Casper Mattress Dilemma, PopSugar Fitness Media, TikTok Commerce, Branded Merch, Depop IRL, Cameo Hires TikTok Exec

Covering commerce daily from Amazon to Zulily.

There are now 175 online mattress companies—and you can't tell them apart - CNBC

Online mattress companies that ship to your front door say that finding the perfect bed might just take a few clicks. But experts warn that it's important to look beneath the sheets. They say many mattresses being sold are actually very similar — despite how they're marketed.

"The products that you're buying — there are many similarities and only some minor differences," said Seth Basham, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who covers the mattress industry.

Purple emphasizes the science behind its mattresses, especially its "Smart Comfort Grid" layer, which it says helps to relieve pressure on your body during sleep.

PopSugar's new direct revenue play is a marketplace for workout tutorials - Digiday

Lifestyle publishers need to rethink the relationships they have with their audiences if they want to grow direct reader revenue. A new PopSugar endeavor reconsiders its relationship to both its readers and to influencers.

Glow gives PopSugar an opportunity to forge deeper relationships with the influencers who represent real competition to many lifestyle publishers.

The Washington Post and Vox Media, for example, have been on hiring sprees trying to win market share for their CMSes, which they are selling to advertisers and brands alike.

TikTok’s new ‘Hashtag Challenge Plus’ lets video viewers shop for products in the app – TechCrunch

TikTok, the short-form video platform favored by young adults and teens, has launched a new feature that allows users to shop for products associated with a sponsored Hashtag Challenge, without leaving its app. These sponsored challenges are Gen Z-friendly marketing campaigns where users are prompt…

TikTok, the short-form video platform favored by young adults and teens, has launched a new feature that allows users to shop for products associated with a sponsored Hashtag Challenge, without leaving its app.

These sponsored challenges are Gen Z-friendly marketing campaigns where users are prompted to post videos of them using a product — like showing off favorite outfits from Uniqlo or Guess, for example.

Why Brands (Like Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams) Are Leaning Into Branded Merchandise- Forbes

In step with other non-apparel brands who are experimenting with branded merchandise, artisan ice cream maker Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is leaning further into its business arm that extends beyond the core product of ice cream and into the world of soft goods (like shirts, hats, bags, and more.)

John Lowe, the company’s CEO, says it’s been thanks in part to some strategic restructuring around product placement both online and in-store, as well as the expansion of the merchandise line—which includes collaborations with other brands.

Other retail experts like Paul Munford of Lean Luxe echo the “merch as marketing” perspective and see it as a capitalization on the lifestyle element of a company—even if the core product line doesn’t include soft goods, as in the case of Jeni’s.

From Vintage Dior Saddle Bags To Tiny Sunnies: Shop Your Favourite Depop Brands IRL At Selfridges - ELLE

Finally, a chance to try before you buy.

Kitting out the likes of Bella Hadid, Billie Eilish, Christina Aguilera and Little Mix with her signature Slim sunglasses, the 24-year-old has been peddling this 90's trend since she launched her fashion accessories brand on Depop in 2017.

Started in 2016 by Rachael Cook, the success of her Depop store even led to her opening the bricks-and-mortar retail space on Brick Lane, aka London's vintage mecca .

Bojangles’ Sold for $593 Million, to be Taken Private - QSR Magazine

Rumors have swirled of a possible deal in recent months.

From Shearman & Sterling, partners George Casey, Scott Petepiece, and Richard Fischetti, Doreen Lilienfeld, and associates Grace Jamgochian and Matthew Behrens led the team that advised Bojangles’.

"Bojangles’ has a differentiated offering, a talented team of employees and dedicated franchisees that are committed to their businesses and their communities,” added Ian Arons, partner at The Jordan Company.

The Rise of Hand-Me-Down Inc. - WSJ

The garage sale is becoming big business as The RealReal and other upstarts feast on the emerging appeal of secondhand clothes, shoes and accessories.

It used to be that shopping for secondhand goods meant sifting through piles of clothes and “Everything $1” bins at the local Goodwill or a neighbor’s garage sale.

For many, it meant scrolling through postings on one of the first online marketplaces, eBay Inc.

Vegan Boots, DTC Growth Behind Dr. Martens Revival - Sourcing Journal

The brand credited growing consumer interest in vegan products and its investment in direct-to-consumer business for a jump in profit.

August 14, 2019 4:45PM ET On the heels of a 70 percent increase in profit and a 30 percent increase in revenue during the fiscal year ended in March, Dr. Martens and its parent company, Permira, are crediting its new “ vegan ” boot line and a growing emphasis on DTC sales for the brand’s renewed success.

These Ecom Experts Share Their Secrets To Succeeding As Digital Entrepreneurs

Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, has likely created more success stories across more industries than any other opportunity in the past century

Part of what makes Jordan’s business model so fascinating, is that he focuses on creating fortunes for clients without the need to sell and deliver physical products.

You might be familiar with Jason Portnoy from his podcast Perfectly Mentored where he has interviewed business icons and celebrities like Elena Cardone, Ryan Deiss, Tim Burd and Frank Kern just to name a few.

Game over: Middle-class and poor kids are ditching youth sports - CBS

Youth sports participation is rising among richer families, as children lower down the ladder exit the field

That change in the environment for youth sports was evident in the college admissions scandal that tarnished actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman as well as dozens of other parents.

The bigger picture, according to the Aspen Institute's Farrey: Middle-class and poor children who can't afford to play sports may be at a distinct disadvantage compared with kids from affluent families.

