It’s a jam-packed week here for us at Future Commerce.
Let’s get you caught up:
- Our newest guide for merchants is now available! You don’t want to be talked at, stalked by, or silenced in your relationship with a brand, do you? Of course not. Learn how you can have a better conversation with your customer in our newest piece, in partnership with Loop Returns.
- The Roblox Brand Tracker. What do Nike, PacSun, and Osh Kosh B’Gosh have in common? They’re all consumer brands that are partnering with Roblox in an effort to find new consumer experiences and marketplaces. We’ve built a handy Roblox Brand Activation Tracker to keep tabs on who’s building in the metaverse.
- Tickets are selling fast for our event at Art Basel. We’d love to see you there. Join us on December 1st as we celebrate the launch of Archetypes.
- Ingrid and Kiri dive into digital communities and what it means to “belong” in the newest episode of Infinite Shelf
- We’re going to be at RICE the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo, June 13-15, 2023. We have a *big reveal* coming soon, but get your tickets now so you don’t miss out. We’ll have room for 150-200 people, MAX. Register early.
That’s it, futurists. Keep an eye in your inbox for a special invite to our Archetypes event including a discount code, and a sneak preview of the Archetypes Journal. Bookmark this site and set a calendar reminder for next Friday.
Hope for the Holiday Season? Shoppers in the U.S. seem like they may be ready to spend for the holidays, despite signals that they are cutting back in other areas. And inventory is up, compared to the past few years. Could it be that this will be a big year for holiday spending? Retailers are hoping so, and many have already rolled out deals to finish their year out of the red.
Commerce in China. As prices rise and consumer confidence falls, we should see a big lift in online off-price retailers, especially those based out of China, like Temu. Meanwhile, Tapestry continues building in China, undeterred by the economy. This further proves two hypotheses: 1) our definition of luxury is fluid, and becoming more nuanced. And 2) luxury is uncorrelated to broader economic factors.
More Sights & Sounds. Business travel is back, consumer travel is up 13% from pre-pandemic levels, and JetBlue posted a profit for the first time IN YEARS. Amazon capitulates on its own payments service as it rolls Venmo into the platform just in time for Christmas. YouTube’s advertising slump has slowed down Alphabet's overall growth. The story of Spirit Halloween on the It's Been a Minute podcast is worth the listen. And Apple isn’t playing games with NFTs, while also annexing up to 30% of in-app advertising from social media networks like Instagram.
The Venn Diagram of Brands and Web3. Can Web3 disrupt the world of activewear? That seems to be the goal of companies like Early Majority, Outdoor Voices, and Eco Labs.
- Our Take: At first blush, it seems laughable to think that a startup apparel outdoor brand could be “web3 enabled.” What does that mean? What we’re beginning to experience, though, is that the “very online” community of web3 incorporates people who naturally gravitate toward builders and charismatic founders. This is a Venn diagram of people who are early adopters and eager participants.
The new opportunity, then, is to use the language of web3 to build the next generation of collaborative, community-centric brands. Hacking into that world by using Discord and MetaMask gives you the strategic advantage of having an always-online community at the ready. Rather than trying to coax your customers into participating in R&D, you’ll naturally attract those ready to be put to work.
Web3 fundraising has its merits, too. NFTs act as a nouveau Kickstarter as much as they do a natural gatekeeping function of membership. As a member of Early Majority for the past 90 days, I’ve seen this in action. Community calls, active group chats, open product roadmaps, and sharing wins/losses; this is like a window into the early stages of the next great global outdoor brand, and I paid the low price of 0.33ETH for the privilege.
Early Majority is what Arfa wishes it had built. Arfa was but a sacrificial lamb of community-first brands. They were too early. We’re rooting for Early Majority founder Joy Howard.
Cheeky Chow. Wendy’s and Adult Swim partnered up in what may be the perfect pairing… two irreverent brands that are great, but not precious about what they have. What arose from the partnership was a Rick and Morty’s drive-thru activation that was a huge success.
The Scoop on the Spook. It is almost Halloween, and this season always brings attention to the fine line between the heartwarmingly spooky and the genuinely terrifying. Eliza Brooke dives into this idea as she addresses “the appeal of eerie aesthetics.”