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   +1 916 605 7200              moreinfo@retailpro.com            

Direct to consumer brands restructure retail strategies

Remember when “As Seen on TV” products were only available by calling the number on the television screen? Products such as Chia Pet, The Clapper and even The Snuggie all became pop culture icons by infiltrating TV programming.

But as the internet took off around the turn of the century, companies found less expensive and more strategic ways to sell their products. Enter Warby Parker, Everlane and Casper, which made up the first generation of digitally native DTC companies.

Back then, those brands and others like them were happy selling a relatively niche product online without all the costs associated with brick-and-mortar retail distribution.

Today however, DTC companies are evolving to further expand their market share, joining forces with large, well-known retailers and big-box stores, as well as with holding groups.

Such collaboration is paying off, both in revenue and mindshare.

This expansion requires software with flexibility that allows for organizational intricacies.

The distribution and audience gains require resources through their software that can shift to support the areas that get new stress.

Retail Pro Prism’s flexible software with a vast library of Plugins and omnichannel support provide the necessary visibility and capabilities for brands to adjust their technology according to their strategies.

Embracing Brick-and-Mortar

Partnering with brick-and-mortar retailers has provided DTC brands access to a wider consumer base and the opportunity for more personalized customer experiences.

The ability for customers to experience these products in person is a huge win, and makes a true omnichannel experience possible.

With the integrated inventory visibility afforded in Retail Pro Prism, customers can check in-store stock of an item, place the order, and immediately experience it upon pick up in store.

Entering the brick-and-mortar space as a previously pure ecommerce brand also likely requires the inventory and broader data integration and visibility that omnichannel brings.

Retail Pro Prism provides flexibility in configuring your omnichannel POS system, so you can adjust it as you grow to satisfy your business’s changing needs.

In addition, Retail Pro Prism has a built-in customer management system that enables an associate to access prior purchase history, note preferences and other relevant information that makes for the kind of personalized customer experience shoppers have grown accustomed to online.

Direct to consumer brands Joining Forces with Holding Groups

Holding groups provide financial backing, operational support and expertise to a larger network of retail partners, so brands can scale their operations and consolidate resources more efficiently.

An example of this arrangement is the partnership between Casper, the popular mattress-in-a-box company, and Target Corp. Since 2017, Casper products have been sold on Target’s site and in its stores. The strategy allowed Casper to expand its reach outside of online sales and tap into Target’s extensive retail network, broadening its brand visibility.

Meanwhile, Target could provide its customers a popular DTC brand’s innovative sleep products, which aligned with the big box store’s focus on providing high-quality and trendy home goods.

There are a number of ways a large chain can structure their POS system, and even more configurations could be made to sell these DTC brands’ products within the larger big box ecosystem.

With Retail Pro Prism, vendor management capabilities are useful in these arrangements between specialty brands and big box retail. Subsidiary management capabilities in Retail Pro Prism are pertinent as well.  The connected data and visibility across all levels of operation that Prism facilitates will be valuable in these circumstances.

A connected view of inventory will be necessary for the DTC brand to maintain the seamless online experiences they are known for when venturing into the brick & mortar experience.

The rise of DTC brands has revolutionized the retail industry, prompting brick and mortar stores to reevaluate their perceptions of what customers want.

As brick and mortars look to fulfill those needs, DTCs are seeking to increase the ways in which they can reach new customers.

Collaborations with holding groups have allowed DTC brands to work more efficiently, while their bigger retail partners are able to offer smaller, innovative brands.

The success of those partnerships is evident in the increased revenue and mindshare gained by DTC brands.

And, as the retail landscape continues to evolve, more partnerships between DTC brands and established retailers can be expected, further shaping the future of customer shopping experiences.

How retailers are coping with rising retail crime

Retail crime is on the rise: A National Retail Federation survey released last month estimated that “shrink” — the term for losses in the retail sector — amounted to $112.1 billion in 2022, up nearly 20% from the year before.
But as criminals continue to exploit retailers’ vulnerabilities, stores are investing in measures to safeguard their assets, employees and customers.
Here’s how companies are coping with rising retail crime and some strategies to prevent such incidents, and one way you might increase your employee’s visibility.

1. Increased Staffing and Security Presence

Staffing up is one way to meet the challenge of retail crime.

At Best Buy, for instance, having more employees and security officers on the floor ensures a visible presence of personnel. Having more employees and security officers on the floor deters potential criminals and provides a sense of security to customers.

