Episode 181
October 30, 2020

There's a Nerd For That

While the digital shift is disenfranchising older consumers and those in lower income brackets, Instacart is launching a senior support service to help Boomers, and Aldi is offering SNAP benefits through the last-mile provider. PLUS: (Man) Repeller falls off the Nine by Nine as it winds down.

<iframe height="52px" width="100%" frameborder="no" scrolling="no" seamless src="https://player.simplecast.com/fbf4c371-fd0b-451e-b66f-331e471ff02a?dark=false"></iframe>

this episode sponsored by

We discuss digital shopping experiences, their experimental evolution, Instacart, CARLY brands, and more. 

The New DIY

  • DIY used to have a connotation of poor quality or poor craftsmanship but today, it’s more indicative of participation.
  • Online marketplaces are booming with consumers and creators having more meaningful connections with items that could otherwise be more easily purchased. 
  • Partnering with Gladly, we’ve created a new report: The New DIY: Creators, Crafts and Commerce.
  • “There is a cycle of inspiration that leads to education online, that leads to participation, which ultimately shapes the purchases that a person makes, which leads them back to inspire others into that same virtuous cycle.” - Phillip Jackson

Digital Shopping Experiences

  • Kendall Jenner just released a $23 toothpaste on StockX. StockX has pioneered a drop platform called DropX. StockX was part of our Nine by Nine report as a brand introducing a new type of luxury to a new consumer. Since our report, StockX has constantly been pushing into new categories. 
  • Farfetch is moving into experimental shopping: partnering with Bambuser, they’re doing a six month trial to create more entertainment-focused digital commerce experiences. 
  • Shopping online is less entertainment than shopping physically. Farfetch is piloting the change in online shopping to a more entertaining experience. 
  • Immerss does live video shopping and trunk shows - both live streaming and pre-recording content, making online shopping a more entertaining experience.
  • Shoptalk was different this year, being online and being less content-driven: “To me, this was the most successful Shoptalk ever. Period. Hands down.” - Phillip Jackson


  • Instacart is launching a senior support service to help boomers (age 60+) create accounts and shop online. 
  • Instacart is pivoting to doing a lot more than just groceries. They are also mentioned in our Nine by Nine report for their help in closing the gap with everyday brands and Amazon Prime. 
  • There has been criticism of the bifurcation of the consumer during COVID-19 in which its been said that the upper class worked in their homes while the middle class became deliverers of consumer goods.
  • Regardless of controversy, Instacart has made these delivery methods more available and accessible to everyone. Instacart has a lead over retailers’s own efforts in deliveries even if they are an intermediary for the experience. 
  • According to Instacart, there’s traffic of 2000 senior customers a day that specialists are spending 20% more account support time with on average. 
  • Seniors represent a major growth potential for online retailers because (according to eMarketer) 62% of baby boomers will make at least one online purchase this year. 
  • Aldi has made EBT available via Instacart. This is providing tech mobility and accessibility to those in different income classes. 

CARLY Brands

  • On media becoming commerce: “By nature of being a new psychographic, stuff that tries to address the psychographic isn’t always going to land.” - Brian Lange 
  • There’s a sense of self and importance of the self as a brand, which we refer to as the Existential Brand: “If you are a good brand that isn’t entirely self-focused, you actually create your identity through your community and your customers.” - Brian Lange
  • Thredup is a brand that is true to the digital shopping paradigm of heightening the real life experience via eCommerce: “If you look at in-store thrift[ing], there’s a different person who’s dropping off stuff than the person who shops there… [Thredup] is making a marketplace that you can participate in on both ends of the spectrum.” - Phillip Jackson


Have any questions or comments about the show? Let us know on Futurecommerce.com, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We love hearing from our listeners!

Phillip: [00:02:46] Bring the energy, Brian. Show me you're excited.

Brian: [00:02:52] {laughter} Welcome. Welcome.

Phillip: [00:02:52] Let's keep that in the show.

Brian: [00:02:54] Welcome.

Phillip: [00:02:57] Is there no one to sleep where you are?

Brian: [00:02:59] {quietly} Welcome. Welcome.

Phillip: [00:03:01] That's it. {quietly} Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about next generation commerce. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:03:09] I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:03:09] It's a very weird intro this episode. We got a lot to talk about, and we're going to try to squeeze it all into a tiny amount of space. But, gosh, it's been a crazy, wild week. We just released The New DIY, which is our newest report.

Brian: [00:03:27] Whoo. Love The New DIY.

Phillip: [00:03:27] It's amazing.

Brian: [00:03:29] It's a great report.

Phillip: [00:03:29] I know. I know. I know. We are very self-referential. But we care a lot about the things that we create. Brian, you and I, we co-wrote The New DIY. We did all the research. We partnered with Gladly to help put it all together.

Brian: [00:03:45] Surge.

Phillip: [00:03:45] And our friends at Surge.AI, which, by the way, if you're looking for a consumer research platform Surge.AI is probably going to rock your world.

Phillip: [00:03:54] We're going to have Ferris Jumah from Surge, who's going to join us in a week or so and tell us more about what that platform allowed us to do in our research for The New DIY.

Brian: [00:04:06] Dude, Ferris is awesome.

