DTC Dispatch #025

Will Amazon become fashion's biggest online retailer?!

🌻 May is here!

This week in DTC Dispatch:

🛍️ TikTok Shop debuts pre-owned luxury category in UK

🖥️ Online Shoppers Are Starting to See Amazon as a Fashion Destination

🧥 Luxury demand is on the rise despite inflation, survey

📣 Lulus Celebrates Female Friendship With the Launch of First-Ever Out-of-Home Campaign in Major Cities Across the U.S.

🧼 The secret sauce behind Aesop’s cult status hand wash


TikTok Shop debuts pre-owned luxury category in UK

On Sunday, TikTok revealed its latest venture in the U.K. by debuting the "Preowned Luxury" category within its TikTok Shop. This exciting addition enables users to seamlessly explore and acquire luxury fashion items without ever leaving the platform. Partnering with esteemed high-end resellers such as Luxe Collective, Sellier Knightsbridge, Sign of the Times, Hardley Ever Worn It, and Break Archive, TikTok aims to provide a curated selection of pre-loved luxury goods to its discerning audience.

The introduction of this category marks a significant expansion for TikTok, aligning with its commitment to offer diverse shopping experiences. Alongside the preowned luxury section, the platform has also unveiled several other enticing categories, including Fresh Flowers and Live Plants, Wellness, and Parenting. This strategic move underscores TikTok's dedication to catering to the varied interests and needs of its global community, further solidifying its position as a leading destination for both entertainment and e-commerce.

Our take: Despite ongoing legal challenges in the United States that threaten TikTok's future, other nations are embracing the platform's potential by expanding its offerings. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a new 'Preowned Luxury' category has made its debut within the TikTok shop, providing consumers with the opportunity to peruse and purchase high-end items without ever navigating away from the platform. This strategic move not only enhances the diversity of offerings available on TikTok but also opens up avenues for the platform to broaden its market reach and engage with a fresh cohort of consumers who may not have previously been active on the platform.


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Online Shoppers Are Starting to See Amazon as a Fashion Destination

In the ever-evolving landscape of online retail, PYMNTS Intelligence's latest research spotlights a significant trend: the growing inclination of digital shoppers towards Amazon for their apparel needs. Their comprehensive study, titled "Whole Paycheck Report: New Consumer Spend Data Finds Amazon Way Ahead of Walmart," meticulously analyzes years of earnings reports alongside national data from reputable sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis to estimate the market shares of major retailers across various categories.

According to supplementary findings from this study, as of the fourth quarter of 2023, Amazon achieved a milestone: for the first time, more than half of all online apparel purchases were made through their platform. This marked a notable increase from the previous quarter, with Amazon's share of eCommerce consumer clothing spending rising to an impressive 51.5%.

This surge in Amazon's dominance within the apparel category holds particular significance, especially in light of consumers' steadfast prioritization of clothing purchases even amidst economic uncertainties. PYMNTS Intelligence's "New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report: The Nonessential Spending Deep Dive Edition" underscores this point, revealing that among the vast majority of retail shoppers who occasionally indulge in "nice-to-have" items, clothing reigns supreme as the most common splurge.

As Amazon continues to solidify its position as a preferred destination for online apparel shopping, these insights shed light on the shifting dynamics of digital consumer behavior and the enduring allure of convenience and variety offered by e-commerce giants like Amazon.

Our take: Amazon's rise as a top fashion hub shows how online shopping is changing what people buy. Recent research by PYMNTS Intelligence reveals that more shoppers are choosing Amazon for clothes, marking a big change in how people shop online.

Amazon's success in selling clothes, with over half of all online purchases happening there, proves its ability to meet shoppers' changing needs. This is especially impressive during uncertain economic times, showing that people still spend on clothes even when money is tight.

Luxury demand is on the rise despite inflation, survey

Despite recent challenges faced by luxury retailers, the allure of luxury remains strong in the United States, as revealed by YouGov's 2024 US luxury boom report, which delved into the American consumer's penchant for luxury over the past four years.

According to the report, even amidst inflationary pressures, the desire to purchase luxury goods has notably surged. Over the span of 2021 to 2024, there has been an impressive 86% increase in purchase intent among consumers. When queried about their likelihood of acquiring a luxury item within the next year, 26% of respondents affirmed their intent, marking a substantial rise from the 14% recorded in 2021.

Furthermore, the report highlights a tangible increase in actual luxury purchases over the past 12 months, with 15% of Americans indulging in luxury goods, representing a noteworthy 9% uptick from 2021. Among these consumers, the most popular categories include shoes, accessories, and beauty products, particularly among shoppers aged 25-44, identified as the largest demographic of luxury buyers.

Moreover, a striking 37% of shoppers aged 35-44 expressed a willingness to splurge over $1,000 on their desired luxury items.

Chris Melchiorre, Senior Vice President at YouGov America, emphasized the enduring surge in luxury demand despite fluctuations in inflation. He remarked, "As more Americans join the ranks of luxury consumers or contemplate doing so, luxury brands must cultivate a comprehensive understanding of their evolving and expanding customer base."