The increased staffing also provides better surveillance and monitoring of suspicious activities.

Additionally, mobile POS devices easily increase your employee’s presence in different areas of the store.
If your employee is free to walk around and complete sales anywhere in store, this may also be a deterrent to anyone who might try to pocket goods.

Retail Pro Prism is device agnostic enabling it to run smoothly on whatever mobile POS device you prefer to use. This means you can use an iPad, a Google phone, or HP tablet, with no extra effort or download.

Criminals are less likely to attempt theft or engage in suspicious activities when they know more employees are around who can observe and intervene if necessary.

2. Controlled Entrances and Exits

Best Buy and other retailers including Costco have implemented a strategy of having a single entrance and exit point.

By channeling customers through a single point, the flow of foot traffic becomes easier to monitor and control, reducing the likelihood of theft or unauthorized access.

Additionally, having staff members stationed at entrances and exits allows for quick and efficient checks, further deterring potential criminals.

3. Advanced Surveillance Systems

Installing comprehensive closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems is an effective strategy to combat retail crime.

The systems act as a deterrent and provide evidence in case of any criminal activity.

Additionally, advanced surveillance systems may include facial recognition technology, which can help identify known offenders or suspicious individuals.

4. Employee Training and Awareness

Companies are increasingly educating employees on retail crime prevention techniques.

That includes training on how to identify suspicious behavior, how to properly handle theft situations and when to escalate concerns to security personnel.

Empowering employees with knowledge and awareness creates a more vigilant and proactive workforce.

5. Collaboration with Law Enforcement

Companies are actively seeking partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to combat retail crime.

That includes sharing information about known offenders or criminal activities, coordinating efforts during investigations, and seeking advice on enhancing security measures.

As retail crime continues to rise, companies are looking to implement effective strategies to protect their assets and ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

By adopting a multi-layered approach, companies can effectively deter criminals and maintain a secure retail environment.

Connecting with Generation Z

Generation Z includes retailers’ first set of digitally native consumers. Born after 1996, these customers have never known a world without the internet.

As a result, they have high expectations of interconnectedness between online and in-store shopping experiences. Smartphone in hand, they browse merchandise online and pickup in-store while communicating in real-time with friends on social networks, apps and text messages.

They were born to shop omnichannel style.

Different paths to purchase for different generations

Sometimes also referred to as “Centennials,” they, together with the previous generation of Millennials comprise more than half of the world’s population.

But the two groups approach shopping very differently.

Whereas Millennials eschewed purchasing “things” in favor of experiences, Centennials are happy to buy technology as well as health and wellness products.

More than any other generation, Gen Z shoppers tend to rely on mobile channels first, particularly YouTube and Instagram. Snapchat and TikTok figure into the mix as well.

Once the initial product research is completed, the brand itself comes under scrutiny.

Many in this age group have bought products because they have values that align with the retailer or brand. Others have boycotted a business to show disapproval of certain practices.

Gen Z is very attuned to the retail ecosystem and not only wants to be a part of it but also understands how to influence it. Irregardless, a syncing of data and inventory across channels is an important feature for brands that want to remove barriers to purchase for Gen Z consumers.

Retail Pro Prism gives retailers the ability to have a centralized view of their inventory across channels, in turn allowing them to give this to their customers.

Loyalty motivators for Gen Z

With a spending power of more than $140 billion, retailers are learning that though digitally native, Gen Z cares about connections and community.

They prefer to shop where they can chat with their friends online as well as with store associates in person, while feeling confident that their purchase decisions are supporting businesses that treat employees well and are not harmful to the environment.

Stores such as Nordstrom combine a traditional brick-and-mortar setting with the more personal experience of a pop-up store.

Mobile POS easily creates a personal feel as it allows sales associates to meet customers where they’re at, whether for item lookup or free-standing checkout, and lends itself perfectly to pop-up environments.

Retail Pro readily supports mobile POS since it’s a browser-based software, which means you can choose whether to use it on Apple, Windows, or Android devices.

AI-driven software helps retailers gather information and analyze data of Gen Z shoppers, which they can use to help create intimate experiences and personalized moments.

Those retailers who have established and communicated an authentic identity that mirrors Gen Z’s ethos will be rewarded with these shoppers’ loyalty.

