There's a rising supply of direct-to-consumer brands eager to hand over money to agencies to help them with their Facebook marketing. In the latest edition of our Confessions series, in which we offer anonymity in exchange for candor, we speak to a former marketer who cycled through several agencies -- ultimately landing at one that focused mostly on direct-to-consumer brands -- before going freelance.
While other retailers like Target and Walmart have consolidated the number of apps they offer in recent years, Nike has centered its app strategy around building a handful of apps to serve specifics audiences. There's Nike's main app, Nike+, to which Nike has added more features in recent years to make it easier to shop in-store. SNKRS targets sneakerheads with limited edition product drops, while Nike Train Club and Nike Run Club are marketed towards fitness fanatics who want an app to help them manage their workouts. In total, Nike has more than 170 million users across its family of apps.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Retail media is rich with data that the right team of analysts and strategists can help you unpack to better understand how your investment at retail is driving bottom lines. One metric doesn’t fit all; in fact, a combination of KPIs might be necessary to fully grasp sales success.
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