Faire, The Online Marketplace For Local Mom-And-Pop Shops, Is Going Global

Online wholesaler Faire wants to give independent retailers another weapon against Amazon - the ability to source products from international craftsmen and vendors.

“Faire is giving us the opportunity to reach a significant new audience of quality independent stores which we wouldn’t have had the knowledge and resources to discover and approach by ourselves,” Jenny Lockton, founder of Bohemia Design, said in a statement.

Rhodes and other Faire founders previously had worked for Square, the payments facilitator used by many small businesses, and had an understanding of the challenges, but also the potential of local retail.

Here's why Macy's, Banana Republic, and Bloomingdale's have unveiled clothing rentals this month - CNBC

Companies have increasingly been jumping into the rental apparel market to try to capture customers. Bloomingdale's, Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters have announced or rolled out rental services. The growth is partly fueled by CaaStle, which helps companies manage inventory and shipping.

Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester, said many consumers are fatigued with subscription services and feel pressured to purchase every few weeks or months because of the recurring styling fee.

Forrester's Kodali said these companies work with CaaStle because it's a "brand building tool" and helps them to enter the rental business without having to put much capital upfront or worry about logistics.

MLB Sleeve Patches Could Be More Valuable Than NBA Jersey Ads, According to Nielsen Analysis - Ad Week

The measurement firm used proprietary computer vision tech to track logos stitched on the players’ sleeves across footage of the MLB’s London and Japan series—since uniform advertising is already permitted for international games—and projected the results out for a regular season.

As recent advances in AI have made machine learning tools for image recognition widely available, broadcasters, measurement firms and startups like GumGum and HiveAI have begun to deploy it to more accurately price the value of on-screen product placements.

Nike + The Infatuation: Enjoy The Run. Enjoy The EEEEEATS. - New York - The Infatuation

We teamed up with Nike to give you lots of reasons to run a mile. Or five. Throughout the months of August and September, Nike and The Infatuation will be bringing you special offers & experiences to participate in – including six custom running routes, guides to great restaurants to hit after those runs, treats from some of The Infatuation’s favorite spots you can pick up at Nike

DTC Brands Are Finding Their Target Audiences Through Streaming Services - Ad Week

Switch on the ad-supported video service of your choice, and you’ll notice Ollie isn’t the only DTC brand testing the temperature of the streaming waters.

Taking a test-and-learn approach Birchbox, which sells subscription beauty boxes, ventured into traditional television advertising with a few scattered linear buys, but when the company began executing a “surround-sound” campaign this year, CMO Amanda Tolleson thought it was past time to make streaming part of her marketing mix.

YouTube Originals become ad-supported and free after September 24th – TechCrunch

In an email distributed to YouTube Premium subscribers, the company confirmed that access to YouTube’s original programming will no longer be exclusive to Premium customers after September 24th, 2019. Instead, many of YouTube’s Originals series, movies and live events will be offered to…

The company found some success with scripted content, the report noted — like Cobra Kai, which at the time had 100 million views and a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Variety recently reported on a new crowdfunding service for YouTube creators, Fundo, which allows start to invite fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events.

A snapshot of ecommerce sales of footwear - Digital Commerce 360

A closer look at the footwear subcategory in Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000 reveals key growth trends in the apparel industry. Footwear retailers' web sales contributed 12% to the $15.1 billion total online apparel growth in the Top 1000, according to Internet Retailer's analysis. A closer look at the footwear subcategory in Internet Retailer's 2019 Top 1000. Overall growth in the industry is cited below

A closer look at the footwear subcategory in Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000 reveals key growth trends in the apparel industry.

Transforming the Retail Landscape: An Owners’ Perspective on DTC - Connect Media

By Dennis Kaiser Direct to consumer (DTC) brands continue to gain prominence and transform the retail landscape. The explosion of digital-native brands and online shopping has captured attention and consumers wallets. Yet, many savvy DTC brands are exploring physical stores as a long-term growth and sustainability strategy. Connect Media’s planned conference, Connect DTC, will bring together a confluence of influential brands, top venture capitalists, and the most innovative minds in retail next month at Santana Row in San Jose. It promises to be a stimulating conversation among some of the hottest brands, the investors funding their retail expansions, and other

Jeff Kreshek, SVP, Leasing, West Coast for Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns Santana Row, shared insights from an owner’s perspective about the ways they collaborate with DTC brands, what he sees working or not, as well as a few of the trends coming over the horizon in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Working with the DTC brands can be challenging, as many of them are very new to real estate and thus are still trying to decide themselves what sort of store experience do they want to create, how do they want to engage with the customer, and where is the best location for them to express themselves.

This esports team is competing for a $15 million prize. We talked to its coach and manager about what it takes to build a winning squad. - Business Insider

Alliance CEO and coach Jonathan "Loda" Berg and general manager Kelly Ong talked about how they built and support one of the best teams in esports.

Jonathan "Loda" Berg is the CEO of Alliance, a Swedish esports team sponsored by major companies like Twitch, Monster, and Razer.

In 2013, the same year Alliance was founded, Loda led the team to victory at The International, the annual "Dota 2" championship hosted by Valve Software, the game's developer.

$300 million Cameo hired a TikTok exec to lead its international expansion, as the celeb shoutout app looks to add Bollywood and K-Pop stars

Cameo CEO Steven Galanis hopes to bring global talent, like Bollywood actors and K-Pop stars, to the app and fend off global copycat apps.

This role follows Henriquez's previous position as head of global marketing at TikTok, the short-form-video app that has surged in popularity, especially among teens and Generation Z.

He also spoke about his goal to bring popular global talent, like Bollywood actors, K-Pop stars, and athletes, to the app.