Phillip: [00:04:07] Oh, my gosh. That whole team is just... On another level. They're data scientists. They're the real deal.

Brian: [00:04:15] Yes.

Phillip: [00:04:15] They know what they're talking about. And you know what we did was we did some research with this platform to find emerging trends and in the process to really unpack the DIY economy. We figured out, we found an amazing thing that is that there is a cycle of inspiration that leads to education online, that leads to participation, which ultimately shapes the purchases that a person makes, which leads them back to inspire others into that same virtuous cycle. It's a phenomenon that we're calling The New DIY. We put it into a report, 16 pages, full color, custom photography, incredible branding, love all the work and the effort that went into it. And I think insights that will kind of blow your mind. It's not just arts and crafts. Is it, Brian?

Brian: [00:05:01] No, it's really not. It's a huge opportunity. It's complete paradigm shift for consumers, actually. And I can't wait to do The New DIY Part 2 someday. Someday.

Phillip: [00:05:16] Yeah.

Brian: [00:05:16] It's just so much to unpack there. And I feel like that could have been...

Phillip: [00:05:22] We could have said so much more.

Brian: [00:05:24] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:05:24] We could have said so much more.

Brian: [00:05:25] It could have been like a thirty six page report.

Phillip: [00:05:27] Yeah. But it's not, it's sixteen pages and you need to read every one of them. Go get it right now.

Brian: [00:05:31] Very consumable. Go get it.

Phillip: [00:05:31] FutureCommerce.fm/TheNewDIY And shape your future with some good insights and some insights that you need. And you know what? I'll tell you what it's not. It's not twenty ways to win in Holiday 2020. You don't need another one of those. What you need is to figure out what the real future of your retail business is going to be. And I think you can do that if you go get the new report, The New DIY. It's a FutureCommerce.fm/TheNewDIY. See, this is a radio thing. They say you have to say something five times for people to actually get it.

Brian: [00:06:03] That's why I said welcome so many times at the beginning of the episode. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:06:06] Welcome. Ok, Brian, you've got a ton of news stacked up, things that we haven't talked about in ages.

Brian: [00:06:13] Lots of stuff. You know, that's true actually. We were kind of looking back at some interesting trends that we've seen, some interesting news, things happening and a lot of stuff happening to brands that we covered in our Nine by Nine report.

Phillip: [00:06:29] That's true. Yeah.

Brian: [00:06:30] Which turned out so well.

Phillip: [00:06:31] We keep an eye on these.

Brian: [00:06:31] Well, yeah, and we do. That's right. Yeah. These brands are doing things actively in our world that are making a difference. And they're trying new things, setting new trends. For instance, something that just happened is that Kendall Jenner just introduced a $23 toothpaste on StockX. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:06:57] {laughter} That's the ticket. StockX apparently not just in resale these days. They actually like pioneered something that they're calling DropX. And so they're partnering with brands to drop products because they are a drop platform in some way, I guess, if you think about it. So, yeah, StockX is getting into personal care and they are... Kendall Jenner has the brand Moon, which is an oral care brand and does like whitening, you know, type things, teeth whitening. And she did a collab with Heron Preston, who's a designer and has done some really interesting work, especially in the footwear space. Long story short, if you feel like spending $42 on teeth whitening toothpastes, you know where to go get it. To StockX. StockX was on our Nine by Nine report. They placed prominently, I believe. Were they number one?

Brian: [00:07:56] Not number one. They were number two in the New Luxury category, which I think they definitely deserved that spot. I think StockX was sort of like really I think did a good job of being a poster child for the New Luxury and stuff like this...

Phillip: [00:08:22] Introducing luxury, and like a new type of luxury, to a new consumer.

Brian: [00:08:27] Right, exactly. So the platform. The fact that it could be something that was used. It could be something that was new. It could be a hot new product. It could be something that's a traditional product line. It doesn't really matter. You can find it on StockX. And like the market dictates what the price should be. Obviously with DropX it's a new game, which of course makes sense. They're constantly pushing into new categories.

Phillip: [00:08:59] Yeah. I feel like when we when Nine by Nine was being researched, they were in collectibles, handbags, timepieces...

Brian: [00:09:11] Shoes. Shoes.

Phillip: [00:09:11] And shoes and sneakers. I feel like they've really continued to broaden that mission, and they're blurring the lines of what StockX used to be about, which, you know, I put this out on Twitter, and I was semi joking. No, I was definitely joking. Let me take that back. I was totally joking.

Brian: [00:09:37] Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. You were right. They were number one, not number two. I don't know why I said that.

Phillip: [00:09:42] Then... Are you sure?

Brian: [00:09:44] Yeah. Yeah. I'm looking at the report right now in this very second.

Phillip: [00:09:47] Were they number one?

Brian: [00:09:47] Number one.

Phillip: [00:09:47] Oh, then the Tweet that we posted that said they were number two is incorrect.

Brian: [00:09:51] So they were number one, which makes sense because they really do epitomize this category. So that's even better.

Phillip: [00:09:59] Were they number one or number two?

Brian: [00:10:01] They were number one.

Phillip: [00:10:02] There were a number one in the new luxury category.

Brian: [00:10:04] Correct.

Phillip: [00:10:06] Who was never two?

Brian: [00:10:08] Farfetch.