Timely Delivery vs. Sustainability values

While all demographics want fast, reliable delivery, research finds that Gen Zers are the most impatient. Many want same-day delivery and yet are also very interested in carbon-neutral or emission-free deliveries.

While that appears to be a somewhat conflicted stance, these shoppers are also willing to pay more for more sustainable delivery and returns services: They understand the consequences (higher cost) for the services they want (faster, ecologically responsible delivery).

Retail Pro Prism gives you a clear view of across your channels, which increases your ability to identify points where you might be able to save time for your associates and customers’ orders.

Top retailers are investing in key technologies that provide the enhanced customer experience these young consumers are demanding.

Digital customers will check websites for in-store inventory even for stores that don’t have BOPIS or curbside pickup, which leads to a disconnect between channels that ultimately can lead to customers going to competitors.

As younger generations are digitally native, they’ll embrace technology, digitization and collaboration, and require the brands they buy to do the same.

For retailers, that will lead to more success and profitability.

Reaching Customers In a Sluggish Economy

The current uncertain economic climate is putting a damper on consumer confidence. A shaky job market economy coupled with inflation is affecting daily life everywhere from the gas pump to the grocery store.

As a result, many shoppers are focused on getting more value for their money by seeking lower pricing on everyday purchases.

Often, that means frequenting discount stores rather than higher-end retailers as well as shopping using less-traditional channels, such as retailer loyalty rewards and cashback offers. In combination with reports to help analyze potentially advantageous adjustments to price levels, Retail Pro Prism offers loyalty and rewards programs with it’s software out of box, which come in handy in these times.

Omnichannel Advantage

However, retailers that can strengthen the bond between online and in-store will find that success with one channel will positively influence the other.

Retailers and brands that provide a true omnichannel experience deliver consistent product information, customer service and account information using all their sales channels: online, in store and on the phone.

As a result, they build better customer relationships and inspire more brand advocates.

Shoppers’ purchase histories differ as widely as the ways they want to make purchases. Some prefer to shop online from start to finish.

However, according to Harvard Business Review customers who do use all channels in their journey tend to spend more – on average 10% more, so offering omnichannel services is important.

Retail Pro Prism is a full retail management and POS platform for omnichannel retailers, with integrated data and view of all channels.

Different Strategies Suit Different Customer Journeys

A solid self-service site should show customer-specific pricing, provide account information including order history and delivery status, give access to reference materials, and integrate in-store inventory information.

Others rely on customer service representatives to help place their order, or to provide more personal assistance with transactions.

Full-service requires expert salespeople or customer service reps who can answer questions, provide recommendations, develop personalized solutions and place orders for buyers.

A hybrid approach is aimed at those looking to make a purchase by themselves, but who want the opportunity to speak with someone in case a question arises.

Shoppers can communicate with a salesperson or representative by using online chat, e-mail messaging or “click-to-call.”

Combining round-the-clock customer service assistance with self-service ordering provides buyers the freedom they want with the support they need to make their purchases.

Hybrid Support

A solid hybrid methodology showcases an online approach that supports in-store shopping – which, in turn, encourages online purchasing.

By regularly evaluating your customers’ online search and purchasing history, a more personalized online experience can be created.

Streamline checkout, make special pricing easy to understand and find, and reduce friction both online and in-store.

Whether a retailer embraces online, in-store or a hybrid approach, web analytics defines the products customers have been researching and offers insights regarding buying patterns.

That information can inform loyalty program profiles and help provide a personalized omnichannel experience. Such personalization illustrates to customers that a company has taken the time to know them and their preferences.


Another way to build trust and, as a result, loyalty, is to invest in secure, accurate technology that protects customer data.

Retailers collect a variety of information, with an enormous responsibility to keep it safe. Firewalls, private networks, encryption and multi-factor authentication can all be part of your security portfolio.

Be sure to communicate what security measures are in place with your customers, because the more customers see retailers working on securing their data, the more likely they are to trust you. Economic stutter steps are unavoidable. Retailers that are prepared with solid omnichannel solutions backed by secure technology will be well equipped to face the challenge of such slowdowns.

Retail Pro Prism is PCI compliant and has functions to prevent errors from being executed by employees that cost your business, such as limits on certain actions or transaction sizes, so that when mistakes happen they don’t have consequences.

Pop-Up Stores Support an Omnichannel Vision

Two smiling young women outside of a pop-up store, one holding bags looking over the other's shoulder as she holds up her phone

Pop-ups project a fun, trendy and intimate attitude to customers, and for retailers they can function as an integral part of an omnichannel strategy.

