‘You can’t control your story on Amazon’: Retailers sound off on their biggest challenges
At Digiday’s Retail Forum in New York City on Thursday, more than 100 marketers gathered to hear from retailers like Rent the Runway, Away, Eloquii and Rothy’s that spoke on topics like competing with Amazon, controlling data and determining their return on investment when acquiring new customers.
During a town hall session, which operated under the Chatham House Rule, marketers debated their most pressing concerns. Here are the major takeaways:
“With some retailers, it’s really difficult to get feedback on how your product is performing in-store. That’s why we have people in stores. We get permission from our retailers to go into certain stores, and we intercept people in the aisles. We pre-recruit employees to talk to them, go into their homes and talk through their whole routines. We’re looking at everything — even at their eyes from the moment they enter the store. We go deep with these people.”
Doing more work in-house
“I’m super excited to build out an in-house team, but we have to make sure whoever we hire is supported because they have a lot to execute.”
“It’s hard to find exactly who we need. I interviewed five people in one week.”
“The things we do in-house, we get very excited because they can be done on an ongoing basis.”
“How people in-house work cross-functionally is really challenging.”
On getting the message right with consumers
“We’ve had to do damage control. There have been instances when the messages have been true to the company, but we missed on tone and the reaction was heated. We reached out in a very human way to say we understand where you’re coming from and then the next time around we changed our tone.”
On working with Amazon (or not)
“We have not been on Amazon because you can’t control your story, especially with a 100-year-old brand. That allowed us to revamp our e-commerce strategy. We knew that unless we invested in a new website, it wouldn’t warrant any spend to drive traffic there.”
“A lot of people outside the U.S. are not using Amazon. It’s a different market. If you’re headquartered in the U.S. but have offices in the U.K. or Asia, how do you scale that? They don’t have that global capability that you might expect from such a large company.”
“There are mixed feelings at the top whether we use it as a customer brand awareness platform. One thing is photography. To put a product on Amazon, we have to reshoot it specifically for them.”
“We’re not getting a lot of information from them on how we should launch on that platform, which makes it confusing.”
Member ExclusiveDespite hungry VCs, DTC brands are rethinking their fundraising approach
This is the latest installment of the DTC Briefing, a weekly Modern Retail column about the biggest challenges and trends facing the volatile direct-to-consumer startup world. Join Modern Retail+ to get access to the DTC briefing–as well as all articles, research and more. Before 2020, some founders and investors were starting to warn that most consumer […]
Member ExclusiveA cautionary tale: What the FTC’s attempt to block P&G’s Billie acquisition means for CPG startups
Thanks to record e-commerce sales, it’s been a good year for direct-to-consumer founders. Except, maybe, for founders of direct-to-consumer razor startups.
Member ExclusiveDTC brands are preparing for nightmare holiday shipping delays and out of stocks
After surviving the Black Friday rush, direct-to-consumer brands have a new challenge at hand: how to ensure their holiday sales aren't hampered by long shipping delays and going out of stock on certain items
SponsoredPeople-based identifiers are driving personalized customer experiences
Marketing teams are now well into 2021, and third-party cookies along with mobile ad IDs are officially on notice, which has implications for all marketers. Soon, cookie- and device-based targeting, frequency capping, measurement and attribution will break. Evolving privacy regulations and policy changes from browsers and device makers have sparked many proposed solutions to replace […]
Member ExclusiveDTC brands aren’t feeling the Black Friday pressure
In the five days following Thanksgiving, there's usually a wave of retailers offering anywhere from 20% to 50% off of their products. This year, that wave will feel more like a never-ending tsunami.
Member ExclusiveAs its ecosystem grows, companies are becoming reliant on Shopify for more parts of their business
Eight years ago, startups turned to Shopify primarily to sell products online. Now, a startup might turn to Shopify to help fulfill orders, get some cash for their business or use its point-of-sale system when it opens a physical store.