Phillip: [00:10:08] I feel like I should know this.

Brian: [00:10:09] Farfetch.

Phillip: [00:10:10] OK.

Brian: [00:10:11] Which makes sense.

Phillip: [00:10:12] Farfetch was actually... Makes plenty sense. Actually Farfetch was recently in the news as well, might as well, you know, jump right on this.

Brian: [00:10:19] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:10:19] Farfetch is piloting experiential shopping, live streaming, by partnering with... I'm sorry. Partnering with... {laughter} I'm reading the wrong story at the same time. They're partnering with Bambuser, and they are doing a six month trial to try to create more entertainment focused digital commerce experiences. It's the thing that I feel like we have... Shopping is elusive online or like there's... People don't shop. I know we say we shop online, right? It's not shopping in the way that like, "Oh, I'm going shopping," right?

Brian: [00:11:02] No.

Phillip: [00:11:02] Shopping in the real world...

Brian: [00:11:04] We catalog browse. We catalog browse online.

Phillip: [00:11:07] Right. It's more like spearfishing. People go in search of a particular thing or they're inspired or sort of side tracked. But the act of like shopping as entertainment online is an elusive experience because it's not immersive. You're browsing static catalog experiences. And with the rise of streaming platforms like Twitch, which we should touch on the AOC/Ilhan Omar playing among us. We should actually touch on that in a second here.

Brian: [00:11:36] Yes.

Phillip: [00:11:36] But, you know, Twitch gives rise to more...is orienting, albeit starting around video gaming, but live streaming as a concept in the United States that is just catching up. And I know ShopShops is doing this in Asia, but to see a brand like Farfetch actually piloting this... Live stream shopping could be a thing. Brian, we've talked about live stream shopping.

Brian: [00:12:05] Yeah, we definitely have. And I mean...

Phillip: [00:12:08] Us doing it, that was the...

Brian: [00:12:11] Oh, yeah. Well, we've talked about it on the show and we've also talked about us doing it. In fact, some day we'll just say that someday we'll do a little segment called Shopping with Philip and Brian.

Phillip: [00:12:24] Nobody... I feel like nobody wants to watch middle aged white guys shop.

Brian: [00:12:27] Yeah, that's probably true. That's true. But I would have fun just making the content.

Phillip: [00:12:31] I would be the target demo, and I don't even want to watch that.

Brian: [00:12:36] {laughter} You know what? Actually, just on this topic before we move on or move over to gaming, because we have talked about gaming quite a bit on the show.

Phillip: [00:12:47] Yeah.

Brian: [00:12:49] But before we were at Shoptalk last week, Shoptalk meet up.

Phillip: [00:12:55] At Shoptalk.

Brian: [00:12:57] At Shoptalk... Online.

Phillip: [00:13:00] Online.

Brian: [00:13:00] It was the online meetup. It was one hundred percent online. It was just a bunch of meetings. There was like no content, which is kind of counterintuitive for Shoptalk because it's been such a strong content channel.

Phillip: [00:13:12] Yeah so focused on content. It's actually... If we were in person and it wasn't confusing, I would basically say like at the same time, let's say if the experience was good or bad, well, let's do it. Ready? Three to one. Good.

Brian: [00:13:28] Middling.

Phillip: [00:13:29] OK. {laughter} I gave you a binary option, Brian. You came back with a tertiary.

Brian: [00:13:35] I paint outside the lines. You know that.

Phillip: [00:13:39] I thought it was a great experience. You know, I finally met Halie LeSavage for the first time, from a RetailBrew. And if anything, it was good for that. She is just so awesome. She's really, really fun, knows her stuff, and so if for no other reason, I got to meet someone cool. That was great. I had a great experience.

Brian: [00:14:01] Here's what I'll say about it. I really enjoyed a good chunk of my meetings and I was very, very happy to have them. And I probably had more engaged conversations with people than I have, maybe even in person at Shoptalk, because it was just like meeting, upon meeting, upon meeting, upon meeting, upon meeting, which was really cool. And being able to talk to those people without any distractions, without anyone trying to interrupt...

Phillip: [00:14:30] Yeah.

Brian: [00:14:31] It was pretty awesome. That part I really liked. The reason I said meddling is because for two reasons. One, I do like a good session. I wish that they had included some sessions that we could go to as well, like some keynotes or something, because I really enjoy good content. And they always do such a good job. So I feel like it would have been cool to have some keynotes or something included.

Phillip: [00:14:55] Maybe. So that was... You're judging it by what it didn't have.

Brian: [00:14:59] Yes. The second thing that I'm judging him by what it didn't have is something that I couldn't avoid, which is I just miss people. And so I miss being in person. I miss like real human to human interaction that is not over a screen. And there's nothing they can do about that, obviously. But that's just me. And so it's no fault of theirs. And they did everything they could. They did it right. But I miss it. And I missed being at Shoptalk. I like Shoptalk.

Phillip: [00:15:29] I need some human on human interaction.

Brian: [00:15:35] And the reason I brought this up is because I had a really great conversation with a company called Immerss, which does a live video shopping. And I got really, really, really hyped about it. And they also do like trunk shows as well. They'll do like live shopping content and they'll do one to one content and they'll also do prerecorded content. They have got the video thing down, which is cool. I mean, they're new and they're working their way into the into US markets and such. I'm really excited to chat further with them. And I will be. Pretty cool.

