Oct 14, 2018

Why brands you've never heard of are flooding your feeds

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Ahead of the holidays, expect to see more ads in your social feeds from companies you’ve never heard of.

Why it matters: Users are spending more time and money with new brands that are using data to form direct relationships with them online, and traditional retailers are struggling to keep up.

Social media companies have become particularly adept at helping users discover products that they are more likely to buy than traditional media companies, like TV or radio.

  • Facebook, Instagram and now Snapchat all offer marketers the ability to sell products via multi-product ad units that most closely mimic old print catalogs.
  • Instagram is reportedly testing a standalone shopping app, given how successful its shopping experience has been.
  • More than half of all consumers report buying products online after stumbling across them on social media, according to a Curalate consumer survey.

Podcasts are also becoming a hot destination for personalized marketing, with brands like Away, Shopify and Casper creating their own podcasts to market to consumers directly.

Between the lines: Traditional consumer product companies that used to be mega-stocking stuffers are struggling to keep up with new companies that have mastered the art of social commerce.

  • Gillette’s share of the U.S. men’s razor business fell to 54% in 2016, from 70% in 2010. Most of the market share has shifted to Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s, etc., according to the IAB’s latest brand economy study.
  • Walmart, one of the country’s biggest mass retailers, considered buying suitcase company Away, per Business Insider. It’s already purchased online clothing companies, like Bonobos and Modcloth, in an effort to bolster its relationship with consumers online.
  • Allbirds, a sustainable sneaker company that specializes in social media marketing, is now valued at $1.4 billion.

These brands have gotten so good at launching customizable business online that dozens of companies, like Everlane and M.Gemi, have built their own brick-and-mortar stores after launching online.

The bottom line: Social media is the new storefront, and ads are the new catalogs.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 855,007 — Total deaths: 42,032 — Total recoveries: 176,714.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 186,265 — Total deaths: 3,810 — Total recoveries: 6,910.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful" on Tuesday, with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans. The White House and other institutions are observing several models to help prepare for when COVID-19 is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 41 mins ago - Health

Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health