Pop-up stores represent a temporary opportunity for shoppers to take advantage of something new that a brand wants to promote. Businesses can also use pop-ups to test out new technology before making a larger change in their stores.

Pop-Ups creating Omnichannel Buzz

Three young ladies looking at their phones smiling outside a Pop up

By their very nature, they generate buzz, and that can be parlayed into creating an excitement for a retailer’s other channels: online, mobile and in-store.

For example, a retailer might incorporate QR codes into a display that leads them to a scavenger hunt via the brand’s app.

The app might then continue the fun through gamification during the checkout process. Looping in a loyalty or rewards program adds to the positive and interactive customer experience.

Pop-Ups and Social Media Incentives

Pop-ups naturally complement social media. The excitement created by suggesting a “limited engagement” combined with an engaging atmosphere encourages interaction with customers.

The result is an experience that social influencers can’t resist. Social engagement generates enthusiasm for the pop-up store, and vice versa.

Exciting pop-up experiences attract hardcore social media users who can’t help but share how they spent their time interacting with the brand.   And that publicity doesn’t just impact these small satellite shops; once followers see what their favorite influencers are raving about, they’ll start visiting not only the pop-ups but also the brick-and-mortar sites, as well as related websites.

Brand Awareness Boost

man looking at a very well-known brand of shoe

Brand awareness and connecting with consumers are the two most popular reasons for launching a pop-up.

Customers have become burnt out from traditional “push” marketing tactics such as paid ads, and pop-ups offer a fresh take for brands to get attention.

They encourage customers to not only shop, but also to take part in marketing the brand.

Pop-ups can pair the physical storefront with digital marketing. They are the springboard for an omnichannel journey.

Having the right POS platform helps retailers that collect data from new customers they’ve attracted at a pop-up event and parlay them into future loyal customers; the POS data from the event is seamlessly and efficiently integrated with every channel.

That’s where a POS platform and customer management system for omnichannel retail – like Retail Pro Prism – comes in.

As a hybrid from both the physical and digital worlds, they tie all channels together – functioning as a place for completing transactions, fulfilling purchases, building community, and encouraging discovery as well as being their own unique destinations.

4 ways to use pop-ups’ popularity to boost your brick & mortar strategy

Zero-Party Data Gives Customers Exactly What They Want

The goal for many retailers is to provide a shopping experience that meets – and possibly exceeds – customers’ needs, while generating an attractive profit.

Success depends on accurately understanding and responding to customer trends, which requires gathering and analyzing shopper data.

Traditionally, obtaining that information is done by tracking website engagement and point-of-sale data, which only offers retailers part of the story.

Ask for the data you wish to receive

Asking shoppers specific questions about their buying habits is one of the most effective ways to not only learn more about customers’ preferences but also to increase loyalty.

And shoppers – eager to have a more personalized retail experience – are increasingly willing to provide details about their purchasing habits.

By asking for relevant information and limiting the amount of personal information requested, customers are more likely to respond.

They understand their answers, referred to as “zero-party data,” are targeted at specifics, which can ultimately yield a better customer experience.

Such a focused approach offers retailers high-value data and is considered by customers to be thoughtful and minimally intrusive.

Evolution of attitude towards data collecting

Years ago, at the dawn of the info-gathering age, when the emphasis was too often on just collecting as much information as possible, customers were skeptical about providing information, fearing a constant barrage of marketing material.

Retailers were reluctant too, not wanting to use data insights too readily as they worried about appearing too “creepy” in their attempts to provide personalized experiences.

Today, those sentiments are reversing. Customers are willing to provide data, especially if they benefit.

For example, bargain hunters will sign up for promotional texts for discounts, while shoppers who are enthusiasts about a brand or particular market may subscribe to a newsletter or blog.

Using OptCulture for Retail Pro makes it easy to market to your customers through any and all channels are best for your business once they agree to share their information.

Savvy retailers offer an enticement, and customers offer select information in exchange for that valued item.

The retailer receives data that helps inform about appropriate future product selections, store locations, etc.

With OptCulture for Retail Pro, you can do this seamlessly by using a digital receipt to cross-sell or upsell.

Increasingly, customers are willing to provide details to brands when they can clearly understand the reason behind the request.

