Retail salespeople are transforming themselves into social influencers

For decades, sales employees have been strictly floor workers: they interacted with customers browsing in stores, showcasing and pitching them items in order to make commissions. But as more and more customers continue to buy online, their mostly commission-based sales associates as not just charismatic employees but also people with social reach who can become potential drivers of site traffic.

Latest Stories

  • JUN 29, 2021

    Etsy sets its sights on Latin America with Elo7 acquisition

    Etsy is making a play for Brazil with its latest acquisition of the online marketplace Elo7. Latin America is a weak-spot for Etsy, and it's the latest signal, as Etsy seeks to build a "house of brands," that it is increasingly on acquisitions — rather than partnerships — for new customer acquisition.

  • JUN 29, 2021

    Facing an existential threat, link-in-bio companies are pivoting to direct selling

    Increasingly, link-in-bio companies are building digital storefronts, where anyone who clicks a link in bio can toggle through various products that a creator has for sale. It's a shift that not only helps the link services stay relevant but also represents the latest example of e-commerce and product discovery moving to social media.

  • JUN 23, 2021
    instagram affiliate

    Instagram and Shopify are poised to join the new affiliate link wars

    Instagram and Shopify appear to be entering the affiliate commissions race. It's a sign that the two companies are trying to disrupt Amazon’s dominance over product affiliate links.

  • JUN 23, 2021

    How Cuisinart managed wholesale relationships during peak demand

    Like many homeware brands, Cuisinart experienced a surge in popularity during lockdowns. The consumer demand for its products, especially trendy appliances like air fryers and bread makers, prompted Cuisinart to make some changes to how it works with retailers.

  • JUN 16, 2021

    Instacart is courting CPG brands by giving them more control over product display

    In early May, Instacart quietly added a new feature called “Product Library,” which lets brands whose products are bought and sold on Instacart edit how their products appear on the platform. The Product Library update might be small, but it showcases the extent to which Instacart, as it becomes an increasingly ad-focused company, has tried to make itself more friendly to brands.

  • JUN 15, 2021

    How City Hive is courting liquor shops with white label tools

    Digital alcohol delivery surged during lockdowns, with major players like Drizly and Minibar dominating sales within past year. However, smaller, niche platforms also found success in wooing local merchants. One startup that's offering liquor stores an alternative to big marketplaces is City Hive, which allows small businesses to provide white labeled pickup and delivery fulfillment.

  • JUN 11, 2021

    The fast fashion wars go mobile: How apps like Shein and Blushmark are challenging H&M and Zara

    Online-only, super-fast, super-cheap fashion dominated the pandemic, spurred by TikTok trends. Now, traditional fast fashion retailers will have to keep up. While brick-and-mortar retailers like H&M and Zara are struggling to return to pre-pandemic sales level, online-only fast fashion retailers like Blushmark and Shein are rising in popularity, becoming some of the most downloaded shopping apps in Apple's store. Taking cues from Blushmark and Shein, traditional retailers are reallocating investment to ecommerce, adding features like buy-now-and-pay-later to their sites, and expanding e-commerce to new geographies. Still, digital players have unique advantages of production in an online only model. 

  • JUN 07, 2021

    Startups are pitching auto-replenishment services as data collection tools

    While Amazon's Dash Replenishment might be the largest program in what remains a niche industry, a growing number of startups are pitching auto-replenishment systems to brands -- and to stand out, they’re making their case not on just the economic benefits of convincing customers to set auto reorders, but also on the potential consumer usage data that they can source.

  • MAY 27, 2021

    Google announces a slew of shopping updates to improve discovery for small brands

    On Thursday, Google announced a slew of new features aimed at making Google Shopping easier for brands to use and break away from the crowd. Google is adding integrations with WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square, allowing the products of brands using these platforms to automatically show up among Google's results.

  • MAY 24, 2021

    How Shein surpassed Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in the U.S.

    On May 17, Shein surpassed Amazon as the most downloaded iPhone shopping app in the US, something it had already done in Google Play downloads the week prior, according to analytics firm App Annie. The online-only retailer was formed in Nanjung, China, but ships its products, primarily inexpensive women’s apparel, to more than 220 countries worldwide. Researchers and consumers site innovative digital strategies and low-priced, trendy products that appeal to a Gen-Z mindset as key to the retailer’s success.

  • MAY 21, 2021

    Snapchat is doubling down on commerce features

    Snap isn't the only social platform making an aggressive e-commerce push. But Snap is looking to differentiate itself from rivals like Instagram by blending AR and e-commerce, making the purchasing process more experiential -- and potentially involving fewer returns -- than on other social platforms.

  • MAY 18, 2021

    Why some brands plan to participate in Facebook Live shopping events this summer

    Facebook is working with brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to make shopping on its platform more mainstream.

  • JUL 16, 2021

    Report: Brands that deliver exceptional customer experiences drive revenue growth

    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.

Modern Retail Livestream Commerce Trends
Jul 28, 2021

At Modern Retail’s Livestream Commerce Trends, we’ll explore how the growth of livestream and video shopping trends are transforming how retailers, brands and marketing teams are engaging with consumers in-stream and live across social and owned-and-operated websites.