Phillip: [00:16:20] I don't know anything about Immerss. How can we find Immerss? I just tried searching for it, and I couldn't find it.

Brian: [00:16:30] There are two S's at the end. I m e r s s. Yeah, I think so...

Phillip: [00:16:34] Oh gosh.

Brian: [00:16:35] Hold on, wait, no, this is...

Phillip: [00:16:37] Well, while we figure that out...

Brian: [00:16:38] It's Immerss. Nope. This is wrong. I'm going to find them. I promise. I'll call off on them right now because I want to get it back.

Phillip: [00:16:47] {laughter} Ok, anyway, while Brian looks for that, I had a completely different experience than you with Shoptalk meet up.

Brian: [00:16:56] I liked the parts that I was in. I just missed out on a few things, that's all. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Phillip: [00:17:02] I had a completely different experience to you. I had a phenomenal experience. I talked to so many amazing, cool people. And I was trying to figure out why have I never had that experience before at Shoptalk? And I think I figured out why. I had two weeks to think about how to approach these people. I had a full list of every attendee. I had 30 shots to shoot my shot, and I had 30 opportunities to craft an individual message to every one of them as to why I thought I would be an interesting person for them to talk to. That is not a thing you can reproduce in real life. What happens in real life is you see someone with a badge that says M&M Mars. And then you point at them and you say, "Hey, I love your brand," and they keep walking. That is the experience of Shoptalk to me. It is extremely difficult to get in front of people whose brand you adore or who you might have an interesting overlap with or share network with or know someone who knows someone or have some interesting take on something they're doing or congratulate them on some success. You never really get those kinds of opportunities because of the thing you mentioned. Like it's so heavily programed, and anywhere where you actually run into someone is either at a loud bar or it's on an expo floor where everybody is like a shark waiting for a kill. And this gave me the opportunity for the first time to actually get in front of interesting people and have interesting conversations and meet them with zero distraction.  [00:18:42]To me, this was the most successful Shoptalk ever. Period. Hands down. [00:18:47] Someone quote that and tweet it, by the way, on our team. Put that on Twitter because you would not have thought it. And everyone is exhausted because blah, blah, blah, Zoom fatigue, but honestly I'm so thankful, Brian, that I got married before the age of Tinder because I would kill at online dating. I would be so good at it.

Brian: [00:19:12] {laughter} Oh my gosh, that's...

Phillip: [00:19:13] I would be crazy good at it, because I know exactly what to write.

Brian: [00:19:18] Tweet that. Tweet that. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:19:18] Don't tweet that. Tweet the other thing. It was a great experience. I had a phenomenal time at Shoptalk. It was exhausting. Yes. 15 minutes is super short. Would I have rather it be 40 minute meetings? Absolutely not. It was... Everything about it was great. The platform was great. Everything about it was great.

Brian: [00:19:38] That's awesome. That's awesome, man.

Phillip: [00:19:39] OK, that was a funny little bunny trail.

Brian: [00:19:42] On that bunny trail, Immerss has two M's and two S's, so I was close. I M M E R S S.

Phillip: [00:19:50] Immerss.live

Brian: [00:19:56] There you go.

Phillip: [00:19:56] How many times can we spell at the same time?

Brian: [00:19:58] Mississipi.

Phillip: [00:19:59] Let's go to their Crunchbase profile. They've raised one million dollars, and they have two team members. Could we raise one million dollars with two team members? Just kidding. All right.

Brian: [00:20:13] Leave that there.

Phillip: [00:20:13] Moving right along. You know, I loved this story about Instacart, which so there was on Grocery Dive, there was a story last week about Instacart launching a senior support service that's aimed at baby boomers, those that are sixty and above, to help create accounts and to shop online. Sort of bridging the gap, bridging the digital divide to those who may not be so digitally savvy to go get their groceries. Actually Instacart does a lot more than groceries. That's a whole episode unto itself. The pivot of Instacart is an incredible thing.

Brian: [00:20:53] Yes, it is. I agree.

Phillip: [00:20:55] It really, truly is. And Instacart is, in Brian's words, Instacart is killing it right now.

Brian: [00:21:04] Oh, that's not what I said.

Phillip: [00:21:06] You say that everything is killing it. I'm just I'm agreeing with you.

Brian: [00:21:12] I don't. Maybe.

Phillip: [00:21:13] Instacart's killing it.

Brian: [00:21:14] You know what I said about them is Instacart is the new Jet black.

Phillip: [00:21:20] Yeah. It's fulfilling on the promise of concierge service.

Brian: [00:21:22] Yes.

Phillip: [00:21:22] Instacart actually was featured in our Nine by Nine at number six for Prime Challengers, the companies that are helping close the gap with normal everyday brands and Amazon Prime. And if you're going to have a premium delivery service and fulfill that last mile obligation... Some people might argue, whether or not that's actually all that meaningful to customers. But in the era of COVID, it sure seemed to be really meaningful, although I will say...

