Instacart just announced a deal with C&S Wholesale Grocers that represents 3,000 smaller stores. It's part of the delivery apps strategy to focus less on the bigger grocery players and more on the independent mom and pop ones that don't have the capital to build out their own e-commerce program. Instacart isn't the only platform vying for this piece of the grocery pie, and it remains to be seen whether these businesses are enough for the digital services to become sustainable.
Stitch Fix’s decision to lay off the majority of its California-based stylists is something that the company has been discussing for over a year, the company told impacted stylists on Monday. In a recording obtained by Modern Retail, the company explained its reasoning behind the layoffs. Stylists spoke about the ordeal and the lack of transparency.
Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson, who co-founded the coffee brand in 2018, spoke to Modern Retail about running a growing coffee brand. Their strategy helped Blk & Bold become the top selling coffee on Amazon during the pandemic, along with national distribution at Target and Whole Foods. While other coffee companies focus on placements in shops, Blk & Bold went a different route and went all in on retail.
Both businesses and consumers are seeking out more flexible payments options. E-commerce platforms like Shopify and Alibaba are building out their own features -- granting both consumers and merchants more flexible payments options. Shoppers utilize these services to finance purchases without the use of credit cards; small online retailers are increasingly being offered the ability to procure or produce inventory without fronting large sums of money.
Alibaba unveiled new features for its U.S B-to-B platform, including flexible payments terms and expanded shipping options. It's a small move in a growing SMB war. Platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, Shopify and even Google and Facebook are all trying to woo more small businesses on their platforms. There's no clear winner yet, but all are unveiling new offers to bring in more customers.
Off-price retailers have historically ignored e-commerce, because their shoppers have proven that they still prefer visiting a store to search through piles of inventory in order to find a good deal. However, the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the shortcomings of that approach. Nordstrom's latest earnings highlights this strategic misstep.
King Arthur's flour has been flying off the shelves -- both in grocery stores and digitally. The company has seen record website traffic and its DTC sales have doubled. To deal with this influx, the centuries-old flour brand has had to quickly adapt. Modern Retail spoke with its vp of marketing about how King Arthur's digital strategy has shifted and what the future of flour sales will look like.
JCPenney was once an e-commerce leader. Then the department store made a series of strategic missteps. During its most recent quarterly earnings report, the company posted $3.4 billion in sales, an 8% decrease from the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, the company owes $4 billion in debt. Now, it's filing for bankruptcy. How did JCPenney get here? Looking at its failed digital strategy helps illuminate some bigger systemic problems.
Branch Basics normally signs up about 900 new customers a week. In March and April, that number sometimes jumped to 1,400. But Branch Basics isn't the only subscription startup that saw a bump in new subscribers over the past month or two. This uptick in new customers for subscription services correlates with stay-at-home orders being issued across the U.S.
As retailers prepare to reopen their stores in select states, many of them are offering curbside pick-up services for the first time in order to cater to shoppers who are hesitant about entering stores. While curbside pickup has some of the same appeal as buy online pickup in-store, it's a bit more logistically complicated to pull off.
As the coronavirus upends consumer behavior, it presents a double-edged sword for Shopify, which powers the e-commerce sites of more than 1 million merchants. As more shopping takes place online while stores are closed, the digitally-native companies that run on Shopify could be well positioned to capture a large portion of this spending. But first, Shopify needs to make sure that these e-commerce companies, many of whom also have stores, survive the enormous hit to their offline sales.
Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra said Posh Stories, its version of the short video format, is expected to replicate the success that social shopping has achieved in markets like China.
With many businesses closed, CPG brands are seeming sales plummet. Indeed, Coke just reported that it saw a 25% sales volume drop earlier this month. As a result, many bigger brands are likely trying to rethink their digital strategies -- and are looking to adopt more direct-to-consumer programs.
Amazon's decision in March to temporarily stop accepting shipments of non-essential goods to its warehouses left many sellers in limbo. That presents a new opportunity for other marketplaces like eBay, Walmart, Target and Google to woo over dissatisfied sellers. Earlier this week, Google announced that it would be now making it free for merchants to sell their products on Google Shopping. Previously, merchants were charged on a cost-per-click basis.
Growing coalitions between brands via community and content is one bet for them to survive. During the pandemic, they're "banding together to weather the storm."
To engage users and improve customer profiling, CPG brands are closely studying consumers as they begin to research products on the company's website.
At the Modern Retail Virtual Forum, we’ll bring together senior retail marketers online to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking in the era of smarter retail.Buy Passes