PrimeTime: Amazon’s private-label apparel brands grow, but don’t sell, “Online Stores” business decelerates; Amazon launches new benefits for Business Prime, debuts two private-label home goods brands; Walmart opens tech-driven store to compete with Amazon

The latest news on everything Amazon   Apparel brands account for 88% of Amazon’s private labels, but only 1% of private-label sales, according to a report by Jungle Scout, an Amazon Product Finder and Research Tool. Largely womenswear,…


PrimeTime: Amazon expands brick-and-mortar footprint, erases Instacart branding at Whole Foods, receives criticism for its Vine program

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon now operates approximately 629 brick-and-mortar stores, which includes Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Whole Foods and Treasure Trucks. The Whole Foods acquisition alone added 480 retail locations to…


The Grinds: Pinterest strives to make pins more shoppable, Sunday Riley receives criticism for fake reviews, RSE Ventures is creating an empire, Patagonia gets political

Pinterest strives to make pins more shoppable, and its advertising business more profitable. What happened Pinterest users that click on a home- or style-related pin—that is, an image with a description and link to the original online source, the…


The Grinds: Macy’s and Revolve institutionalize influencer marketing, Re:Store merges affordable retail space with coworking, SoulCycle goes live, Ulta partners with men’s grooming brand Oars + Alps

Macy’s and Revolve graduate their influencer marketing strategies into more institutionalized forms. What happened Influencer marketing continues to blossom—in 2018, 84% of advertisers noted that influencers were included in their marketing…


PrimeTime: Snapchat debuts visual product search in partnership with Amazon; Amazon launches 70 new products, debuts visual-centric shopping service, gains speed in its advertising business, plans to expand Amazon Go, launches exclusive diaper brand

The latest news on everything Amazon   Snapchat debuted a new visual product search feature that allows users to photograph an item or scan a barcode and scroll through similar items via Amazon. Each product includes an image, its name,…


The Grinds: Brands diversify ad spend; Nordstrom launches influencer-driven, private-label brand; Gap will debut men’s activewear brand; Bumble goes into beauty

Billboards, stickers and other non-traditional ads grow in popularity as more brands diversify. What happened “Out of home” advertising—billboards, ads on public transportation and in other public venues like sports stadiums—now comprise 7% of…


Marketing a social mission: The complexities of Nike and Citibank’s socially-minded campaigns

In today’s hyper-globalized and -politicized world, more consumer product companies are seeking to align with initiatives that ameliorate society and the world, either at inception or later in their life cycle. Whether environmental sustainability,…


Smile, You’re on Camera — with Rachel Silver of Love Stories TV

#88. Love Stories TV broadcasts wedding videos and the filmmakers, venues and vendors that make them possible. We talk with founder Rachel Silver about how the company identified a missed opportunity in wedding videos, rather than photography, and…


PrimeTime: Amazon launched Amazon Advertising, plans to open Amazon Go in New York; J.Crew will sell J.Crew Mercantile on Amazon, Amazon’s smaller vendors are beginning to divert products to other ecommerce platforms

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon launched Amazon Advertising, replacing Amazon Marketing Services, though the products and services offered remain the same. The rebrand emerges at a time when Amazon’s advertising business is…


The Grinds: Starbucks attempts to win over Italy, Ritual fails to live up to transparency claims, Mattel launches film division, Instagram may launch a separate shopping app

Starbucks attempts to win over Italy, opening a roastery in Milan. What happened Thirty-five years ago—long before becoming Starbucks’ CEO—Howard Schultz, then a marketing director for the brand, visited Milan and returned transfixed by the idea of…


Roasted — with Kara Cohen of Dripkit

#86. Dripkit makes artisan drip coffee that's accessible both at home and on the go. We talk with co-founder Kara Cohen about how her company is filling the void between instant coffee and retail coffee without sacrificing quality for convenience.…


PrimeTime: Amazon is uniting its advertising business on a single platform, extends back-to-school season; Kroger debuts a new grocery delivery service

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon is uniting its advertising business on a single platform, regardless of whether advertisers seek to sell their products directly to Amazon or directly to shoppers as third-party sellers. The…


The Grinds: Ipsy unveils members-only beauty ecommerce site, Boutique and vintage vendors turn to Instagram, Retailers invite brands to advertise with package inserts, MoviePass acquires Moviefone

Ipsy, queen of the beauty subscription box, unveils Shopper, a members-only, direct-to-consumer site. What happened Ipsy, a subscription service that began in 2011, sends members Glam Bags, which include a personalized bounty of five full- and/or…


