The CPG field is proving to be too difficult to disrupt. After years of growing its footprint, both online and at national retailers, sparkling water startup Ugly Drinks has quietly shut down operations.
Over the past two years, live commerce has become a bigger part of many brands and retailers' marketing playbook. TalkShopLive, which has an ongoing partnership with Walmart and Shopify, is tapping into the trend by courting DTC founders to appear on their shows.
Niche marketplaces that bring Asian snacks and other grocery items to consumers across the U.S. are witnessing a gold rush. Yami, a direct-to-consumer marketplace for Asian food and other products, announced last week that it raised $50 million in Series B funding. It's the latest Asian e-grocer to nab venture capital funding in recent months.
The past two years have been a boon for e-commerce companies. But that success has brought with it a double-edged sword. In order to meet the insatiable demand for online shopping, e-commerce brands have had to buy more inventory. And that’s gotten more complicated, and more expensive over the past few years for a variety of reasons, with bootstrapped brands bearing the brunt of the costs.
This week marked the start of one of the biggest industry tradeshows: Shoptalk, where executives at direct-to-consumer startups will find no shortage of proclamations over what the future of retail looks like. At this year’s event, terms like metaverse and Web3 continue to edge their way into the mainstream, but events like Shoptalk also provide a window into how the e-commerce landscape has evolved.
Harry's is releasing a new ad campaign today to re-introduce customers to the benefits of its razors. Its co-CEO Jeff Raider spoke with Modern Retail about the company's growth, as well as the razor market as a whole.
As one of the earlier examples of direct-to-consumer brands, The Sill has been growing gradually over the past decade. The company, which has wholesale partnerships and its own stores, saw exponential online sales during the pandemic. Founder Eliza Blank explained how digitized stores and customer service-focused website are helping grow the plant business sustainably.
As more venture capitalists turn their attention toward e-commerce tech startups and away from DTC brands, newer investors say they want consumer startups to rethink the valuations they raise at. Willow Growth Partners, founded by Deborah Benton and Amanda Schutzbank, is one such fund. Benton, the former COO of both Nasty Gal and ShoeDazzle, said in an interview with Modern Retail that she became disenchanted in recent years after seeing many startups that “had raised too much capital at too high valuations."
To prevent inventory backlogs in the future, Fable is looking to co-invest in machinery with its manufacturers to make its production process more efficient and is now reassessing its product’s design elements to make it easier to produce.
For direct-to-consumer furniture brand Sabai, sustainability reigns. The brand, which launched in the summer of 2019, has seen year-over-year growth -- much that spurred by pandemic-led home boom. According to co-founder and CEO Phantila Phataraprasit, much of its growth was thanks to increased interest in sustainability.
Once known as a hub for cellphone accessories, mall kiosks are becoming a viable way for DTC brands to test new retail locations. Austrian hydration brand Waterdrop is one such brand, and it's currently using the format to expand in the U.S.
There have been a handful of big industry trade events stacked up within weeks of each other. Meanwhile, online chatter among DTC executives in recent weeks has been centered around the shows. But, what everyone is still trying to figure out is how much to invest in these events.
Like other legacy brands that relied on wholesale retail in past years, Lenovo is trying to establish its direct-to-consumer presence. As a tech gadget brand, the company is leaning on Google search and paid ads to reach specific consumer segments and fold them into its DTC channel.
Between 2018 and 2019 three startups -- Naked Retail Group, Neighborhood Goods and Showfields -- all launched with the goal of creating a more modern retail experience that catered to the rise of direct-to-consumer startups. There was evidence that this model could scale: a more well-established competitor, B8ta had raised $50 million, had grown to roughly 20 stores, and had even earned the stamp of approval from a traditional department store: Macy’s. But three years later, not all of these startups have stuck around.
After purely being a digital player, men’s skincare brand Lumin is ready to join physical retail. This comes after the company experienced a 50% revenue increase in 2021 from 2020.
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