Brian: [00:21:54] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:21:54] There's been some criticism here. And I want to hear what you think about this, Brian. The criticism of Coronavirus in sort of the bifurcation of the consumer is that effectively the upper class worked in their homes while the middle class went and got things and brought them to them, like that's what happened during COVID.

Brian: [00:22:18] Yeah. I mean, I've said this. I think that's true.

Phillip: [00:22:22] I know. I was effectively quoting our conversation.

Brian: [00:22:25] Oh. {laughter} Yeah. Yes.

Phillip: [00:22:27] But that's effectively how quarantine worked out, at least in the United States, is that some folks were able to keep working and they just moved to their homes and other people had to like go deliver groceries to those schmucks. And, you know, I'm that schmuck now.

Brian: [00:22:44] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:22:46] I'm that guy now.

Brian: [00:22:46] Well, to be fair... So what I do like about this recent move by Instacart is that it made Instacart more accessible to everyone. And I think that's an awesome move. And I wish that this was here at the beginning of Coronavirus.

Phillip: [00:23:02] This makes me... So let me ask you this is Instacart a platform? Or is it a service that's easily replicated by the big retailers that are depending on it right now? Like does Instacart survive the next five years because Walmart will just be doing its own last mile?

Brian: [00:23:19] Well they had been. They have been already.

Phillip: [00:23:21] Well I'm saying, Walmart... Take every big retailer and won't they be solving last mile for themselves and monetizing it rather than let someone be an intermediary for the experience?

Brian: [00:23:32] Will Costco solved this? {snicker} No, my point is that I think there's a lot of...

Phillip: [00:23:43] {laughter} Let's ask nebulous questions.

Brian: [00:23:46] You're asking a nebulous question as well.

Phillip: [00:23:49] Will Office Depot solve this?

Brian: [00:23:52] My point in saying that was like I think there's a whole set of retailers out there that won't solve this.

Phillip: [00:23:56] That won't solve it. Ok.

Brian: [00:23:57] Yes, that was my point.

Phillip: [00:23:58] That's fair.

Brian: [00:23:59] I don't think Costco...

Phillip: [00:23:59] I found it funny, though. You know, I will say that Instacart specifically trying to on board and having like a dedicated senior support service for 60 and above is a noble thing. It's notable and it is noble.

Brian: [00:24:15] Yeah, I totally agree. And I just to more fully answer your question, I think Instacart's got a pretty hefty lead over a lot of retailers own efforts.

Phillip: [00:24:28] Oh yeah.

Brian: [00:24:28] And so it's going to be a while before they're out of business. Will there be ups and downs? Probably. But I think they're going to continue to... Like maybe they literally do move back into the space that Jet black really hit it where it's like true concierge.

Phillip: [00:24:43] I mean, Jet black... You keep referencing Jet black like it was ubiquitous. It was like a pilot service in just New York City, right?

Brian: [00:24:51] Yeah. And then it did shut down. So it wasn't very effective.

Phillip: [00:24:56] There wasn't a gaping hole. Instacart, I feel like, should be given way more credit here.

Brian: [00:25:01] Yeah, I definitely agree. No, but the idea, the idea behind it is what I meant.

Phillip: [00:25:06] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian: [00:25:06] I think the market wasn't ready for it and now I probably is ready for it. And so if they can find a way to make it cost effective and they can find a way to do it right, it could provide that sort of more luxury concierge sort of experience.

Phillip: [00:27:37] Let me read from the Grocery Dive article, because I think there's a few things here that you could probably, that we could riff on for a moment. According to Instacart, more than one hundred and fifty specialists are assigned to staff the program. This is their senior support service program, which is seeing traffic of about 2000 senior customers a day. On average, specialists spend about 20 percent more time with these customers than a traditional account support, said the company. Seniors represent a major growth potential for retailers online because, according to eMarketer, 62 percent of baby boomers will make at least one online purchase this year. And it goes on to say that there're others that have created special senior support programs. In March, HCB and did a special shopping service for senior shoppers to place orders of grocery delivery, either online or by phone. And DoorDash also did something really similar for up to two thousand stores. They waved grocery delivery fees for those that are over 60. I think that's pretty awesome. It kind of actually segues really interestingly into the Aldi story.

Brian: [00:28:47] Yeah, the Aldi story was like part of what I was talking about as well. Instacart partnering with Aldi, which will support SNAP EBT for online groceries. So that's the other thing that I was referencing is that this is making Instacart, again, more accessible to people. So it's seniors, it's people that are on SNAP EBT. This is huge. And so we look back at what first happened when Coronavirus hit, which was everyone who has money and is in a cushy tech job, can order their stuff from their homes and have someone from the working class deliver it to them. But what I like about this is that it makes it accessible to everyone. And so, yes, maybe you are someone that delivers Instacart, but also you can order Instacart, too, which I think is kind of cool.

