AMAZON WHO? ETSY ISN'T MOVED
No category is exempt from Amazon's infiltration. In an attempt to enter the handcrafted goods space, the digital giant launched Amazon Handmade a few years ago to compete with artisan marketplaces like Etsy.
Etsy's CEO, Josh Silverman, dismisses speculation of adverse effects from Amazon's presence, reporting positive financial results in recent quarters. Its secret sauce? Unique merchandise. "In a world where e-commerce is increasingly commoditized, Etsy provides a differentiated experience where extraordinary goods handcrafted by creative entrepreneurs all over the world are made for you," says Silverman. If consumers are able to purchase any item in bulk, it has no place on Etsy.
To Amazon's product commonality and subpar search experience, Etsy offers an experiential antidote. The artisan brand upholds its mission to make its customers feel special, and different. We like to call that curation.
STREETWEAR IS THE NEW LUXURY
The parameters of luxury are rapidly changing. An industry based on heritage, timelessness, and exclusivity has become synonymous with "old."
Millenial buying power in the luxury market is driven by a maximalist desire to stand out with the latest and greatest. These values are a catch-22 for luxury retailers: an increased short-term brand loyalty with the introduction of blockbuster products like exclusive sneakers, at the expense of long-term staying power. Once they're "cool," how will luxury brands maintain the momentum?
Mega-brands like Gucci and [Louis Vuitton](https://www.businessoffashion.com/community/companies/louis-vuitton?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8ln_k-FzBlFa8iH_y13G22O5jU14MRS-hAGFBSYb9Njokr7xK5v8YA3rSF6sWLzSgoMMtl( are hopping on the bandwagon and playing key roles in the boom of the luxury streetwear aesthetic. From a financial analysis, there's a large consideration as to whether this "new luxury" implies lower valuation. Following trend cycles similar to fast fashion veers away from the organic growth of traditional luxury tactics.
DISCOUNTS, DISCOUNTS, DISCOUNTS
Retailers are facing up to a seven-year high in discounting, as they work to align supply chains with promotional levels.
Discounts often continue into the first quarter, after the holidays bring in excess inventory. As specialty retailers tailor their merchandise mix to avoid overstocking sales racks, many efforts involve ensuring consumer demands are met with production speed and employee's analysis.
"[W]hat we're really trying to do is to make sure that we build a plan around the product that we have and that we don't over-discount product even if it comes in late relative to its out dates," Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck told analysts in March.
HAPPY SHOPPERS START WITH THE INBOX
Wayfair is a marketing machine, transforming shopper's homes one direct mail, email, or television jingle at a time. Like many large retailers, Wayfair relies on a solid marketing strategy to bring in site traffic.
The home furnishings retailer took the top spot in Coherent Path's recent report, “2018 Email Marketing Study: How 100 of the Top Retailers Engage Shoppers in the First 45 Days and Beyond.” In a competitive retail environment, engaging and converting digital browsers into buyers starts with strategic email programs. Wayfair understands the importance of personalizing emails, as 71 percent of the emails it sent to first-time buyers in the first 45 days after making a purchase were unique to those shoppers.
In order to retain an active and loyal customer base, retailers can learn from Wayfair by monitoring email engagement strategies throughout the entire customer journey — not just until a shopper makes their first purchase. Take the time understand where your promotional strategy stands against other retailers — as well as customer expectations.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Asics is celebrating the 100th birthday of its founder with a special collection. Kihachiro Onitsuka, born May 29th, 1918, founded Asics in 1949 with a mission to build health and happiness in both mind and body.
The limited-edition tribute — KO100 — features bright red, orange, and yellow sunflower patterns, in relation to founder Onitsuka’s positive outlook on life and his love of artist Vincent van Gogh.
For every KO100 purchase, $10 will go to Right to Play, an organization that uses sport and exercise to improve the lives of children in deprived communities around the world. The proceeds will ultimately sponsor one child in Lebanon to play sports for 10 weeks.