They will answer surveys or quizzes that help their favorite retailers create more tailored shopping environments, and they are eager to provide the names of brands they are enthusiastic about.

When a retailer is upfront about what information they want and how they’ll use it, it builds trust, and that builds loyalty: A recent Harvard Business Review study reported that companies with high loyalty grow revenue 2.5 times faster than their industry peers.

Analysis makes the most of zero-party

Collecting targeted data allows retailers to provide a more relevant shopping experience, and customers respond by offering their loyalty.

Long-term, that loyalty significantly affects revenue and profitability, as brands experience repeat purchases and no incremental acquisition costs.

After harvesting that information, retailers must be able to analyze it effectively.

Retailers use an average of five to six tools to collect feedback and data, but far fewer businesses invest in solutions to aggregate all that data.

Using business intelligence to analyze the information makes it significantly more useful in providing insights.

Business intelligence that is baked into software and happens automatically takes it to an even greater level of convenience. Retail Pro Decisions is one such POS business intelligence software that offers insights automatically, from every channel.

Ensuring every department uses the same CRM helps to create complete customer profiles, with data accessible among the entire business.

A unified view, augmented by customer-supplied data, supports content optimization and more relevant customer journeys.

Zero-party data, in unison with a focused CRM and targeted marketing strategy, improves the effectiveness of personalization efforts – benefitting brands, retailers and customers.

Look What’s Popping Up in Traditional Retail 

Pop-ups are increasingly becoming popular among established retailers looking to inject some fun and excitement into their retail routines.

Often thought of as vehicles for direct-to-consumer and start-up brands, they are making inroads as a means of attracting new customers, as well as for trying out products and services.

Additionally, because pop-ups are temporary, they naturally project a sense of urgency, so products are differentiated from others found in brick and mortar outlets.

This urgency also necessitates the vendor’s ability to have their system run smoothly. Retail Pro Prism is able to run sales without internet, ensuring you won’t miss out on sales and technical difficulties won’t take away from the experience Here are some reasons established retailers are investing in pop-up strategies.

Building excitement for a special-issue product

Pop-ups give an established brand the opportunity to go “off-script” a bit, and provide a platform from which they can build buzz.

They can be tied to a celebrity endorsement, or to the launch of a product that had previously only been offered direct to consumers.

Further, pop-ups can be creatively presented and shared on social platforms to further increase engagement.

That appeals especially to Millennials and Gen Z, which comprise 2/3 of the population as well as the majority of active social media users, who frequently share “in-the-moment” experiences.

Retailers often provide rewards to encourage social sharing as well.

Gathering customer information via pop-ups

Many brands use pop-ups as data-gathering tools for iterating on ideas such as curbside pickup and contactless payment.

Mobile POS are also a helpful tool to have available for these smaller store settings where staff may be limited, so associates can seamlessly transition from interacting with customers to completing a transaction.

Retail Pro Prism is one software for all of your devices and is designed to be used on all operating systems for your convenience.

They can also test product ideas to see what is popular and trending, as well as easily get feedback from shoppers about selections.

Changes to how a brand traditionally operates can also be test-run — and adjusted — successfully.

Testing in this type of intimate setting helps build customer rapport.

In addition, pop-ups may attract new, non-traditional shoppers, who can now be added to future marketing campaigns.

Pop-ups respond to seasonal trends

Many retailers can provide specific products for a particular season, but may not want to transform their entire retail space for that purpose.

For instance, winter pop-ups at trendy ski resort towns cater to slope-side shoppers, while summer pop-ups in quaint seaside villages appeal to sun seekers.

Retailers are able to maintain their traditional brick and mortar branding while providing an exclusive flair outside that domain.

Pop-ups can strengthen the customer relationship.

Pop-ups are smaller, more intimate affairs. They often generate publicity simply because of their temporary nature, and especially when they are a limited engagement.

It’s often more practical to try new trends in a pop-up rather than in an expensive retail space.

Some clothing pop-ups roll out inventory on racks daily to see what sells, and that informs their traditional stores of merchandise trends.

Success relies on the retailer really understanding the customer segment they are targeting and being dedicated to developing that relationship.

Name brands take on private label competition

As inflation heats up, store-brand and private-label products are becoming more attractive to consumers who typically buy more expensive name-brand goods.

Recent economic reports project real GDP growth will slow to 0.7 percent in 2023.

Such a cloudy financial outlook makes private labels popular as shoppers actively seek ways to get more for their money.

