As Trump's increased China tariffs continue to take a toll on the US economy, many smaller DTC businesses are faced with some tough choices. But for most, it's not simply as easy as moving manufacturing out of the country.
SmileDirectClub will soon be one of the few companies that started as an online-only, direct-to-consumer startup to make it to the public markets, setting the bar for what it will take for other DTC companies, particularly in the health care industry, to go public. On Friday SmileDirectClub -- which sells teeth alignment kits direct-to-consumer -- made its confidential IPO filing public, revealing that the company generated $423 million in revenue in 2018, with a net loss of $74.8 million.
It's become one of the most talked-about subjects in the DTC world: one of the biggest challenges brands face today is the rising cost of customer acquisition, particularly on digital channels like Facebook and Google. But, the customer acquisition challenges DTC brands face goes beyond cost, and as such, it will take more than just an advertising channel offering low CPMs to win them over.
After gathering customer insight from subscribers around the types of wines they prefer over Vinebox’s past three-and-a-half years, and seeing users buying more cases of the individual pours outside of the three-month delivery cycle, Vinebox founder Matt Dukes launched Usual Wines, a private-label brand of wines made in-house. Usual wines, which launched eight months ago, are sold in packs of six and can be bought online and at Usual’s first branded store and wine bar in San Francisco.
Wine company Winc just launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on the Seedinvest platform, in the hopes that it can raise a Series D fund with the help of its fanbase. Winc has raised nearly $50 million from traditional investors. Now, it's turning to everyday people with some extra cash to spare asking them to invest in the growing company too. It's a rare move for the alcohol space, but follows in the footsteps of a few interesting brands.
On Wednesday, Gin Lane announced that it is shutting down its agency work, and rebranding to Pattern. Pattern will launch its own brands and operate them under one holding company, joining the long line of agencies that have tried to launch their own products.
Home insurance startup Hippo just reached unicorn status. Since the very beginning, the company worked with the branding agency Work & Co to help craft and evolve its strategy and products. While many upstart DTC brands sing the praises of bringing all branding in-house, this provides a helpful example of an agency partnership that helped a company be worth more than $1 billion.
Many DTC brands are no longer happy selling just products. Instead, they're expanding into services and platforms. But is this strategy to scale achievable or just empty promises to investors?
Most digitally-native retail brands start small, but as they grow they increasingly need to scale their customer service program. Recent headlines from growing companies like Rent the Runway illustrate the growing need DTCs have for centralized and proactive customer service programs.
A new boom of technology partners have seen an opportunity to seize on this next-stage DTC opportunity: Scale is difficult, and brands, despite product market fit and a customer base, might sink left on their own.
Outdoor Voices is dipping its toes further into the editorial game. The athleisure brand launched today a content marketing platform, The Recreationalist, which includes a blog and a zine. Outdoor Voices' overall mission, according to the brand, is to "get the world moving" and to "free fitness from performance." The Recreationalist will be speaking to that ethos as a hub of "guidance, inspiration and motivation."
More e-commerce companies are having trouble filling ordered quickly and efficiently. While big retailers try to build out logistics programs to rival Amazon, third-party providers are seeing a growing opportunity to target the high-end direct-to-consumer space.
More businesses are forgoing CMOs and looking toward more digitally savvy talent to lead marketing. The problem is: It's unclear if there's enough talent to meet the growing need.
As a number of startups are now competing to build more modern stores for direct-to-consumer brands, they are starting to think about how they can help these brands grow beyond just giving them a space to sell their product. Startups like Bulletin, Neighborhood Goods and Showfields increasingly want to build solutions to help brands grow online and offline.
Direct-to-consumer health care brands are starting to grow up, but still face an uncertain road ahead as some doctors express concern about the rapid growth of telemedicine. Companies like Ro and Hims, which got their starts selling generic erectile dysfunction and hair loss medication respectively direct-to-consumer, have now grown to encompass multiple brands
Digital messaging is central to human communication, yet most customer support teams sound deeply inhuman on digital platforms. To connect with modern consumers, it's crucial to get conversational through text, email and social — but without getting invasive. Download the guide to learn how.
Join us at the Modern Retail Summit, where retail marketers will discuss everything from the Amazon effect, new infrastructure and the shift in the direct-to-consumer world.Buy Passes