After an entire year of seeing the support for delivery apps skyrocket almost overnight along with increased online shopping behaviour, the playing field for the e-commerce market has never been as wide as it is now.
Contrary to popular belief, the e-commerce startup ecosystem was well on its way to making rounds even long before the coronavirus pandemic kicked in. The trend was already laying down its early roots and foundation, COVID-19 only saw to its maximum fruition and gave it a much needed growth spurt.
When it comes to e-commerce, its all about standing out. Certain brands have dedicated focus teams solely for the purpose of making sure the company’s look and feel brings a fresh perspective to the competitive and oversaturated market. Individuality is key to being set apart from the common folk, and startups in this industry know a thing or two about not being cut from the same cloth as the rest of their competitors.
By now, most of all the world has at some point engaged in online shopping. They wouldn’t have survived the past year otherwise. The explosive spike in growth of e-commerce platforms and digital-dependent services was one of the main catalysts for survival in the year-long contactless phase the world was enforced into.
This isn’t to say the traditional brick and mortar shops have lost some of their footing in the retail market, it’s only that more unorthodox routes of shopping have begun setting up camp and will take more than a deadly pandemic to usher them out.
Here are some of the exciting e-commerce startups sure to fulfil one of your online shopping needs this year.
1. Dollar Shave Club
Known as one of the top eCommerce startups when it comes to online shopping, Dollar Shave Club delivers razors and other personal grooming products for exceptionally low prices under their subscription model. It first went viral over a YouTube video but is currently valued at more than $600 million due to their direct, efficient services many opt for.
When it comes to hair products, look no further than this startup founded by Arnaund Plas, Prose. This brand emphasizes the underrated art of hair care, devising a 25-question survey on its website analyzing over 85 data points to achieve the maximum and unique formula to suit a customer’s hair needs. They factor in nitty gritty details such as your scalp condition, weekly workout habits, stress levels, and diet to come up with the perfect cocktail to ensure your hair goes back to its original lustre.
Galyn Bernard and Christina Carbonell created Primary to develop a solution for families looking to acquire more high-quality, sustainable kids’ clothing devoid of any labels or slogans. They aim for a more neutral, primary-coloured palette that is both gender-neutral and non-prescriptive, as in no boy/girl sections, in every colour for every kid. To date, Primary has managed to raise $50 million.
Uber co-founder, Garret Camp, along with Robin Chan developed Operator still in its beta form. This startup utilizes the internet to merge the strength of messaging, sort of like bridging the gap between Uber drivers and other like-minded individuals who can place their orders from the product inventory affiliated with Operator and have it delivered straight to their home or workplace for a much more convenient online shopping experience.
Taking direct-to-consumer to the next level, Italic pledges to cut out the cost-carrying middleman of the brand. This subscription-based e-commerce startup sells luxury goods on its e-commerce website, including a variety of choices. They store apparel, footwear, accessories, home goods, you name it all. They have over 800 products available. For an annual fee of $120, customers can purchase high-quality goods made in the same factories as genuine luxury brands such as Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Chanel for a fair cost.
Revolutionizing the furniture with each sale, Made.com make their own furniture through bespoke orders from their customers. This process relatively brings the cost down to 70% in comparison to top designer brands. While they are no traditional brick and mortar showcase room, Made.com has been able to expand across 6 countries from Europe through the accessibility and value retention of their products alone.
Boxed has been fashioned by Fortune as the “Costco of mobile apps”. This US-based startup was founded by Chieh Huang, Christopher Cheung, Jared Yaman and William Fong back in 2013. Since then, it has transformed the way people buy products at wholesale price, being able to bring down its cost than other wholesalers. They are quickly becoming a fan favourite of avid wholesale buys for the convenience to shop for products at relatively wholesale price online.
8. Imperfect Foods
Imperfect Foods makes to address the overwhelming issue of food waste and improper waste disposal. This e-commerce startup eliminates the inconvenience of having to manage waste properly by offering imperfect, yet perfectly edible produce. They also offer affordable pantry items, quality eggs and dairy all delivered to the customer, with prices offered 30% lower than grocery store prices. Imperfect Foods make weekly deliveries of organic and conventional produce boxes, along with some usual grocery items.
One of the brands to look out for in the athleisure wear market, Vuori was made to raise awareness regarding physical fitness by encouraging wearing activewear made from environmentally safe practices. Vuori founder, Joe Kudla, has advised more people to engage in outdoor fitness activities such as hiking, yoga, jogging, and the likes with the appropriate clothing to suit their fitness routines.
10. The Inside
The Inside is a direct-to-consume home furnishing brand that makes furniture shopping fun. It was founded in 2018 by Britt Bunn, Danielle Walish, and Christiane Lemieux. This startup brands itself as a “custom furniture for cookie cutter prices”, making accessibility its main selling point and offering the traditionally high-end decorating experience of matching fabric to fame an adventure for any aspiring decorator.
Ecommerce has been a rapidly growing industry for several years in tow showing no signs of slopping down. We can expect to see more general support in these e-commerce startups as it seamlessly blends into the lives of people’s “new normal” now.