The trend has given manufacturers pause as they consider how to retain customers in the face of less expensive competition.

Upgrading private-label brands

Years ago, store-brand products often had bland packaging and were often not in the same league quality-wise as their more expensive competitors.

But today, that’s changed, with stores offering good quality at value pricing.

Some, such as Target, are marketing brands that are sought-after, including Threshold, Good & Gather and Up & Up.

For example, the food segment has seen significant growth in private-label success in the past three years.

The Food Marketing Institute reports that over 40% of consumers surveyed said they are more likely to buy private brands now than before the pandemic, and plan to continue doing so.

Nationwide brands need to actively market themselves to avoid being drowned out by an impending tidal wave of less expensive competitors.

To maintain relevance, experts suggest following the following tips.

Value in the details

Name brand products need to appear relevant to customers by clearly highlighting their features.

That may include describing hand crafting, attention to detail or a unique recipe, which would justify the higher price.

In addition, the price/value proposition should be appropriately marketed to the target audience.

Branded products must differentiate how they differ from private label goods, and how those differences benefit the customer.

Bonus perks creating loyalty

By providing related services, name brand products cultivate loyalty.

For example, Williams Sonoma provides in-store cooking instruction. Customers can learn new techniques, try out recipes and buy equipment all during a single visit.

Values-based private label brands

Having a social consciousness is attractive particularly to shoppers in the younger generations.

For example, Patagonia’s Worn Wear appeals to those shoppers committed to reducing overall consumption.

And Lush cosmetics are cruelty free, while Seventh Generation is environmentally friendly.

The key is to distill the brand’s message into something relatable to customers, and promoting it as fundamental to the product.

Lower cost private label brands for comparable quality

The primary reason private label products are bought initially is the cost factor.

Once a customer is convinced that the products are only minimally different that the more expensive name-brand counterparts, it can be difficult to win back that customer.

The best defense is therefore a strong offense.

Well financed national name brands can afford to use innovation and marketing to compete against private labels, and their survival depends upon it.

Are DTC brands coming of age?

DTC brands are beginning to populate traditional retailers of many brands 
Beautiful asian woman holding shopping bag and smiling looking at perfume display in a big box retailer,

Many direct-to-consumer brands are reevaluating how they do business – and leaving the one-to-one intimacy with customers for a more traditional method of getting their products to more customers.

By embracing a wholesale strategy, often in conjunction with DTC methods,  these brands are developing a more robust omnichannel presence. 

An omnichannel presence is crucial to success in retail, as consumers have become used to having plenty of choices and will often choose convenience above most.

Omnichannel stat. Retail Pro Prism provides the capability for omnichannel operations and retail management.

Difficult circumstances for one channel of discovery

Woman sitting in bed, blowing on her mug and looking at a laptop, browsing DTC brands

For example, in February, digitally native beauty brand Glossier announced its partnership with makeup mega-retailer Sephora.

Glossier’s products will be on shelves at 600 Sephora stores across the United States and Canada, as well as online and on the Sephora App.

The brand’s jump to traditional retail came after a trial run with wholesale sales in 2020, when Glossier experimented with its “Glossier You” fragrance that it sold in seven U.S. brick-and-mortar Nordstrom locations.

The shift for Glossier hasn’t been easy; the brand has reorganized, replacing its CEO and laying off employees as it moves from a single channel of distribution.

However, its experience highlights how DTC brands can realign their resources to help them navigate the ways in which their customers want to engage. 

Additionally, new DTC brands are partnering with wholesalers from the get-go to build visibility and build their customer base.

DTC brands have had massive access to data from having sole access to all the data of their customers due to website-based operations.

The traditional retailers have learned from DTC and aimed to replicate the level of data for a personal loyal relationship with customers.

The cost of a customer

Customers being shown a DTC brand of TV of many in a traditional brick & mortar store.

Keeping customers is a far less expensive proposition than acquiring them, but for DTC brands, it’s imperative to increase their base in addition to keeping loyal customers happy and engaged.

DTC brands often start as small, trendy brands that appeal to a particular niche.

For example, the launch of Warby Parker addressed a customer need for affordable, attractive eyeglasses.

By bypassing wholesalers and retailers, DTC brands such as Warby Parker and Glossier have removed the costs associated with having intermediaries between manufacturers and consumers.

As they grow, however, DTC brands are realizing they need to cost-effectively increase their distribution channels.

