DTC Era

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 14, 2019

    Why DTC cookware brand Material is seeking out retail partnerships

    There are so many DTC cookware brands it's hard to keep them straight. Now, these players are growing and trying to stay alive by expanding product lines and inking retail partnerships. The latest example is Material, which is now partnering with the furniture brand West Elm.

  • 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 08, 2019

    ‘Almost a scam’: As DTC brands grow, Shopify is struggling to keep up

    Shopify is largely considered the go-to solution for DTC e-commerce architecture. But some say the enterprise solutions are lacking. And other digitally native brands trying to scale their businesses have had to get creative to use the platform to their advantage.

  • 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

    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.

  • OCT 30, 2019

    Why West Elm is partnering with a weighted blanket brand

    The DTC weighted blanket brand Bearaby is collaborating with West Elm. The partnership illustrates the millennial-love furniture maker's strategy with smaller brands that complement its selection. More, similar collaborations are likely on the way.

  • 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 15, 2019

    New sites are helping customers make sense of the DTC landscape

    New and existing sites are increasingly seeing an opportunity in helping both shoppers and industry members make sense of the growing DTC landscape. The founders of these sites say that because it's easier now than ever before to start a new brand, and many of these brands gain traction through a mix of paid Facebook and Instagram ads, influencer partnerships, and affiliate deals, it's hard for even someone who works in the consumer industry to understand which new mattress or razor is best.

  • OCT 08, 2019

    Without first-time customer discounts, DTC brands try to find new ways to collect emails

    Email addresses have become the currency of choice for direct-to-consumer brands. As a result, many DTC brands offer customers a discount off their first order, if they sign up for the company's email list

  • OCT 08, 2019

    DTC brands are using hybrid chatbots for customer service

    Chatbots were all the rage a few years ago, but consumers never took to them. Now, DTC brands are using a mixture of AI and human-based chat technology to better handling customer service.

  • OCT 02, 2019

    ‘We are a lifestyle brand’: Food52 will sell $30 million worth of products this year

    Food52 just sold a majority stake to The Chernin Group. According to the company, what propelled the deal was the commerce strategy it put in place. Now, with the cash infusion, the home and kitchen site plans to invest even more into both online and physical retail.

  • NOV 13, 2019
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