Calling out Amazon for destroying brand differentiation and citing customers’ demands that brands be wherever they want them, real estate venture firm Fifth Wall closed a $100 million fund to help digital natives add stores. The fund is backed by some of the largest retail real estate owners and service providers in the U.S. and abroad.
Shogun, a drag-and-drop ecommerce website builder, has raised $10M in Series A funding from Initialized Capital, VMG Partners and Y Combinator to expand its platform and launch a new product helping sellers compete with Amazon and do headless commerce. Major brand clients include Leesa, MVMT and K-Swiss.
Amazon’s hunger for a bigger bite of the $839B grocery market was evident in the opening of the first checkout-less Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle. The 10,400-square-foot space, roughly 5x the size of an Amazon Go store, stocks 5,000 items. Tech startups AiFi and Grabango are reportedly working on systems for competitors.
Target’s strong focus on ecommerce, including a 2019 holiday push on fast delivery options and BOPIS, has propelled it into the top 10 for U.S. ecommerce sales, according to a new report from eMarketer. Target checks in at No. 8 with projected 2020 U.S. ecommerce sales of $8.34 billion, increasing its share from 1.1% to 1.2%.
Add another cart abandonment headache. A new Baymard Institute study shows 18% of shoppers have abandoned a checkout in the last three months because they didn’t trust a site with their credit card information. Visual upgrades underscoring a perception of security and trustmarks were two suggested remedies.
Luxury swimwear brand Andie, sports drink BodyArmor and cruelty-free cosmetics provider Wander Beauty are new additions on the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2020 edition of its 250 Brands to Watch list, recognizing the most disruptive and influential DTC brands in the U.S. IAB analyzed 3,500-plus brands and services.
Softer-than-expected holiday sales drove Walmart’s Q4 2019 earnings below expectations, but strong ecommerce and online grocery sales provided buoyancy and optimism for the year ahead. U.S. ecommerce sales grew 35%, fueled largely by grocery pickup and delivery, propelling walmart.com to its highest quarterly growth of the year.
With Amazon largely credited for the 115% spike in third quarter 2019 ecommerce ad spend, it’s no surprise that Feedvisor’s annual brand report shows 75% of brands selling on Amazon also advertise there. Feedvisor found 83% of brands advertising on Amazon saw a 4x return on ad spend, with half seeing 7x.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer Brandless, which sold beauty products, non-GMO snacks and everyday items under its own non-brand austere label in a radical departure from the norm, is halting operations. Brandless is laying off 70 employees and retaining 10 to fulfill remaining orders, which stopped being accepted Feb. 10.
A Jan. 30 data breach linked to cosmetics giant Estée Lauder exposed more than 440 million records, but none apparently contained customers’ payment information or privileged information about employees. This follows recent data breach events at Visa and children’s clothing retailer Hanna Andersson.