funding rounds, with the express purpose of opening more stores.

  • SEP 28, 2021
    Illustration with a pan, a jar and underwear with tags spelling out D-T-C.

    DTC Briefing: Startups are rethinking their holiday marketing playbooks this year

    With Black Friday less than two months away, direct-to-consumer brands are starting to finalize their holiday marketing strategies. One big question on many founders' minds this year, is just how much they need to rethink their initial plans in a post iOS14 landscape. The answer for many brands seems to be: spend less on Facebook and Instagram than they were initially planning.

  • SEP 27, 2021

    Inside Firstleaf’s data-driven approach to wine subscriptions

    The alcohol e-commerce boom is driving online wine clubs to ramp up their personalization tools. With thousands of wine SKUs on hand, digital wine club Firstleaf developed a machine learning model to help narrow down each customer's suggestions. The process, according to the company, has helped increase revenue and boost retention over the years.

  • SEP 23, 2021

    Nordstrom wants to sell more home goods with the help of DTC brands

    Nordstrom is making a significant push into home goods with the help of buzzy brands including direct-to-consumer startups. Its latest partnership with weighted blanket brand Bearaby means it now has ties with more than 17 companies in the category. In addition, it’s preparing to open an extended, two-story home goods section at its flagship NYC branch.

  • SEP 21, 2021

    DTC Briefing: How OpenStore aims to build a Shopify-focused holding company

    Over the past year, there's been an explosion of holding companies raising money to acquire e-commerce brands -- Pattern Brands, for example raised $60 million in debt and equity to acquire brands in the home goods space. But one of the most interesting -- and newest entrants -- in the space is OpenStore. The company's co-founder spoke about the booming industry of e-commerce holding companies.

  • SEP 16, 2021

    Inside olive oil startup Brightland’s product expansion strategy

    When CPG startup Brightland launched in 2018, it launched with just two products: two different varieties of olive oil. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include four different flavored olive oils, two different varieties of vinegar and this week, launched a line of honey. Brightland typically partners with other companies, and does limited-edition runs, in order to test out new products.

  • SEP 14, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Shopify is taking a heavier hand in startup investing

    There's a new sought-after investor for tech startups that serves a lot of direct-to-consumer brands -- and it isn't a traditional private equity or venture capital fund. It's Shopify. That was made clear last week, when Shopify announced that it invested in Yotpo.

  • SEP 14, 2021

    How workwear is getting the DTC treatment

    Workwear has long been dominated by big players, such as Dickies, Carhartt and Duluth. While other apparel categories have been taken over by digitally-native brands, workwear had remained stagnant until now. A new crop of DTC startups want to change that.

  • SEP 13, 2021

    The DTC reckoning that never came

    Brands are raising money, and venture capitalists have seemingly endless money to throw at them. And it's happening at a record pace. It's a big change from a little over a year ago, when DTC brands were said to be facing a reckoning.

  • SEP 08, 2021

    Last Crumb is the latest CPG startup to embrace the drop model

    The weekly "drop" is quickly becoming a major release tactic among direct-to-consumer food brands. Take for instance, Last Crumb, a luxury cookie brand that launched in May and has a growing lottery-like waitlist of eager customers. The weekly release method, long used by streetwear and sneaker brands, is being applied to the food space.

  • SEP 07, 2021

    DTC Briefing: Brands are trying to set expectations ahead of holiday inventory challenges

    Direct-to-consumer startups have now been grappling with manufacturing delays, increased prices of raw materials and astronomical costs for shipping containers for close to a year and a half now. And the challenges show no signs of subsiding.

  • OCT 18, 2021

    Report: The state of online marketplaces

Modern Retail Summit
Oct 12–Oct 14, 2021

At the Modern Retail Summit, retail marketers will discuss everything from the Amazon effect to new infrastructure to the shift in the direct-to-consumer world.

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