When Dan Levitan, along with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, launched consumer-focused venture capital fund Maveron in 1998, the pair decided on eBay as their first investment. Maveron's thesis was that technology was going to play a bigger role consumers' lives and how they buy products. At the time, that meant getting in early on marketplace startups, where customers could for the first time buy from a wide selection of products online. Today, it means that brands are able to go from "obscurity to ubiquity" in an unprecedented amount of time, thanks in large parts to investments in digital media like Facebook and Google.
In February, Target announced that it was launching a third-party marketplace called Target+ to grow its online assortment in areas like home, toys, electronics and sporting goods. At the time, Target's chief marketing and digital officer Rick Gomez said in a blog post that the marketplace was "in its earliest stages," and that Target would keep the program invite-only to focus on building curated assortment. Still, six months later, the amount of products available through Target+ remains limited.
Attribution has been a sore spot for brands, especially those that are diversifying their marketing mixes, for years. There are many different methods to figuring out attribution. One that's increasingly popular is "fractional attribution." And for so-called DTC brands, who are now diversifying their ad spend beyond Facebook and Google, they're more likely to allocate their marketing dollars based on a fractional attribution model instead of last-click or click-based attribution model.
As direct-to-consumer brands have come to dominate the new retail landscape, they've also brought with them a new set of vocabulary. Many of these terms -- CAC, LTV, AOV -- are important for any retail company, regardless of whether or not they sell directly through their website or not. But they've become increasingly important to DTC companies, particularly the ones who have taken on venture capital funding.
As direct-to-consumer brands grow up and spend more money on traditional marketing channels, figuring out how effective each of these marketing channels are becomes a much more challenging process. When brands start spending on channels like direct mail or television, they can no longer just count on the number of clicks to determine what's working. And that's where multi-touch attribution comes in.
When five-year-old startup Eight Sleep released a new product in February, a $1,995 smart mattress that offers dynamic temperature adjustment, the company used the launch to kick off a "pretty intense testing phase" of new marketing channels, according to senior vice president of growth Ori Klein.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in California, is just the most recent action eBay has taken against Amazon. In it, eBay singles out three Amazon representatives who, the suit claims, used eBay’s internal seller messaging system to poach sellers. Beyond those three representatives, the effort involved a network of Amazon reps in multiple countries that conspired to approach eBay’s sellers on the platform and convince them to join Amazon.
Amazon’s second-quarter sales for 2019 saw net sales increase 20%, to $63.4 billion, compared to $52.9 billion over the same period last year. Jeff Bezos, in remarks to investors, attributed the sales growth to a positive customer response to Amazon’s push to one-day Prime shipping.
Alibaba wants US small-to-medium sized business to use its platform to sell wholesale. It's a clear move to both enter the North American market and compete with Amazon. The question remains: will US companies be interested?
Brands that have participated in Amazon's one-year emerging brands program, which encompasses the initiative to launch DTC startup brands on Amazon, said they get access to a level of customer service and account management that others sellers don’t, and the participation opens doors to more opportunities working with Amazon.
Big-box retailers like Target and Walmart increasingly want their stores to double as fulfillment centers. They see their existing store footprints as one of the biggest advantages they have over Amazon, which has had to build more than 100 fulfillment centers in order to enable next-day delivery on millions of products for Amazon Prime members. But, there are limitations on just how much the store can do.
Amazon announced yesterday that it's shutting down all of its pop-up stores, as its brick-and-mortar strategy continues to evolve.
Join us at the Modern Retail DTC Summit, where we’ll dive deep into what it means to be a DTC brand, speaking with leaders in the space about how their business models have shifted and what they’re focusing on now.Book Passes