PrimeTime: Amazon sets record with Prime Day, expands advertising business; Whole Foods expands delivery service through Prime Now, Counterfeit brands hurt smaller vendors on Amazon, Best Buy differentiates itself with in-home advisors, Walmart plans to launch streaming service

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon now holds 49% of the ecommerce market, miles away from eBay’s 6.6% and Walmart’s 3.7%. The company exercised this muscle on July 16-17 for Prime Day, which saw 54% more sales in the first four…


Singin’ in the Rain — with Jackie De Jesu of SHHHOWERCAP

#80. SHHHOWERCAP is not your grandma’s shower cap. We talk with founder Jackie De Jesu about reinventing an antiquated product for use both in and out of the shower—a cross between fashion-forward headwear and waterproof functionality. The Loose…


Does Amazon understand customer experience more than most brands?

More than 50% of product searches now begin on Amazon. This week we wrote about how the company has won over consumers' wallets by prioritizing convenience and functionality over design—and what other brands should do about it.


Do DNVBs exist anymore? Revisiting the buzzword

Andy Dunn coined the term DNVB—digitally-native vertical brand—in 2016. The clearest possible reading of the addition of the word “vertical” is that it means “control,” akin to the idea of vertical integration, in which a company controls various…


Money has flowed into digitally-native brands. When will it flow out?

As heavily-funded brands, Honest Company and Harry’s were once thought to be the new guard of digitally-native retail, along with many other companies that have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital. But what has become of…


Beyond marketing: How Bonobos, Lush, Sephora and Nike are attempting to ingrain inclusive values into their business models

Though the number of brands has mushroomed since the digital boom, the vast majority of new brands are founded in coastal urban areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The specificity of their geography and the values and ideas that…


Disney World: How Disney used entertainment and hospitality to build an ecosystem, both online and offline

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


The Grinds: Instagram launches in-app payments, Sephora opens its second Studio, Online returns are hurting landlords, Birchbox sells a majority stake to one of its investors

Instagram launches in-app payments for select brands, which could substantially increase its share of commerce. What happened For the in-app payments, an extension of Facebook Payments, Instagram allows users to create a profile that includes their…


Dear Fenty Beauty: One Thing I Would Do

Fenty sprung onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere—a brand built on inclusivity, with an unprecedentedly wide assortment of SKUs for people of all different skin colors. Filling this long-time void in the market, Rihanna and your team created one…


All-Inclusive — with Fran Dunaway of TomboyX

#70. TomboyX makes underwear and other essential products for everyone, regardless of gender, size, geography or economic status. We talk with Fran Dunaway, who founded the company with her partner Naomi after struggling to find a brand that spoke…


PrimeTime: Amazon will sell an Echo Dot for kids, raise its annual Prime membership fee, stream Thursday Night Football, double its credit line, sell Chico’s apparel; Amazon is attempting to win over HQ2 finalists and growing its retail business with profits from AWS and advertising; Private equity firms want to consolidate top Amazon sellers

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon will begin selling the Echo Dot Kids Edition in May 2018—a smaller device with a protective case, two-year warranty, and a year of the FreeTime Unlimited Family Plan, including child-oriented…


The Grinds: Walmart plans to redesign site, Click-to-buy morphs into click-to-buy-and-make, b8ta expands “retail as a service,” Domino’s delivers to customers en route

Walmart is making its website more sleek, but where does that leave Jet? What happened Walmart, which continues to devote more resources to its ecommerce operation, plans to debut a resigned website that spotlights its higher-end brands and…


PrimeTime: Whole Foods may offer discount to Prime members; Amazon Video falls behind Netflix, YouTube and Hulu; Amazon launches Home Assistants; Trump may seek to regulate Amazon; Amazon Spark is failing, Amazon is collecting state sales tax, but leaving out cities

The latest news on everything Amazon   Whole Foods may offer Prime members a 10% discount, based on signs advertising the offer were seen in the grocery chain’s flagship Austin store. Since the Amazon acquisition, benefits to Whole Foods…


The Grinds: Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté, Nordstrom family ends buyout effort, ThredUp wants to create a consignment ecosystem, Google launches new advertising program online with its AI assistant

Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté—a coveted and surprising addition to the beauty retailer that mixes high and low. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Ulta Beauty,…


PrimeTime: Amazon.com lockers at Whole Foods lead to more short-term grocery visits; Amazon may have its sights set on Toys R Us real estate; Executives leave Whole Foods; Whole Foods lays off regional marketing staff; Majority of Amazon shoppers don’t notice ads

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon.com lockers, which are installed at over 75 Whole Foods locations, allow Amazon customers to pick up their packages in a secure location. This leading to more short-term visits and impulse…