Williams-Sonoma-owned homewares brand West Elm announced a program called the West Elm Collective. The company described it as an ambassador program that lets West Elm work with both bigger and smaller online celebrities, giving them their own storefronts to feature select items.
The messages app is starting to replace the email inbox as the most sought-after piece of digital real estate among brands and retailers. Using text messages to promote sales or new product launches are the most popular tactics, but marketers are still trying to figure out what kinds of text messages people would actually want to receive from them.
Over half a dozen ad platforms -- including Bidstack, Frameplay, AdInMo and InMobi -- offer some version of an in-game ad service, and they are increasingly attracting the attention of major companies. In the past few months, Postmates, Burberry, Axe, Burger King, Asda and 7 Eleven have all run ads within video games like Off the Rails 3D and Gravity Zero -- suggesting that in-game advertising, while still very niche, is becoming a real consideration in retail marketing.
Major brick-and-mortar players have begun investing in live-stream shopping -- with Walmart testing out TikTok livestreams and Nordstrom beginning to roll out their own livestream platforms. But the phenomenon is not new in the U.S. -- small businesses have been building sizable livestream audiences for years, especially on Facebook. Yet the reaction from businesses has been mixed -- and some remain leery of selling directly on the platform, opting instead to let third-party apps handle their sales.
The days of the Facebook whiz who can type out a few keystrokes and acquire thousands of customers thanks to an algorithmically-provided lookalike may be numbered. And brands that have relied solely on quick and easy digital customer acquisition tricks to grow their businesses face a tough road ahead.
As retail brands look for new ways to collect consumer information outside of social feeds, rewards programs are becoming an appealing method to do so. In recent months, several brands have launched or announced loyalty programs meant to reward repeat customers in exchange for feedback and data.
Right now retail media is defined by an arms race between Amazon and Walmart. However, challengers like Target and CVS are looking to compete with their own offerings.
Google’s new commerce features, including the company’s recent video-shopping platform Shoploop and its checkout option Buy On Google, have by most accounts attracted the interest of very few brands. Yet a new feature that serves products in YouTube videos, if it is rolled out more widely, is already exciting agencies -- and, in the eyes of brands, it might help boost the value of YouTube as a shopping platform.
After a year of adapting to online sales and delivery, the alcohol space is planning long-term digital strategies to cater to customers' new tastes. The latest move by Bacardi is a recipe-focused app called Mix Lab, featuring bartender-led tutorials and ingredient recommendations. In the longterm, the company's brand of portfolios can use it to market and sell their products.
After a year in which many subway and airport ad placements sat idle, some startups are beginning to dust the cobwebs off of their out-of-home strategies. This week, Glossier launched an ad campaign with an out-of-home component that's betting on people returning to the movies. Other startups are waiting to see whether an uptick they say they are waiting to see a larger uptick in people taking the subway or flying on a plane before committing to any out-of-home campaigns
Over the last 12 months, the game We're Not Really Strangers has amassed nearly 3 million followers on TikTok. What’s most impressive is that it has created a successful brand account largely through its own content, rather than relying heavily on a network of paid influencers to boost its numbers -- and in doing so, WNRS is trailblazing a way for smaller brands to become not just savvy partners for influencers but also successful content creators in their own right.
Direct mail marketing is nothing new. Yet the strategy to send print catalogs to customers homes is becoming more popular among brands and retailers. In recent years, DTC brands have successfully tested out direct mail to acquire and retain customers. With people stuck at home due to the coronavirus and the volatile digital advertising market, the traditional method is getting even more traction.
Snapchat -- much like TikTok -- is positioning itself as a more commerce-friendly space. Companies like Target and Dior now have Brand Profiles, as do dozens of others pre-approved brands, but more are likely to follow. The introduction of shoppable AR filters seems to be a particular draw -- and through its Brand Profiles, Snapchat appears to be making itself the proof of concept for shoppable AR as a future medium of commerce.
For the past decade, Instagram has dominated the marketing strategies of DTC brands trying to reach younger customers. Now, new startups like skincare brand Habit are finding reason to focus on the Gen Z-friendly TikTok, in hopes of becoming less reliant on Instagram and parent company Facebook.
Over the past few years, Google has been testing out a variety of ad formats designed with e-commerce companies in mind. Now, it's starting to slowly change some of those advertising formats. These moves are indicative of Google's current strategy: streamlining its shopping advertising formats in favor of making it easier for merchants to run campaigns, as well as to run ads across more Google properties.
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