Every brand under the TechStyle umbrella is powered by FashionOS, TechStyle’s proprietary technology platform that powers the e-commerce sites, in-store tech and point-of-sale, customer service, fulfillment centers, media buying, customer acquisition and data science and analytics.
Robin Li, principal at GGV Capital, believes that as more e-commerce and direct-to-consumer brands are looking to diversify their marketing mixes, they should be more open about sharing what's working for them on different channels.
Since San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures launched its first venture fund in 2010, the firm has backed some of the fastest-growing direct-to-consumer startups in recent years, from Bonobos to Away to Glossier. Now, as there are DTC brands in every category from toothpaste to pet food, Forerunner is making a more diverse array of investments in commerce. This year for example, Forerunner started investing in more companies like supply chain company Attabottics and returns startup Narvar that help address the logistical challenges these DTC brands face as they scale.
As Ro, the parent company of telemedicine brands Ro, Rory and Zero, looks to diversify its marketing mix, the company is looking to partner more with institutions that its target audience already trusts. Earlier this month, Roman, its men's focused brand which sells generic hair loss and erectile dysfunction medication over the internet, announced that it signed a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball to sponsor its television and digital media coverage around Father's Day.
Physical retail strategies have become integral to the growth of direct-to-consumer brands, as they seek out customers they can't reach online. Members of the first generation of DTC, like Warby Parker and Casper now have aggressive store expansion plans. Home goods brand Parachute is one such brand that's undergoing a rapid physical expansion.
It’s Tim Armstrong’s belief that everything, eventually, will be direct-to-consumer, and he sees the issues currently burdening the DTC category as symptomatic of a burgeoning industry trying to grow up. There will be a tech-like shakeout, yes, but the successful brands in the space are rewriting the rules of how consumer companies develop product and market to customers, because at their cores, they actually know who their customers are.
Outdoor Voices' vp of technology Kevin Harwood discussed Outdoor Voices' in-store strategy, what kind of results it has seen from Instagram Checkout and how the brand is thinking about investing in mobile and personalization.
In the past, Foot Locker had to figure out how to market products from companies like Adidas and Nike after it had already been created. Now, CMO Jed Berger and Foot Locker are working more closely with vendors to develop product exclusively for their stores, using customer data and insight from Berger’s marketing team that its vendor partners don’t have access to.
For custom apparel brand Indochino, the preference for proprietary extends beyond its products. The 12-year-old, Vancouver-based business does most of its media buying in-house, and has for most of the company's history. In 2017, it built its own attribution system to better determine the effectiveness of different marketing channels and unite online and offline data. And it operates off of its own proprietary point-of-sale system that it's installed in all 45 of its showrooms across the U.S. and Canada.
A growing number of health and beauty brands are turning to cloud-based systems that can handle customer, financial and inventory data across all processes, from production to payment.
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