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Modern Retail Research: Brands and retailers are once again making investments for the future

We're now a year out since the pandemic first hit, and brands and retailers are beginning to make more concerted steps to grow their businesses. According to a recent Modern Retail and Glossy survey, 42% of brands are already spending more on advertising than they were during the past year. That is to say, companies are beginning to think about growth rather than survival.

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  • MAR 04, 2021

    Increasing losses, stiffer competition and apparel woes: ThredUp’s S-1 annotated

    ThredUp is about to go public, but it faces stiff competition. What ThredUp says makes it different from the rest is its back-end business model intended to help retailers facilitate their own resale services. In its S-1 the platform went to great lengths to showcase its ability to diversify revenue by offering these back-end services. Still, ThredUp faces a tough road ahead. Its losses continue to mount and 2020 was not friendly to the apparel industry.

  • MAR 01, 2021

    How Hulu fits into DTC brands’ TV advertising strategies

    As direct-to-consumer brands shift more of their marketing dollars towards television, streaming platforms like Hulu are also starting to take up a greater portion of their time and energy. Last year, lingerie startup ThirdLove did two custom sponsorships with Hulu, tied to two Hulu original series, Little Fires Everywhere and Mrs. America. Based on the success of those campaigns, ThirdLove vp of marketing Rebecca Traverzo said the company plans to pursue more custom sponsorships in the future. Meanwhile, telehealth platform Ro recently incorporated Hulu into its Valentine's Day campaign.

  • FEB 23, 2021
    dtc startup

    DTC Briefing: How brands use quizzes as a customer service and data collection tool

    One of the most frequently touted advantages of going direct-to-consumer is the ability to collect more data on customers. And one of the most straightforward ways companies can do that is by getting customers to fill out a quiz. But as executives at brands like ThirdLove and Clare told Modern Retail, there's more to creating a successful quiz than just following a Buzzfeed-like template.

  • FEB 22, 2021

    Housing, sleep and customer service: What Amazon’s investments say about its future

    In the aggregate, onlookers can draw out broad themes for how a company like Amazon sees itself, based on its investment history. And in Amazon’s case, though those signals are murky, they point to a few of the company’s areas of interest -- including an increased focus on fulfillment and delivery, plus growing fascinations with customer service, sleep and smart home devices. Here, we map out a few potential patterns in Amazon’s investments from the past five years.

  • FEB 19, 2021

    Unpacked: Everything retailers need to know about headless commerce

    As e-commerce has grown into a bigger industry, brands now have more ways to build their online stores than ever before. One type of e-commerce architecture that's being talked about more is headless commerce. At its most basic level, headless commerce means that the architecture for the front-end of the website from the back-end, which gives companies more control over how their website looks and runs.

  • FEB 12, 2021

    What’s fueling the new crop of DTC marketplaces

    This week's DTC briefing delves into what's fueling a new crop of new sites that are trying to be both a marketplace and a reviews site for direct-to-consumer brands. At least early on, these sites are better designed to help brands tell their stories, rather than to help customers figure out, for example, which DTC swimsuit brand to buy. And, a Q&A with Win Brands Group co-founder and CEO Kyle Widrick.

  • FEB 09, 2021

    Everything you need to know about Amazon’s fashion ambitions

    In the past two years, Amazon has rolled out a suite of fashion-tech features, all in the hopes of finding new ways to draw in fashion customers. The pace of innovation is furious, with new features popping up nearly every month -- yet while some of those features have already disappeared and might amount to throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, they have, in the aggregate, grown Amazon's fashion clout. Here's a look at some of Amazon's high-profile fashion launches over the past year and a half.

  • FEB 05, 2021

    Why checkout is the next e-commerce battleground

    As the number of purchases made online grows, so has the number of startups selling businesses on their checkout experience like Bolt and Fast. Meanwhile, established companies like Shopify and Apple are trying to push greater adoption of their own digital wallet. All are trying to convince direct-to-consumer startups and other e-commerce brands that if they use their incrementally better checkout system, it will result in huge increases in conversion rates and average order values -- but the reality is that only a few will become the go-to checkout options for most consumers.

  • FEB 04, 2021

    How Facebook, Google, TikTok and others are trying to win over e-commerce advertisers

    There's a fierce competition brewing amongst the major social media companies to win over the advertising budgets of e-commerce companies. Facebook, Google, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat are always testing out new advertising formats, but within the past couple of years, these companies have increasingly focused on testing out new ad formats and features designed with e-commerce companies in mind. Modern Retail has laid out all the different ways that these companies are trying to win over more e-commerce brands.

  • JAN 29, 2021

    Why 2021 is a make or break year for DTC SPACs

    Within the past month, a number of new SPACs focused on the consumer sector have emerged. Some consumer investors are looking at SPACs as a way for them to get more involved with later-stage companies, and if their SPAC does well, it could give them a competitive advantage over other venture firms. But as more SPACs launch, they'll be more competition to win over the best candidates poised to go public.

  • JAN 26, 2021

    How Apple’s iOS14 update will impact e-commerce companies

    An Apple iPhone update is about to upend the advertising strategies of e-commerce companies. The update has the greatest implications for app developers, but it also will significantly impact e-commerce companies who spend most of their advertising money on Facebook and other mobile ads. Here's what every e-commerce company needs to know about the iOS14 update, and how to prepare for it.

  • JAN 22, 2021

    A year out, DTC startups are still facing huge supply chain woes

    Last year, many direct-to-consumer startups saw record sales -- but they also struggled to produce and ship enough product to keep up with customer demand. If the first few weeks of 2021 are any indication, those issues are likely to continue well into the new year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, startups have been scrambling to find ways to speed up production, mostly by adding more suppliers and placing orders for products further in advance. A year later, and the problems persist.

  • JUL 16, 2021
    Sponsored

    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.

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