Weekly Industry Brief: 4.8.2019

Happy Monday! Here is a quick recap of industry news from the last week.  Sources are in the hyperlinked text after the headline.

Brands + Retailers

  • Goodwill wants to take new orders right out of Amazon’s hands.  Bloomberg
  • Viacom’s networks will power T-Mobile’s new mobile TV service in content deal.  AdWeek
  • Teens are spending $2,600 a year on food and clothes. Here’s where they like to shop.  CNBC
  • Where multi brand retailers beat brands.  L2 Inc
  • Lululemon set to debut selfceare product line.  RetailDive
  • Online shopping overtakes a major part of retail for the first time ever.  CNBC
  • Amazon wants you to use Alexa to track healthcare.  The Wall Street Journal
  • Netflix price hike nears by analysts say users are staying put.  AdAge
  • Hermes aims to win over a younger luxury shopper.  The Wall Street Journal
  • You can now rent children’s clothing from Rent the Runway.  Fast Company
  • Amazon adds delivery lockers for Coachella goers. MediaPost
  • Kay, Jared parent to close 150 stores and trim staff in turnaround. USA Today
  • CVS to offer same-day prescription delivery via Target-owned Shipt.  Star Tribune
  • Why Hot Topic is still cool with younger shoppers.  The New York Times
  • Ikea to test furniture rental in 30 countries.  Reuters
  • Target raising minimum wage to $13 an hour.  CNBC
  • Amazon is now focusing on exclusive brands.  Digiday
  • Madewell appoints its first-ever CEO, brand president.  Fortune
  • How Unilever is reinventing what corporate responsibility means in beauty and personal care.  Glossy

Marketing + Social Media

  • Snapchat’s reinventing itself to fight Instagram.  The Next Web
  • At Cosmopolitan Magazine, data is the new sex.  The New York Times
  • Influencers are flocking to a surprising new kind of social media.  Fast Company
  • ShopStyle rolls out new data features so influencers can understand the sales they’re driving.  AdWeek
  • Shiseido is increasing its influencer marketing spend by 50% in 2019.  Glossy
  • Beyonce collaboration is a big win for Adidas.  AdAge
  • Millions of Facebook records found on Amazon cloud servers.  AdAge
  • Pinterest surprises by setting its IPO price range at $15 to $17 per share.  Fast Company
  • Inside the collaboration between Ikea and Sonos.  Fast Company
  • Gen Z buying influenced by peer recommendations.  AdWeek
  • Spotify’s new ad metrics show what listeners do after they click . TechCrunch

Startup + Emerging Tech + Acquisitions

  • Amazon is making its own version of AirPods for Alexa. Fast Company
  • Google and Walmart team up for voice grocery orders.  Business Insider

International

  • Tmall to provide data-drive fashion forecasts.  Glossy
  • Traditional marketing no longer works in China. Here’s what does.  Jing Daily

Quick Hits: What Revolve is Doing SO Right, Right Now

If you haven’t been seeing content from Revolve lately, then I’ll assume you aren’t in or interested in this industry because it’s otherwise unavoidable.

Revolve has been doing things so, so right, hitting on every consumer trend in an authentic way. The experience economy, check. Travel, check. Exclusivity, check. Influencers, big and small, check. On-trend products, check. Content, check, check, check.

All of that and it’s still providing a solid website experience too. Which is, after all, Revolve’s only store.

Here are 6 ways I see Revolve killing it these days.

Revolve Social Club

  • Invite-only, members-only
  • Some are pop-up (Shanghai), some are permanent (LA)
  • According to Racked, the entire store can be curated into a personalized shopping experience using Revolve’s data-driven merchandising algorithims combined with its world-class styling team.
  • Exclusive events, meals, parties (collab launch parties, for example)
  • Also serves as a place for influencers to pick out clothes before events

 

Revolve Social Club

Revolve Social Club LA [photo from Racked]

#RevolveAroundTheWorld

  • In this experience economy world, travel is pretty much a non-negotiable line item in the budget of a millennial. Revolve’s been taking their squad around the world, so to speak, staying in amazing houses in places like Croatia, Hawaii, and Miami. They invite all the top bloggers and influencers who come together (wearing looks from Revolve) to create a content gold mine. They also got a house for Coachella this year, inviting people like Kendall Jenner to their numerous parties.  Below are some ‘grams shared on Revolve trips from Jessica Stein, aka @tuulavintage who has 2.3M Instagram followers and, even more impressively, Chiara Ferragni aka @theblondesalad who has over 6M followers. Content magic, shared with way more than Revolve’s own 1.2M followers.

#RevolveinTheHamptons

  • A location-specific version of #RevolveAroundtheWorld
  • This summer, Revolve has staged a huge, beautiful house in the Hamptons, as the setting for a constant flow of parties. Key bloggers and influencers frolic about the parties decked out in Revolve apparel at the parties that are typically co-sponsored with another brand and occasionally hosted by big names like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigan.
  • Revolve ties it all together with a shop on its website to buy what the influencers wore in the Hamptons.

Dinners, Brunches

…all the time. Usually co-hosted with a brand or a collab and always at a swoon-worthy venue because…. more content!

 

Shipping and Returns Wars

Revolve shuts this down real quick. Free Shipping. Free Returns.

Their Store, the Website

Revolve Website

 

  • New Arrivals Every. Damn. Day.
    • You can shop the new arrivals by DATE.
    • This is the best way to get people to visit your website more often, even more relevant for a mobile site or an app. I love this feature so much.
  • Content is ACTUALLY integrated into the site. Most companies struggle with this. They keep their blog separate; they don’t know how to monetize Instagram without just a shoppable feed; they work with influencers but don’t feature their pics in the shopping path. On Revolve’s site, it use actual images from events or influencers that are shoppable. Check out the festival section here where you can pick a celeb from Revolve’s Coachella event and shop her look. Duh.
storytelling on website

Seamless integration of content in the shopping path…look, it’s The Blonde Salad in a product image!

  • Product Tagging. In addition to all the things you’d expect to see on a product detail page (recommendations, related looks, social content, etc.) Revolve also has an easy-to-use tagging feature that lets users “Discover” more mini dresses, for example. This means all of the products are smartly tagged with shopping-relevant attributes beyond just the brand name.
  • Wedding Shop….for the bride, bridesmaid and guest. Because, we all have ten plus weddings per year right now.
  • Super relevant shops and storytelling – something every retailer is trying to be and to do…but Revolve is nailing it. They use the same language as their customer and provide solid “complete this look” and “shop this look” experiences.Examples: “Brunch Life”, 20 Outfits to Beat the Heat (today’s high in NYC is 96 degrees, so), etc.  There is also the Hot List which is the first section in the top nav (prime real estate!) with tons of stories to shop, from festivals to collabs to trends.
  • International in general–
    • Shipping and returns rates are super competitive
    • Language and currency options
    • Localized customer support for a variety of countries, including China, Korea and Russia
revolve shanghai

Revolve incorporated an international shipping announcement in a #RevolveAroundtheWorld Instagram post. Nice.

 

A quick note on the app – a behemoth of a topic. This is one spot where I’m not AS impressed. I expect more from Revolve with the app – more innovation, more content— so there seems to be lots of opportunity here. But to end on a positive, I do love the “quiet time” preferences for push notifications. And, I signed up for emails and I’ve gotten none but when I signed up for push notifications I got two in one day.

revolve push.png

The second push notification I received from Revolve. The first was a promo code to use in the app.

 

Excited to see where they go next…figuratively and literally.

P.S. Revolve is profitable.