From Data-Driven Buying Cycles to Double-D Retail, All You Need to Know

From Data-Driven Buying Cycles to Double-D Retail, All You Need to Know

From Data-Driven Buying Cycles to Double-D Retail, All You Need to Know

Welcome to Retail Data News, our regular series about news and trends in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries. This week, we have a robust roundup of articles from October 25 to October 31. Topics include data and tech, holiday news and forecasts, and the latest in retail, food and beverage, and delivery news.

If you’re a retail insider or someone interested in retail, CPG and consumer trends, this series is for you.

Data & Tech News

Half of Enterprises Cannot Trust Their CRM Data for a Single Source of Truth on Customers

If you’re feeling like you’re behind in using customer interaction data to provide personalized buyer journeys, you’re not alone, as this survey shows. Summary: Half of companies feel they do not have single source of truth, half also can not do advanced analytics, 40% can not drive improved personalization, 64% struggle to transfer CRM data to where it can make an impact, 63% struggle to tie CRM data to outcomes, 75% acknowledge they are lacking fundamentals in data management. Read the story. 

Digitally Native Brands: Born Digital, but Ready to Take on the World

From the perspective of identifying potential success stories for investment, this article from Mckinsey covers ecom brands from startup to growth. It touches on a lot of themes that keep appearing from disruptors, strong positioning, distinctive experience, and elements of growth to maturity. Read the story. 

Consumer Research Report: Generational Shifts in Marketing Preferences

As expected, different generations respond differently to different channels (email being the most pervasive) and have different drivers (younger generation more concerned with deals and less with quality). Key highlights: collecting customer intelligence is the key driver for CPG to develop an online presence; 96% of consumers feel loyal to a brand, however other research shows consumers are easily willing to try other brands; 80% want to see personalization from their brands. Read the story. 

Chewy Taps AR for Immersive Halloween Pet Costume Experience

In an on-brand move, Chewy launched AR for pet Halloween costumes. The company is integrating itself into every aspect of the pet’s life cycle by focusing on the pets being part of the family. Chewy continues expanding into different product categories around this theme. Read the story. 

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Clinique First NFTs Reward Loyalty

Clinique is now launching NFTs! What I like is that Clinique tied NFTs to its loyalty program and user-generated content—deepening interactions between consumers and brands. Emotional ties seem to be the winning strategy in getting consumers to get passionate (no pun intended) with a brand. Read the story. 

Why Is Digital Key to Building Retail Resiliency in an Evolving World?

This article references Asia, though it applies across the globe. The article (written by a tech person from Sapient) suggests retailers use stores as experiential hubs. It also looks at using technology not just for the front of the store (self checkout, curbside, BOPIS) but also at the back (inventory management, fulfillment etc). Read the story. 

How CPG Companies Can Sell Online Profitably

From McKinsey, this is a transcript of a discussion on how CPGs can migrate to online selling. It touches on various options (marketplaces, DTC, etc.), supply chain challenges, optimization, pricing and promotion. Read the story. 

In the Middle of a Crisis, Facebook Inc. Renames Itself Meta

Facebook changed its name to Meta. It’s been in the gossip for a few days now, and by and large, most experts, techies, etc., are unimpressed. What is not included in most news is that Meta is actually killing the Oculus brand and changing it to Meta Quest. Also, it appears the social media and the tech side of the company will be separated. Read the story. 

Holiday News & Forecasts

Gen Z Plans to Holiday Shop via Facebook, Retailer Apps: Report

Nothing surprising in this survey but good verification of Gen Z’s expected shopping patterns for the 2021 holidays. Social commerce and retailers’ apps are the main channels, indicating that Gen Z is moving away from traditional digital channels. PayPal will be the most common payment method. Buy now pay later didn’t rank as high as expected with Klarna the highest at 16%. Read the story. 

Gap Pays Tribute to Love, Kindness and The Beatles in Holiday Push

The Gap launched its new holiday campaign, and its version of experience-based retailing. This year, the company is featuring Katy Perry with all the usual fanfare. Unfortunately, this is a repeat of previous years. True, its recent partnerships and digital investments are showing some improvement in results. However, what I am hoping to see from The Gap is a shift in thinking. The positioning of the whole campaign is all about the merchandising and themes of “optimism.” It’s not focusing on the customers, which is the missing element in the equation here, and it’s definitely not personalized. Read the story. 

American Confidence in the Economy Is Back: Consumer Confidence Rebounds After Three Months of Declines.

Consumer confidence is up according to the Conference Board, supporting the forecasts for a good holiday season. Wells Fargo gave its holiday forecast on the higher end of the range at 11%. Read the story. 

