Commentary: Ecommerce responds to a changing business environment

In a moment when revenue diversification is key, some ecommerce brands are winning wholesale expansion, while others are playing catch-up.

In an interview last week, Streamlined CEO Boris de Souza shared his thoughts on trends in the current environment for ecommerce brands.

According to Boris, the post-pandemic trend toward in-person consumption has continued to reward brands who have expanded beyond online selling into physical stores. 

During the pandemic, we saw a lot of brands move online. And even if they were more established brands, they were spending a lot of time and resources moving online[...] At the tail end of 2021 we started to see this movement within brands, where brands were looking to diversify the channels with which they were selling. Mostly to bring stability, and also to really to go where the consumers were, which is that consumers were getting out of their homes and going out and looking at products in stores.

This trend toward IRL commerce has combined more recently with an increasingly tight venture capital environment, further enforcing a prioritization on revenue diversification among ecommerce startups.

As we see interest rates go up, capital is getting more expensive. Investors [still] have money, but they're sitting on it. Investors are now going back to the pre-pandemic era of evaluating companies and saying, “Look, is this a company that really want to be in?” And that sort of notion of FOMO is going away? Where investors are trying to be more prudent with who they invest in.

While some brands have led in this trend, according to Boris, others are now playing catch-up.

We're definitely hearing about cases where brands didn't get to pivot fast enough, didn't get to expand fast enough. And those brands are actually going through a much more difficult process right now.

So what lessons can be learned from brands that are doing well? One is a focus on healthy, customer-centric growth, as evidenced by Streamlined client Burlap & Barrel.

Burlap & Barrel’s founders have bootstrapped their way to where they are today and they have a very healthy business. They found product market fit and they went through it in small motions: they first started with a small audience, they found home chefs to be a second group, and then they started to expand that market slowly in concentric circles.

A second lesson, core to the mission of Streamlined, is that brands successfully diversifying their revenue have a strategy for wholesale that is intentional and scalable. 

Brands that are really successful in this area, have usually had someone on the team who's done wholesale before and built this. They'll structure a plan around ‘How do we get new wholesale clients? What tools do we use?’ At Streamlined, one of the things that we are particularly proud of doing is helping these brands build the infrastructure for this.

A growing list of modern ecommerce brands use Streamlined — if you’re growing a wholesale channel looking to make your invoicing smarter and more effective, let’s talk!

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