Our take: YouGov's 2024 US luxury boom report shows that luxury goods are still popular in the US, despite challenges faced by luxury retailers.

There's been a big increase in people wanting to buy luxury items, and more people are actually buying them. This shows that Americans still want to spend money on high-quality, fancy things, even when prices are going up.

The report also tells us who's buying luxury items the most - mostly people aged 25-44, who like things like shoes, accessories, and beauty products. It's important for luxury brands to know who their customers are so they can make products they'll like. Many people aged 35-44 are willing to spend a lot of money - over $1,000 - on luxury items. This shows that luxury is still seen as something special and worth the price.

Lulus Celebrates Female Friendship With the Launch of First-Ever Out-of-Home Campaign in Major Cities Across the U.S.

Today, Lulus, the beloved brand renowned for its accessible luxury offerings catering to women, proudly unveils its inaugural comprehensive multi-channel brand campaign. Embarking on an exciting new chapter, the brand's groundbreaking initiative encompasses a diverse array of marketing strategies, including impactful out-of-home ("OOH") advertising, innovative social media and influencer engagements, and immersive experiential activations, spanning prominent cities throughout the United States.

At the heart of this bold campaign lies the captivating narrative of "Friends for Life," which revolves around a close-knit quartet of best friends navigating the twists and turns of a pivotal year in their lives. This compelling storyline serves as a poignant tribute to the enduring bonds of friendship and underscores Lulus' unwavering commitment to being a steadfast companion throughout life's myriad moments – both mundane and monumental.

Through meticulously curated visuals and engaging storytelling, the "Friends for Life" campaign offers a glimpse into the dynamic lives of these four inseparable friends, showcasing how Lulus seamlessly integrates into their everyday experiences, from casual hangouts to milestone celebrations. By intertwining the brand's ethos of inclusivity, empowerment, and style, the campaign resonates deeply with its target audience, fostering a sense of connection and community.

With an emphasis on authenticity and relatability, Lulus aims to not only showcase its diverse range of fashion offerings but also to cultivate meaningful connections with consumers on a personal level. By leveraging a mix of traditional and cutting-edge marketing channels, the brand endeavors to leave an indelible impression on audiences nationwide, solidifying its position as a trusted ally in every woman's journey.

As Lulus embarks on this momentous brand campaign, it heralds a new era of creativity, innovation, and inclusivity, inviting women everywhere to join the journey and celebrate the enduring power of friendship and fashion with Lulus by their side.

Our take: Lulus is launching a big brand campaign that's all about friendship and fashion. They're using lots of different ways to get the word out, like ads in cities and cool stuff on social media.

The campaign is all about a group of friends and how they stick together through thick and thin. Lulus wants to show that they're there for women in all of life's moments. They want women to feel connected and included.

This campaign is all about being creative, innovative, and welcoming to everyone. Lulus wants women to feel like they're part of something special, celebrating friendship and fashion together.

The secret sauce behind Aesop’s cult status hand wash

It's a rarity for individuals to justify spending $43 on hand soap, but somehow, Aesop has managed to captivate its customers into doing just that.

Aesop introduced its first hand wash back in 2006 with the Resurrection Aromatique variant, followed by the Reverence Aromatique in 2012. Since then, the brand has steadily ascended to cult status, thanks to its timeless product offerings, strategic placement within hospitality settings, deliberate in-store experiences that prioritize customer engagement, and distinctive packaging.

The acquisition of the Australian-based brand by L’Oréal Group in 2023 for a staggering $2.5 billion further solidifies its prominence in the luxury skincare market. With a network of 75 stores across the United States and key retail partnerships with Dermstore, Revolve, and Saks Fifth Avenue, in addition to over 100 amenities partnerships including prestigious establishments such as the Downtown L.A. and Santa Monica Proper Hotels, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, and Le Coucou restaurant in New York City, Aesop has carved out a niche for itself as a symbol of refined indulgence and sophistication.

Remarkably, hand wash has emerged as the top product for new customer acquisition for the brand, serving as a gateway to exploring its broader hand and body care offerings, including luxurious hand balm lotions. The global appeal of Aesop's hand care range is evident in the staggering statistic that one Aesop hand balm is sold every 26 seconds, underscoring the brand's unparalleled allure and enduring popularity among discerning consumers worldwide.

Our take: Aesop's hand soap may seem pricey at $43, but it's popular because of the brand's strong reputation and high-quality products.

Since launching its first hand wash in 2006, Aesop has gained loyal customers by offering timeless products, creating inviting in-store experiences, and partnering with luxury retailers like L’Oréal Group. Its hand wash is a favorite among new customers, who often explore Aesop's other luxurious skincare items, like hand balms.

The fact that Aesop sells one hand balm every 26 seconds worldwide shows how much people love the brand. By delivering top-notch quality and luxury, Aesop justifies its higher price tag for customers who want the best in skincare.

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of the DTC Dispatch!