U.S. Holiday Sales Could Hit Record Levels of Over $800 Bln

NRF is on the high end of holiday forecasts, predicting between 9-11% growth for the holiday season. With the exception of The NPD Group, most forecasts are somewhere in the 7-11% range, which would make for a solid holiday season. Read the story. 

Apple, Amazon Results Spark Fears of Unhappy Holiday Season

Amazon and Apple posted lower than expected quarterly results and warned that performance will be lower during the holidays. Apple is blaming supply chain problems. The company says it can’t get enough products to meet demand. Amazon is also blaming supply chain issues, but differently: it says it needs to spend more to get things into people’s hands. Either way, they are both reflecting the supply chain interruptions and slowdowns that retailers are experiencing. The extent of and timing of these disruptions, as well as how quickly and successfully companies deal with these problems, might be the key variables that will drive holiday performance. Read the story.

Retail News

Tractor Supply Boasts 22M Loyalty Members, Many of Them Young and Spending Money

Tractor Supply posted strong Q3 results. The company has good headwind from the pandemic trends of people spending more time at home. Having said that, it is also not sitting still and is investing in what appears to be “doing the basics really, really well.” Tractor Supply has a solid loyalty program, which should work on retention and first-party data. The company has invested in its product portfolio (pets, garden, etc.) and is revamping stores as necessary. More importantly, its ecomm capabilities are strong. A quick review of its site shows a strong recommendation engine, curbside pick up, ROPIS, and Google pay. I am a big believer in the trends in experiential retailing. Read the story. 

The Newest Power Player in Luxury’s First Family

I don’t usually report on celebrities, famous or infamous “influencers,” etc. I will make an exception now because it involves a sector I really like: luxury. Bernard Arnault’s younger son is featured in the New York Times. He’s making a splash at TAG Heuer, which is an interesting area to focus on. Watches as a category are in general decline, even luxury ones, especially in younger generations. With “new blood” leading an old brand that is not as relevant to younger audiences, it may be the turnaround the sector needs. Or perhaps, it will just slow down the inevitable. Either way, the kid is apparently in daddy’s good graces. Read the story. 

Allbirds Targets a More than $2 Billion Valuation in Upcoming IPO

Allbirds is filing for an IPO, aiming for over $2 billion in valuation. Allbirds makes eco-friendly shoes and apparel and has been a news topic for quite some time. It’s also demonstrating the (current) achilles heel of the eco-friendly/sustainability companies, which have very large losses. At some point, these companies need to show they can turn a profit, either through higher retention or organic (i.e. non-paid) marketing. Read the story. 

Victoria’s Secret Is Now the Exclusive Retailer for Size D+ Lingerie Brand Mindd

Victoria’s Secret will be the exclusive retailer for Mindd, a plus-size bra company. The founder and head designer of Mindd was actually a designer at Victoria’s Secret before leaving to eventually launch her own career. VS is, in fact, the bigger beneficiary here. Mindd could have partnered with any retailer (and there are several that would make even more sense for them). VS benefits by beginning to carve its new identity or, at the very least, leave its old one behind. It still has a way to go, but it’s definitely making the right first steps. Read the story. 

Gap, Walmart Extend Ties with New Furniture Collection

WalMart and Gap are launching a furniture line together. This one doesn’t make sense to me, and I am glad others are scratching their heads (see article). Gap has enough problems already, it doesn’t need to divert its attention on a product line like furniture that is unrelated to the brand. And WalMart gets to carry another collection, this one with a tired name behind it. Read the story. 

The Weekly Closeout: Beyoncé’s Ivy Park, Adidas Partner with Peloton on Apparel

Peloton, Adidas and Ivy Park are collaborating on a collection. Peloton already has separate partnerships with Adidas and Ivy Park. This one brings all 3 together. Peloton gains momentum in its apparel business. Ivy Park gains distribution. Adidas, though, may realize the least. It competes with Peloton’s own apparel line and with Ivy Park. Not sure why Adidas would do it, except for short-term gain. Longer term, it takes away from its DTC efforts and increases exposure of competing brands. Read the story.

Rent the Runway Keeps Financials Close to the Vest as It Upsizes IPO Offer

Rent the Runway went public last week. It is currently valued at around $1.1 billion. Its financials? $150ml in revenues, $170ml in losses. Unless I forgot my basic accounting, this means the company is spending more than $2 for every $1 in sales! And the company’s numbers will likely be further impacted by the continued trend of people working from home indefinitely. Read the story. 

