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.
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.
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.
Roughly two months after the iOS14 update rolled out, direct-to-consumer startups are still trying to understand the impact of it. The impact felt by DTC startups has widely varied, according to the four media marketers and media buyers. Multiple brands reported their cost per impressions (CPMs) rising on Facebook since the iOS14 update, while the conversion and purchase-related data Facebook reports back seems to be less accurate.
Over the past year, many retail startups experimented with virtual events. But for Monica + Andy, an eight year old baby clothing brand, virtual events became a regular part of its marketing strategy. Now, Monica + Andy presents a potential case study as to how DTC brands might approach events going forward: CEO Monica Royer said she expects half of Monica + Andy's events to be virtual, half in-person, going forward.
The direct-to-consumer chewing gum brands have been pushing one idea in particular: Rather than positioning chewing gum as an afterthought purchase, they want turn it into a high-price, premium product that consumers seek out on direct-to-consumer websites the way they might with a houseplant or a meal kit.
A couple of weeks ago, Pattern Brands, formerly known as Gin Lane, announced it was pivoting from launching its own brands to acquiring them. Now, there's a new entrant in the acquisition game: OpenStore. OpenStore is taking the Shopify holding company approach and supercharging it, by placing automated bids on Shopify brands. This will likely intensify the mad dash to to acquire as many small Shopify brands for cheap -- interest that was already intensifying thanks to the success of Amazon-focused holding companies.
Direct-to-consumer floral company Pomp launched on Wednesday, joining the new guard of online-native brands trying to improve the floral industry’s convoluted supply chain, and provide simpler alternatives to industry giants like 1-800 Flowers. The perishable floral industry has struggled with supply chain since its birth. In response, new DTC challengers like Pomp, Farmgirl Flowers, and Urban Stems innovate with owned supply chains, and a smaller, more curated assortment of bouquets.
Social media apps are rolling out more tools meant to encourage brands to work more closely with influencers. Instagram, for example, announced last week that it is testing a new affiliate tool, which allows influencers to earn a commission from products they recommend that use Instagram’s checkout service, with the commission being set by the brand. It's led to a change in overall influencer strategy.
This week Pattern Brands -- a holding company formed by the former members of branding agency Gin Lane -- announced that it was pivoting away from launching its own brands, and instead would look to acquire a number of smaller brands in the home goods space. It's a move that has been in the works for over a year. Modern Retail obtained a pitch deck that Pattern Brands sent around last summer, laying out its vision for the holding company it hoped to build.
Pattern Brands was one of a few startups that thought it could crack the customer acquisition challenges brands faced by taking a holding company approach. Led by the former team behind branding agency Gin Lane, Pattern Brands would launch multiple brands under one company, all catering to an affluent millennial customer. Now, Pattern Brands is taking a different strategy.
As DTC brands continue to look for new customer acquisition channels, Pinterest is becoming a bigger part of their shoppable content playbook. The social platform, which has been increasingly building out e-commerce capabilities, has partnered with several digitally-native brands on a shopping event featuring exclusive products.
With summer approaching and people being inclined to spend more time at the beach than they are online shopping, brands are looking for creative marketing tactics to drum up excitement. And one of the most common tactics startups have started experimenting more with in recent years is partnership marketing. Partnership marketing encompasses everything from product giveaways on Instagram to selling more co-branded items, and they're increasingly becoming a small but critical component of startups' strategies for critical sales moments.
Every interaction a customer has with a brand is an opportunity to nurture the customer-brand relationship. This report highlights tactics that top brands are using to improve the customer experience.
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