Phillip: [00:29:49] So there's actually two really interesting things here, by the way, this is Sarah Perez writing for TechCrunch on October 22nd about this from the story. Sarah is a Tampa person and is on to 2PM's retail reporter list. So I thought I'd call that out for no good reason. If you don't know what SNAP EBT is, SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And here in the United States, it's what might have been called Food Stamps in a prior era. But EBT is the primary mode for delivering this benefit. It is an electronic bank transfer. So it's effectively a debit card that gets reloaded, and you have to accept it in the United States at certain grocers. Aldi is making this available via Instacart. And that's really interesting. It to be honest, though, this is a little bit of a follow on from a prior story where Amazon announced in May that they would be doing it through their grocery. But Amazon's grocery presence is admittedly minuscule compared to Aldi. And I'll tell you, it actually makes a lot more sense if you're shopping at Aldi, you're pretty cost conscious to begin with. And that just fits. It's a brilliant partnership. And yes, I love this idea, Brian, of providing that tech mobility and accessibility to those of a different income class. And we need to see more of this.

Brian: [00:31:28] Yes, I agree and I definitely appreciate it when Amazon made Prime more readily available as well. I thought that was great. I think the tech divide needs to be, at least that gap can be closed a little bit.

Phillip: [00:31:46] Well, part of that is an income gap and the income gap is because of what it is, I think, due to wage and labor laws and sort of the cost of living being so varied in the United States and having a federal minimum wage that is not a living wage. And so that's why it's really encouraging to see brands like Chobani that have pledged to raise their own minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Brian: [00:32:15] Yes.

Phillip: [00:32:15] This was a story we Tweeted out that appeared on Syracuse.com, that Chobani would be raising its minimum hourly wage from $13 to $15 an hour, starting in Q1 2021. And why would we talk about Chobani? I'm going to make the people guess at this point.

Brian: [00:32:38] Why are we talking about Chobani? Because they're on Nine by Nine.

Phillip: [00:32:46] {laughter} They were on the Nine by Nine report. We're really hyped on our own content these days.

Brian: [00:32:49] You know, let's talk about something that happened to a Nine by Nine brand that wasn't so great.

Phillip: [00:32:57] Ok. But let me finish this off in saying that Chobani featured at number two on our 100 club list. And 100 Club is being a company that has retained full ownership of its business or participates or operates within employee stock ownership plan, which is what Chobani does or operates as a co-op such as REI. But, yeah, we love the work that Chobani has done and they've rated very highly on our highly scientific spring report, Nine by nine. Sorry. Go ahead. We're going to not celebrate someone at this point. Is this the Man Repeller story?

Brian: [00:33:34] Man Repeller, which became Repeller, which quickly became nothing.

Phillip: [00:33:38] Nothing.

Brian: [00:33:41] Yeah, I think as soon as they sort of lost their the word "man," they lost the whole kit and caboodle.

Phillip: [00:33:52] Well OK, whatever... {laughter} I don't know if... It has nothing to do with men.

Brian: [00:33:59] No, it has nothing to do with men.

Phillip: [00:34:00] This was actually quite a surprise.

Brian: [00:34:03] Well it is interesting. So they were on our CARLY list. First of all I think well I expect to see ups and downs on that CARLY list in general, because that's new and trending ideas, things that are up and coming, not everything's going to stick. And in fact, Refinery29 did a pretty interesting in depth story recently called When the Arm Party Is Over: Inside the Rise and Fall of the Man Repeller Aesthetic, which haven't gotten all the way through because it's a little lengthy. But I got through the first page, and it was pretty interesting. I think they're kind of getting at the aesthetic sort of lost its flavor and therefore it wasn't much longer before the brand itself started to struggle.

Phillip: [00:35:08] Yeah, I mean, there was a great article on Insider and basically just saying, like there's been a summer of layoffs, then there was a number of employees who called the brand out for a hostile work environment, not being very inclusive. And in August, Leandre Madine Cohen, who is the founder and very famously sort of the voice and the face, Leandra's stepped down and actually wrote the farewell post, which is notice of wind down in a publishing update, basically, like, the site will no longer publish new stories, but the archive will remain available to access and thank you for a decade. It's awful to see it sort of fall apart and wind down so quickly, especially after the quick pivot to Repeller, which was such an interesting pivot on its own. I don't know that there's much more to say about that. I think just reiterate the thing that you were saying about brands that were featured on the CARLY list and sort of the nature of their short half life.

Brian: [00:36:30] Yeah, I think that. [00:36:33] By nature of being a new psychographic, stuff that tries to address the psychographic isn't always going to land. And so I think Man Repeller was number six on the list. It was like media trying to become commerce. Sometimes that leap is a little bit too big, especially if you're aesthetic is starting to wane. [00:36:57]

Phillip: [00:36:57] I think one of the questions there was were they relevant any more? Because the thing that... I mean, I truly believe that they were and they came up over and over again in our surveys for Nine by Nine.

Phillip: [00:37:13] But after a decade of trying to appeal to someone who might have been in their early or late teens or early 20s 10 years ago, that person is grown up. And how do they sort of grow with that? How do they grow with them? I think is the question.

Brian: [00:37:36] My Existential Brands Part 2 that I just wrote...

Phillip: [00:37:43] Oh your recent essay on Future Commerce Insiders, which could be getting if you were subscribed at FutureCommerce.fm/subscribe. But sorry. What's an existential brand?