Poshmark Lets Big Brands Sell on Its Platform

Poshmark opened up its resale marketplace to other brands. This is on the heels of a similar move made by Thredup. Poshmark is now trying to get brands to interact directly inside its ecosystem for resale. The resale market is as hot as it could be right now, fueled by younger generations’ focus on sustainability. According to other reports, prices for second-hand goods are rising so high that low-income shoppers can no longer afford them. Read the story. 

Brunello Cucinelli Sees Asia Revenues Soar 35% in First Nine Months

Brunello Cucinelli posts strong quarterly results with Asia driving its growth. Its numbers are similar to LVMH, Kering and Hermes. The sector is clearly moving towards strong growth driven by Asian markets. There is a trend in Asia toward local luxury referred to as Guochao, which may potentially dampen the growth of the western luxury brands down the road. Read the story. 

Retykle Expands into Singapore

Retykle is expanding in Singapore. The company is one of the earliest players in the resale market, focusing on what is potentially the shortest-use apparel sector—children’s ware. Designer children’s clothes are especially lucrative. The market will continue to grow aligned with population growth and the luxury market penetration. This should be a sector of particular importance to all the luxury apparel brands that dabble in children’s ware, from Fendi Kids to Dior Kids (yes, those are real brands). Read the story. 

JCPenney Names Former Levi Strauss Executive as CEO

JC Penney hires a new CEO from Levi Strauss. JCPenney’s future is in doubt to say the least. It is behind the times in terms of merchandising, positioning, technology, and branding. The new CEO has serious challenges. The company went through a few executives over the last couple of years. Fate TBD! Read the story. 

Reebok Builds on New Brand Direction with Latest Campaign

Reebok tries to reposition itself. Following the sale from Adidas, the company was acquired by Authentic Brands Group. Now it needs to redefine itself in the midst of the behemoths of Nike and Adidas and the seismic changes happening in DTC and CPG sectors. Authentic should be able to support Reebok, but Reebok has to figure out what it is to whom and more importantly, why. Read the story. 

Food & Beverage

Chipotle to Open Restaurant Inside Video Game Platform

Chipotle is opening a virtual store inside Roblox! Yes, it’s great for brand awareness. Chipotle is offering codes so it can track results directly. It will also work with Roblox to get data on usage. I am sure the usage data will be used for retargeting, which is great for Chipotle. Read the story. 

McDonald’s Sales Soar on Higher U.S. Prices, Newer Menu Items

McDonald’s posts Q3 results with global sales up 13%. Half of that increase came from higher prices. Additionally, McDonald’s is selling the AI company they bought to IBM. Not sure what McDonald’s planned to do with it, which is the same question I have regarding Dynamic Yield. Read the story. 

Starbucks Eyes Faster India Expansion with New Store Formats

In India, Starbucks’ partner is experimenting with different formats. The partner is Tata Consumer Products (part of Tata conglomerate). Tea remains the most popular drink, but according to the article, coffee’s popularity is increasing. Tata can afford to experiment and grow Starbucks’ presence in India. Read the story.

Premium Coffee Trends to Watch

Specialty coffee trends. Premium coffee is experiencing an upswing. According to the research report, the trends driving the increase in premium coffee are 1. Cold brew, 2. Wellness, 3. Sustainability, 4. Plant based, and 5. Exotic flavors. Read the story. 

Delivery News

Uber Jumps into Europe’s Rapid Grocery Delivery Market with 15-minute Service in Paris

Uber is offering 15-minute delivery in Paris. This is a partnership with Cajoo, which runs dark stores. Cajoo, in turn, is in a partnership with Carrefour. Consumers will effectively order from Carrefour, get fulfilled by Cajoo, and delivered by Uber. Like most grocery delivery services, the issue will be the quality of the final product delivered on the front door. Read the story. 

Tesco Partners Up with Gorillas

And in related news, Tesco is doing the same with Gorillas, which claims a 10-minute delivery. Although Tesco doesn’t need the dark stores because its reach is high enough that Gorillas can pick from a Tesco and deliver. Read the story. 

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Nick Antoniades
Nick Antoniades
Nick Antoniades was the Industry Principal for Retail at Treasure Data and is currently VP, Marketing Reactivations at HelloFresh. Nick has over 20 years’ experience driving growth in the digital and retail sectors for enterprise brands like Bed Bath and Beyond, Vitamin Shoppe, and New York & Company. Nick has a proven track record in shaping strategy and optimizing user experience with expertise in digital and omnichannel lifecycle customer journey, CRM, marketing strategy and optimization, ecommerce operations, analytics, and customer loyalty. Additionally, Nick brings in-depth operational knowledge across marketing channels including SEM, email, SMS, affiliate, retargeting, and direct mail as well as optimization methodologies, such as A/B testing and personalization.
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