Expansion is easier with wholesalers’ large customer base as part of the equation. Rising inflation rates are increasing operating costs; goods are more expensive to produce.

Expanding reach for DTC brands

Asian man holding a tablet POS with Retail Pro Prism software on it standing in a mall, slightly smiling

Adding wholesale as part of an overall strategy can help attract more customers, which is particularly important as consumers are becoming less brand loyal and more value-seeking.

No matter the stage of audience and growth your business is looking to have, omnichannel is the most important aspect a business can have to

A recent McKinsey’s Consumer Pulse survey underscores that sentiment, reporting that “more US consumers reported switching to different brands and retailers in 2022 than at any time since the beginning of the pandemic—and most of them say they intend to incorporate that behavior into their routines.”

Adding wholesale into the DTC mix can benefit all those in the ecosystem.
While the DTC model has provided high margins and customer insights, growing brands are able to parlay a wholesale relationship into a larger customer base while containing marketing costs.

Tempered supply chain issues and strategies

Female Owner Of Fashion Store Using Digital Tablet To Check Stock In Clothing Store

As 2023 kicks off, there are still vestiges of supply chain shortages that continue to challenge retailers. Big box stores are still dealing with consequences of 2020 bottlenecks and supply chain issues.

Recent business surveys found that a majority of logistics managers don’t expect the supply chain to fully resolve until next year.

Additionally, a healthy unemployment number nationwide coupled with labor shortages and a looming recession has added to an overall disruption for general retail operations.

The bleak forecast has resulted in softer expectations in demand during the first half of 2023, with a possible uptick in the second half, making margins a key focus.

However, because that economic softness is expected to stick around, supply chains may appear to be working better because there’s simply less economic activity. 

The good news, according to analysts, is that the number of job openings, which reached its highest level in 21 years in 2022, is on its way down.

The Great Resignation has lost steam and the average quit rate is slowing.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate, at 3.4% in January, has been relatively stable since early 2022.

Having a good, reliable roster of associates is critical to moving goods.

Here are some tips to help get you through the next six months.

Retail recruitment strategies

Female Inventory Manager Shows Digital Tablet Information to a Worker Holding Cardboard Box, They Talk and Do Work. In the Background Stock of Parcels with Products Ready for Shipment.

The labor shortage is a significant challenge for retailers and will continue to be, well past COVID.

Competition is tough, so retailers are encouraged to look beyond financial rewards and invest in building a brand that focuses on culture, values and career growth.

Technology, too, plays a larger role inside the store. Omnichannel retailers encourage shoppers to order use multiple channels for a single order.

Associates receive, track and present customer orders – as well as deal with the inevitable returns.

Tools such as RIOT RFID can make these processes much smoother, faster and more accurate by taking care of the entire time intensive process of tracking products and updating counts upon return or order placement.  

This is a much broader scope of responsibilities, which requires a more advanced set of skills from the managers and staff.

A more transparent and connected system for retail management and point of sale leads to happier and more efficient staff. Retail Pro Prism provides total visibility across channels, saving your business and associates time so they can be more thoughtful, present resources for customers.

Streamline offerings

Supply chain troubles seem amplified when a retailer’s shelves are empty because several products are unavailable simultaneously.

Streamlining the types of products you offer and partnering with a number of suppliers to provide those specific types of items helps focus investment on high-impact areas.

You’ll be delivering a more consistent customer experience as well.

In addition, consider alternatives to what you currently offer without cutting back on quality of service. For example, florists may not be able to reliably source plastic vases for every order, so they might offer creative bouquet wrapping instead.

Map your supply chain

Ensure you have supply chain visibility. Surviving a supply chain shortage requires a steady flow of parts and materials.

Supplier mapping includes locations, details of what supplier provides and how critical each product is.

Understanding their inventory levels as well as your own is also crucial. Consider tracking your vendor’s supply chain as well.

Having the visibility of connected retail management across channels helps you in accounting for every order in process, giving you peace of mind.

Finally, as suppliers continue to feel the squeeze, be quality conscious.

It’s tempting for manufacturers to cut corners to meet demands quickly.

For designer brands, counterfeit goods can be a big problem when supplies are scarce.

Support your suppliers by investing in them, insisting they only accept first-rate work and authentic products, and offering credit terms if appropriate.

After all, if your biggest, most critical suppliers go out of business, you will too.








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