In today’s world, customers are looking for an experience that streamlines the shopping process and caters to their needs. In fact, the quality of their shopping experience is playing a larger role than ever when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
With online sales up 17% and physical retail down 11%, it’s no wonder retailers large and small are increasingly living online. An alternative to simply shuttering the windows, though, is to experiment with new technologies to integrate the showroom, the storefront, and the web.
Instacart, the home grocery delivery service that launched back in 2012, is close to raising a massive Series C round of funding north of $100 million, according to sources. The raise will value the startup at $2 billion, or more than quadruple the $400 million valuation of its Series B financing from June.
Long waits in line at the checkout are now an antiquated ritual with the proliferation of smartphones in the hands of both shoppers and retail staff. Sales transactions can take place anywhere alleviating the congestion found as customers queue up to purchase their new finds.
There’s a new breed of luxury performance apparel, and at the helm of this growing category is the Wilson family. Patriarch Chip Wilson initiated a world where yoga pants rule when he launched Lululemon, and now his wife Shannon and son JJ are cracking into basics with Kit and Ace.
By: Angela Velasquez. Source: Sourcing Journal
Glossybox, Birchbox, Beauty Army, Beauty DNA, Beauty Bar Allure Sample Society, Beauty Box 5, Beauty Fix, Curlbox, Memebox, New Beauty TestTube, TargetBeauty Box, Total Beauty Collection, the beauty box subscription list goes on and on and on.
By: Jamye Cyk. Source: WWD
Over the summer, Square purchased food delivery startup Caviar. Today, it’s making ordering on the service even easier with the launch of a mobile app.
By: Ryan Lawler. Source: TechCrunch
In January, Harry’s, an online seller of razors with fancy handles that was just 10 months old, bought a German factory with $100 million of a $122 million investment round. That was rare.
By: Jason Del Rey. Source: re/code
The founders, Erik Schnakenberg and Sasha Koehn, started Buck Mason in Los Angeles in 2013. It began with selling packages of basics that mixed and matched so any man could have a sophisticated style with one click. This developed into creating a timeless American uniform.
By: Alexander Taub. Source: Forbes
Fashion marketplace Poshmark, which lets women shop for items sold from others’ closets, is now able to authenticate the purchases of luxury goods through a new service it’s calling “Posh Concierge.”
Some more consolidation afoot in the world of e-commerce site aggregation and marketing.Connexity, the price comparison shopping and marketing technology company that rebranded from Shopzilla earlier this year, has acquired Become.com.
Imagine you’re on your way to work. You walk up the stairs from the subway, and your coffee order is put in automatically. You walk into Starbucks, past the line, tell the barista your name, and she hands you your tall latte with skim.
By: Mark Wilson. Source: Fast Company
After being rescued during a liquidation sale, women’s fashion brand Eloquii Design Inc. relaunched and gained fast traction with plus-sized, trend-conscious women. Now the startup has attracted investors, securing a $6 million Series A round to expand the product line and bolster marketing.
By: Lizette Champan. Source: Wall Street Journal
Not only does this diversify Fits.me’s product offering, but it marks the London-based company’s first big push into the U.S
By: Eliza Brooke. Source: Fashionista
As competition in online payments heats up, investors are doubling down on Stripe. The payments startup said it raised $70 million in a new funding round valuing it at $3.57 billion, doubling its valuation in less than a year.
By: Douglas MacMillan. Source: Wall Street Journal
Men’s Style Lab, Inc., an online concierge clothing service that provides style for everyday guys, today announced the close of a $1.1 million angel funding round. It’s a follow-on funding to a $750,000 round raised earlier this summer: what a way to kick off the first week back from Thanksgiving.
The food truck phenomenon has taken the country by storm. From New York to Los Angeles, the number, the variety, and the quality of food trucks are on the rise.
By: David Weber. Source: Fast Company
Consumer research reports that came out in advance of the holiday season said that as many as a third of survey respondents indicated they’d like to use some form of mobile payment for their shopping this year.
By: Mark Sullivan. Source: VentureBeat
Sometime last summer, a quarter-billion dollars went missing at Amazon. Analysts were expecting the usual gangbusters third quarter. But it was about $250 million short of forecasts.
By: David Streitfield. Source: The New York Times
Bitcoin wallet Coinbase just announced its newest feature called USD Wallets for verified account holders. The new digital wallet allows users to store U.S. dollars, so they don’t have to wait for a bank transfer every time they want to buy Bitcoin.
By: Ruth Reader. Source: VentureBeat
This holiday season, Zappos is harnessing shoppers’ love affair with their smartphones to make it easy to shop anywhere and anytime via customer service-driven services such as Ask Zappos and curated collections.
By: Chantal Tode. Source: Mobile Commerce Daily