Brian: [00:37:58] Existential brand. It's a two part series, The Existential Brand that I wrote for Future Commerce, and it's effectively about a sense of self and the importance of self as like a brand, even though brands are people, they are made up of people and they are made up of an identity. And so part two really dove into... I left part one, "Don't be so tied to who you are or existence at all." And I opened up part two with that and effectively what I talk about is evolutionary identity. So if you are a good brand that isn't entirely self focused, you actually create your identity through your community and your customers, then naturally, as your customers and your community grow, those people change because they are people and people do mature and they do change and things happen. And you add new people. And so your identity, and who you are to your customers, and who you are to yourself, like it's actually it's benefited when you are thoughtful and question who you are. And I think Man Repeller is a good example of potentially... And I will finish this Refinery29 article before I say this definitively, but could be a good example of a brand that didn't do this. And so I enjoyed writing it. Go check out the series if you want. I had fun.

Phillip: [00:39:39] And another CARLY brand... I feel like there's been news in this entire category, by the way. But another brand that rated on our CARLY list at number three Thredup recently announced... Well they didn't... I love the Yahoo finance article that says Thredup announces confidential submission... Is it confidential if you're announcing it?

Brian: [00:40:06] I feel like this is an industry term that we're just mocking.

Phillip: [00:40:08] Thredup Inc announced that they have confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. So they are filing to go public, and they would be doing an IPO of class A common stock. This is super interesting. And I think, you know, as a counterpoint to what you were saying just a moment ago, if you look at Kith, who which, by the way, there are news articles for every one of these brands are just rapid fire because we don't have time to know every one of them. But Ronnie Fieg and Kith just did a collab with Mercedes and sold sixteen and a half million dollars worth of cars in like ten minutes. MSCHF... Kith is here to stay. Kith will be around for a very long time.

Brian: [00:41:00] Yes.

Phillip: [00:41:00] As a retailer who is doing things on a completely different level from everyone else in retail and has spanned up out of CARLY. You know, they Can't Afford Real Life Yet, but is aspirational for every CARLY. I feel like that's why they rate so highly. Thredup has a very similar thing that they have done. They have taken what is effectively just thrift stores or or the your local Goodwill, and they have put it online in a way that really is true to the digital shopping paradigm in a way like that heightens the experience of thrifting and making it better than what actual in real life thrifting could be and making that a cyclical model of not just like someone trying to get rid of your old crap so it's not sitting in your house, but actually turning those people into consumers, like creating the cycle of the consumer. [00:41:59] Because if you look at in-store thrift, there's a different person who's dropping off stuff than the person who shops there and Thredup is looking to complete that the the cycle of the donator and the... They're making it a marketplace that you can participate in on both ends of the spectrum. And that is incredible that they've been able to do that and they have obviously proven that that's viable and able to be done online.  [00:42:33]

Brian: [00:42:33] The donor and the donee.

Phillip: [00:42:37] The donee.

Brian: [00:42:38] That's not donut. That's Doughnè. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:42:42] {laughter} Pronounced Doughnè, if you please. I'll tell you right now, if you get that reference... Don't repeat it again, Brian. If you get that reference, email us at Hello@FutureCommerce.fm, and I'll send you something funny in the mail. If you've made it this far in the show.

Brian: [00:43:05] Too much fun.

Phillip: [00:43:05] A couple other things. Crocs also on the CARLY list at number eight recently, just yesterday, as of the time of this recording on October 27th... We're recording on the 20th. But yesterday they announced earnings, Q3, 35% growth in eCommerce, 16% growth in store. And they had their best Q3 of all time. Crocs.

Brian: [00:43:30] Highly, highly referenced in my Existential Brand article. And for good reason. This is an example of a brand that's done it right.

Phillip: [00:43:41] But I would say what's interesting about Crocs is that they were able to do it without changing the product. They didn't actually change the product.

Brian: [00:43:49] No, no, no. This is my entire point in the article. They tried to change the product and they failed so miserably.

Phillip: [00:43:58] Yes.

Brian: [00:43:59] Crocs golf shoes and ballet flats are an awful idea. That is not what I'm talking about in the article. So you should definitely go read the article if you think that's what I'm talking about. In fact, what they tried to do is the exact opposite of what I'm talking about. So what they did afterwards, I think is an example of being very self-aware.

Phillip: [00:44:24] This has been the greatest flow that we have ever had in an episode ever. We've threaded the needle all the way through.

Brian: [00:44:34] Yes.

Phillip: [00:44:35] I'm very proud of it right now.

Brian: [00:44:37] While we're on CARLY, go check out the episode we did with Jack DeFuria from Parade underwear. It is phenomenal.

Phillip: [00:44:45] That's true. Yes. Oh, my gosh.

Brian: [00:44:47] Please go listen to that.

Phillip: [00:44:48] Jack is the best. I might actually have Jack back with us for just a guest from time to time, not necessarily just to talk about Parade, although I would love to talk more about Parade, but just to have him on. He's great.

Brian: [00:45:01] Yeah, totally. Super smart.

Phillip: [00:45:02] I wish I was like that when I was 23 or 24. I was a mess at 23.

Brian: [00:45:11] I had my first kid at 23.

Phillip: [00:45:13] Oh my. Are you serious?

Brian: [00:45:16] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:45:17] Wow.

Brian: [00:45:18] Oh wait. Maybe I had just turned 24. I might have just turned 24.

Phillip: [00:45:21] MSCHF. So let's just round it out here. There was another article...

