Morning Brew - ☕ Fast and spurious

Do shoppers care about two-day shipping?
November 21, 2022

Retail Brew

Shippo

Happy Monday! Loath as we are to start a holiday week on a discordant note, we must report that Jack Daniel’s wants the Supreme Court to hear a case of what it alleges is a case of trademark infringement. But rather than another liquor maker being the target of the Tennessee whiskey brand’s ire, it’s the maker of a squeaky dog toy that mimics the shape and label of Jack Daniel’s signature bottle. The toy is called Bad Spaniels.

In today’s edition:

—Andrew Adam Newman, Erin Cabrey, Jordan McDonald

DELIVERY

Not so fast

E-comm deliveries pile up on a doorstep Francis Scialabba

The era of fast delivery began in 2005, when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos introduced Amazon Prime, which for $79 annually (now $139) enabled members to have unlimited free two-day shipping.

“We expect Amazon Prime to be expensive for Amazon.com in the short term,” Bezos wrote at the time in a letter to customers. “In the long term, we hope to earn even more of your business, which will make it good for us, too.” Very good, as it turns out.

Two-day shipping has not, however, been good news for everyone, especially businesses that can’t feasibly charge a membership fee or figure out how to absorb the cost.

An alternative to worrying about how to ship speedily? Stop worrying. Many shoppers don’t care if the sun sets several times between the time they order a shower curtain and it arrives. And as consumers become more aware of the environmental impact of fast shipping—not to mention all those harried warehouse workers—retailers are reframing slower shipping as a feature, not a flaw.

Slow dance: “Does anyone want or need two-day shipping?” That’s a question Melissa Minkow, director of retail strategy at CI&T, a digital solutions company, told us she’s been asking herself for years.

She’s been asking consumers, too:

  • When asked how quickly they expect online orders to arrive, shoppers’ most popular response, at 36%, was three to four days, followed by two days (30%), one day (18%), and the same day (9%), according to a 2021 CI&T survey.

Also—stop us if you’ve heard this one—shoppers who need something right away can go to an actual store. Keep reading here.—AAN

        

TOGETHER WITH SHIPPO

Shippo

Have a fulfilling holiday. The trick to sleighing the holidays when it comes to e-commerce? Optimizing end-to-end fulfillment operations ASAP. Shippo’s How to Prep for Peak Season Shipping guide can help you build a perfect carrier strategy for the busiest time of year. Read it here.

DISCOUNTS

Here’s the deal

Black Friday calendar Francis Scialabba

It’s that time of year again when shoppers awake from a tryptophan-induced sleep, rested and ready to drop $$ on major discounts. And while the turkey- and carb-generated coma may be the same as always, Black Friday could be a bit “softer” than in previous years, according to Claire Tassin, retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult.

With earlier discounts, inflation, and omnichannel shopping in the mix, Tassin broke down how the big shopping day is changing this year.

Early birds: According to Morning Consult’s recent holiday 2022 report, 47% of consumers still plan to shop on Black Friday, which is on par with 2020 and 2021 levels. However, 84% of shoppers said discounts will be the deciding factor in what they get this season.

“When you look at the spread between 84 and 47, you realize people aren’t necessarily waiting for Black Friday to get those deals,” Tassin told us. “Target’s had Black Friday language on their homepage since October. We’re kind of hitting this question of ‘What does Black Friday mean anymore?’”

Black Friday “is losing its relevance” as a blockbuster shopping day, largely due to discounting events like Prime Day and Target Deal Days this October, Tassin said.

  • In its place has come a season of discounts with “varying levels of depth” that’s less centered around a day or weekend of shopping.

Price is right: Shoppers won’t likely look to Black Friday as a “solution” to inflation, Tassin said. Morning Consult found that those earning $100,000+ annually are more likely than those who earn less than that to shop on Black Friday, though people who are financially anxious and those who aren’t are equally likely to shop on the holiday.

