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Retail Brands Explore New Avenues

Legacies Seek Revival, Online Brands Open Storefronts

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eeBay, Wayfair, Land’s End and several other retailers have unveiled new strategies, as brands look to reinvigorate their presence with new features and strategies.

eBay’s latest offerings include a feature called the "Magical Listing process," which uses generative AI to write product descriptions, an image recognition tool to assist in listing products and a background swap tool to enhance product visuals.

In Q4, eBay saw a revenue increase of 2% from the previous year, reaching $2.56 billion. The revenue growth was noted as the highest since 2005.

eBay ranks No. 6 in the Digital Commerce 360’s Global Online Marketplaces database.

The new features come as the company has laid off 1,000 workers, about 9% of its workforce, amidst competitive pressures from both niche and larger marketplaces like GOAT, Amazon, and Walmart.

Lands' End recently announced a strategic shift from heavy discounting to encouraging early, full-price purchases.

The company plans to rejuvenate its business model by carrying less inventory and frequently updating its product lines.

This approach allows Lands' End to maintain nearer to full prices on new offerings, contrasting with their previous strategy of deep discounts on slow-moving stock.

The company has reduced clearance sales by shifting some production to a licensed model with third parties, thereby aiming to enhance profitability through royalty fees on items sold by partners like Costco, Target and Macy's.

Despite projecting a decline in revenue for the upcoming year, Lands' End has seen a significant expansion in its gross margin and has reduced its inventory by 29%. The company has also laid off about 10% of its corporate staff and streamlined its supply chain as part of broader cost-cutting measures.

The company's strategic pivot is designed to stabilize its financial position and appeal to its core customers, who tend to be older and more affluent, by offering them new reasons to shop early and at full price.

Online marketplace Temu has seen a significant rise in brand awareness among American consumers, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov. As of March 2024, 88% of Americans are aware of Temu.

Despite the high brand recognition, over half of the respondents (56%) have never purchased from Temu, and the likelihood of repeat purchases varies significantly by age group. Young adults (18-29) are the most likely to return, while the middle-aged group (30-44) shows the least likelihood of making another purchase.

This increase in visibility is largely attributed to Temu's aggressive advertising, including substantial Super Bowl advertising expenditure over the last two years, totaling five spots with each 30-second commercial costing between $6.5 million to $7 million.

Wayfair Inc., the online home furnishings leader, is set to open its first large-format (150,000 square foot) store in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, marking a significant expansion into physical retail.

This flagship store aims to offer a comprehensive shopping experience for home furnishings and decor across 19 departments and will feature an on-site restaurant named The Porch, enhancing the shopping experience with immersive and interactive elements.

This move is part of Wayfair's broader strategy to establish a physical presence, following previous ventures such as a smaller store in Natick, Massachusetts, which closed a year after opening, and various pop-ups and stores for its other brands like Joss & Martin and AllModern. The new store represents Wayfair's first large-scale retail endeavor.

Accompanying this expansion is Wayfair's latest brand campaign, "Welcome to the Wayborhood," which introduces a refreshed logo, a new rendition of its iconic jingle, celebrity partnerships, TV spots, social media activations, and a collaboration with Pinterest.

Wayfair, headquartered in Boston, reported a net revenue of $12.0 billion for the year ending December 31, 2023.

TikTok is enhancing its TikTok Shop e-commerce platform through a new partnership with Celigo.

The TikTok Shop Connector by Celigo aims to keep data synced across various applications such as product management, order fulfillment, and accounting, facilitating more informed decision-making through automated insights into market trends and consumer behaviors.

The goal:allow retailers to optimize their TikTok Shop operations using Celigo’s cloud-based technology.

Launched in the U.S. in September 2023, TikTok Shop enables users to buy products directly through shoppable videos and livestreams on their "For You" feeds. The platform allows customers to manage orders, read reviews, and browse products within the TikTok app. Retailers can also curate product collections on their profiles and engage with affiliate marketing opportunities through content creators.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, faces potential legal challenges in U.S. markets, as legislators are considering a bill that would compel ByteDance to sell its U.S. operations of TikTok within six months or face removal from U.S. app stores and hosting services, amid ongoing scrutiny over security concerns.

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