Brian: [00:45:26] {laughter}

Phillip: [00:45:26] If you want the cringe... If you want to be MSCHF as a brand... MSCHF, which is number two on the CARLY list, which by the way we'll get off CARLY now in just a second. But MSCHF just had the cringiest thing I've ever seen. Their newest drop, their newest product, which, by the way, their last four or five drops have been game changingly awesome and great social commentary. This one's a little borderline. It is the American flag Yule Log where you can both light a fire and burn the flag at the same time.

Brian: [00:46:02] Ooof.

Phillip: [00:46:02] It's super cringe. It costs $17.76. So real tongue in cheek there, buddy. Taking his pricing strategy... {laughter} Taking a pricing strategy straight out of Elon Musk's book, where he sold the Tesla Model 3 for $69,420. But yeah to sell a an American flag log for $17.76 is truly interesting and super cringy and like, you know, it's like, oh I'm so edgy. Oh, you're so edgy. MSCHF. Very few brands could pull that off and live to see another day, but MSCHF somehow has been able to do it.

Brian: [00:46:48] Probably will. Yeah they definitely will. Let's get back to uplifting. One more thing out of CARLY, congrats to Chris Homer, who also came on the show, I believe, last year. Last February.

Phillip: [00:47:00] Yeah, Chris Homer. He's the CTO at Thredup.

Brian: [00:47:04] Yes.

Phillip: [00:47:06] Yeah, one of our alumni in our alumni network. Love, love Chris, and yeah, that is uplifting. Grab bag for you. Just a couple others and we'll call it a day.

Brian: [00:47:19] Do we have to? I just want to keep talking.

Phillip: [00:47:22] Really? I know it's so good, but I don't know. I just feel like I'm exhausted. You've got me... You're running me ragged, Brian. We're growing this thing, you know, every which way from Sunday. We have like five podcasts to record this week.

Brian: [00:47:37] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:47:37] All in the evenings.

Brian: [00:47:38] Yes.

Phillip: [00:47:41] We put in the work because we love you all so much. Allbirds launched apparel and most people don't really care much about it, apparently. But one thing that's notable about it is that all of the apparel has a rating of carbon footprint, which I felt was really interesting. You'll see a rating methodology on any of the product detail pages and sort of what your carbon footprint is by buying the garment. And I thought it was a really interesting execution. Yeah. So I feel like Allbirds could be, if they chose to be, like a textile innovation company in helping other brands become more sustainable or more measured and transparent in their carbon footprint. I would love to see... I think this came up when you and I had the Madrona Labs, Ishani Gujral, I think was on your show.

Brian: [00:48:46] Correct.

Phillip: [00:48:46] Something to the effect of like I would want to know the carbon footprint of my wardrobe and having an understanding of what like my carbon wardrobe is. I think birds just took another step towards being able to measure that. I think that that's really impressive. Is that ending on a good note?

Brian: [00:49:10] Yeah, I think so. I mean, actually, that just kind of gets to something from on Ana Andjelic's new book.

Phillip: [00:49:17] Oh, we didn't mention this. Ana Andjelic's new book, The Business of Aspiration. It just just landed here today.

Brian: [00:49:24] Yeah. And I got a chance to flip through it just real quick. And she said all businesses will be B Corps eventually. And so I think you're right, like Allbirds could run a masterclass on becoming a sustainable brand.

Phillip: [00:49:44] And sounds like they may actually be trying to master class Adidas or Adidas. So I think that we might see more of it. I'm here for it. I would love to see more of that.

Brian: [00:49:58] Yeah, it'd be awesome.

Phillip: [00:50:00] Is that it?

Brian: [00:50:03] Is it it? I think that's it. That's it for now.

Phillip: [00:50:05] That's it. Thank you for listening to Future Commerce. We love that you listen to the show. Hey, if you want to support the show, two things you have to do. Number one, download our new report. It's called The New DIY. Go get it right now at FutureCommerce.fm/TheNewDIY, and let us know what you think. I feel like we're in an era of DIY, and I want to know what you think. I think we present a pretty good argument and we've measured it out. We've actually found a virtuous cycle of inspiration, education, participation in the consumer space. And it's changing the way consumers think and what they buy. The New DIY. It's FutureCommerce.fm/TheNewDIY Also, hey, maybe you don't like reading reports. That's fine. Maybe you don't. Maybe you want to support us anyway. Hey, it takes literally three seconds. Go leave us a five star review right now on iTunes.

Brian: [00:50:59] Three seconds. Go.

Phillip: [00:50:59] Go leave us a review. Takes three seconds. Five seconds if you type something nice into the text box. But if you just click the five star, that's what we're looking for. Not four. Not three. Not two. Definitely not one. But if you click the five star and click submit, that's it. That's all you've got to do. That supports the show. That gives us the... Actually I want you to do that. Do that.

Brian: [00:51:22] {laughter}

Phillip: [00:51:22] That's the thing that matters the most to me is your approving of me with five stars and the work that we do. That's it. Hey, Brian. You're beautiful. I love doing this with you.

Brian: [00:51:37] This is fun. This is so great.

Phillip: [00:51:40] Hey, future is up to all of us and we can shape the future. We just happen to use commerce to do it. And we can make the future something that we're all proud of. All right. Thanks for listening.

Recent episodes

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.