“It’s not really the kind of balm for inflation,” she said. “It’s just another discount opportunity.” Keep reading here.EC

        

FOOD & BEV

Meatup

Meatup Cargill

“Being a legacy food giant hasn’t stopped Cargill from trying to stay ahead of the technological curve. In fact, the company…has invested in the field looking to disrupt conventional meat suppliers: alternative protein. In 2019, Cargill created an alt-protein division and placed Elizabeth Gutschenritter, a 17-year Cargill veteran in charge,” writes Emerging Tech Brew's Jordan McDonald:

The company…sees alt-protein as a complement to conventional meat, not a replacement.
Cargill’s alt-protein team…is split between plant-based protein and cellularly cultivated meat. [. . .] Cargill is just one among a broader pool of food giants and startups investing in both plant-based proteins and cultivated meat research.

Read the whole story on Emerging Tech Brew.

        

TOGETHER WITH WUNDERKIND

Wunderkind

Make moves. Is your brand still grappling with the changes, pressures, and issues of the last two years? According to Wunderkind, you’re in good company. The CMO State of the Union Report deep dives into how 100+ senior marketing leaders are handling this challenging moment…and how you can too. Get it here.

SWAPPING SKUS

Today’s top retail reads.

Frozen asset: Ice-bath tubs are beginning to hit the market, and may be the next big wellness craze. (Financial Times)

Seems like mold times: The rise and fall (and jiggle) of Jell-O, which hopes for a comeback with a brand refresh next year. “Jell-O is kind of associated nowadays in our culture with illness and frailty and vulnerability. So it certainly doesn’t have the fun associations that it did when I was growing up,” said author Rachel Herz. (CNN)

Amuse pooch: Watch the adorableness of a dog, Heidi, devouring the $75 tasting menu at Bone Appétit Cafe, a San Francisco restaurant for dogs. (Insider)

Learn: When you’re drowning in information, it’s easy to make decisions based on the wrong data. Enter: dashboards. Our Data Storytelling course will ensure you and your team are focused on the right stuff.

Holly jolly data: Feeling uncertain about what to expect from consumers right now? Learn how to leverage data analytics to inform strategic business decisions this season—and all year long. Register for the webinar.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Railroad unions that represent another two of the 12 needed to ratify a contract with freight railroad companies are expected to reveal how their members voted Monday.
  • Rite Aid is partnering with Grubhub for delivery, and hopes the service will be popular for OTC drugs during cold season.
  • Bud Zero, Budweiser's non-alcoholic offering, will be served at the World Cup, which AB InBev reportedly paid $75 million to sponsor, after Qatar's last-minute ban of beer.
  • Simon & Schuster reportedly will let its $2.2 billion sale to Penguin Random House crumble and consider other buyers.
  • Snoop Dogg, inevitably, introduced a pet line, Snoop Doggie Doggs.

HOT TOPIC

At the mall, it’s where band tees are the only tees. In Retail Brew, it’s where we invite readers to weigh in on a trending retail topic.

You still can’t buy lab-grown meat at the supermarket, but it got a big step closer last week, when the FDA ruled that a “cultivated chicken” product made by Upside Foods was safe to eat.

According to its website, Upside Foods can use the cells from a single chicken to cultivate the equivalent amount of meat for “hundreds of thousands” of chickens. And it projects that producing meat this way will use 77% less water and 62% less land than conventional meat.

Upside Foods still has to be approved by the US Department of Agriculture, as will lab-grown beef and other meats that also are in development, including from Cargill, which you read about earlier in today’s newsletter.

You tell us: Lab-grown meat is on the horizon. What will you do when it comes out?

Circling back: Last week, we asked you about retail chains that were struggling and, according to a Yahoo article, “may not make it to 2023.” Bed Bath & Beyond, Rite Aid, Party City, and sewing and crafts chain Jo-Ann were on the list.

We asked which of those stores you thought were the most likely to survive, and the most likely to pull through, you told us, is Rite Aid, with 33%, followed by Bed Bath & Beyond (26.8%), and Jo-Ann (25.9%). The one you really thought the party was over for, though, was Party City, with just 14.3% of you thinking it was the most likely to survive.

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Written by Andrew Adam Newman, Erin Cabrey, and Jordan McDonald

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