What caught my attention this week – 03.15.19

Earlier this month, Forbes named Kylie Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Most people got frustrated in the semantics of “self-made”, but what caught my attention was this new era that she personifies – the Ecommerce Entrepreneur.

We’re in the midst of a phenomenon where anyone and everyone can design a virtual storefront and potentially sell millions of products via powerful self-serve ecommerce technologies such as Shopify, Squarespace, Gumroad, etc.

Although Shopify is great for the local Wisconsin store that can now reach customers as far away as Peru. The people that really benefit from Shopify are those that have spent the past decade building their influence on social media platforms. Shopify is meant for personalities like Kylie Jenner that can consistently send lots of traffic to a virtual store and sell millions of lip kits with just a few social media posts.

For Instagram Influencers, YouTubers, and other internet personalities Shopify is the first truly sustainable business model they have. It’s a revenue stream they completely control and is also on brand – unlike sponsored posts, endorsements, and advertisements.

King Bach, Brother Nature, Amanda Cerny and thousands of other Insta-famous people are all turning to Shopify – changing their status from influencer to Ecommerce Entrepreneur.

This reminds me a lot of what happened not too long ago with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Thirteen years ago, AWS launched and allowed for moonshot ideas to thrive because visionaries could build their wildest platforms with the confidence that AWS would handle all the back-end computing stress – at a negligible cost compared to building the server hardware on their own.

Without AWS, you wouldn’t get companies like Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, and ironically, even Shopify. It completely changed the paradigm for venture capital and what it meant for entrepreneurs to write a business plan, raise millions of dollars, and build an everlasting business.

In very much the same way, Shopify is changing the paradigm of commerce and giving a place for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs to thrive. Some of the savvier Ecommerce Entrepreneurs are creating DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands such as Warby Parker, Allbirds, and hims that are shaking up their respective industries and ultimately fueling the panic of their incumbent competition.

Kylie Jenner is not the first, nor will she be the last, influencer to turn their attention into money with the help of Shopify.

This is what caught my attention in technology:

The future of the DTC mall

Shopify, whose low-barrier e-commerce platform has contributed to the rise of the DTC brand boom, is now pushing into physical retail, acting as a backend bridge for online stores going offline for the first time. Born-online brands, such as M.Gemi, Mack Weldon, b8ta, Rhone, Heidi Klein, Lovepop, Stance and Dirty Lemon, are taking their first shot at physical locations in malls across America.

Read the rest of the story here

How Amazon thrives on our impatience as consumers

19 years ago, Amazon introduced shoppers to an entirely new way of online shopping known as 1-click ordering. By saving a customer’s payment method and shipping preferences, Amazon empowered impulsive shoppers by allowing any item to be bought with one simple click of the mouse. Although it doesn’t seem like a very advanced idea, their swift patenting of the digital shopping method in 1999 helped create an e-commerce moat that couldn’t be beaten.

Read the entire story here

Just rent your clothes

My closet is in the cloud. After going nearly “full rental,” I’ve had little desire or need to buy new clothes in the past year. According to Rent the Runway cofounder and CEO Jennifer Hyman, this model—where we rent clothing, accessories, and soft goods that we at one point would have outright purchased—is going to change everything in the future.

Read the entire story on rental clothes here

Marie Kondo isn’t sparking joy for thrift stores

Since the reality TV show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” made its debut on Netflix in January, used-goods stores have been inundated with donations. The problem: mass quantities of dirty, worn-out clothes, ugly trinkets, and unsellable appliances. It’s burying donation centers with goods that truly, nobody wants.

Read the whole WSJ article here

Nutella tests out voice commerce with free samples via Alexa

Nutella-maker Ferrero is trying out voice commerce. The advertiser is one of the first in the U.S. to use the “send me a sample” application, which delivers a free sample-sized jar of its Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread to people who have it installed in either their Amazon or Google voice assistants. Whenever someone repeats the “send a sample” phrase followed by the name of the brand, an order is made by the app, which pulls delivery information either from the Amazon or Google account linked to the voice assistant.

Read the full story by Digiday here

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What caught my attention this week – 03.08.19

What caught my attention this week – 03.08.19