NEWSLETTER #9


NEWS NUGGETS 🐓

Absolutely Gorgias
Customer service app, Gorgias, have raised $30m in a Series C (co-led by Shopify) to boost their valuation to within sight of unicorn status 🦄 (currently $700m). I think this is an interesting story on many fronts…

First off, I’m seriously bullish when it comes to Customer Experience (CX) and if this investment can get more brands to consider their CX, especially from a post purchase perspective, I think it’s a win win.

Secondly, how does this play out with Shopify? I get it from Shopify’s perspective: it’s better to focus on their core platform and buy (or invest) than build sub-par features (e.g. their email bolt on, which sucks). However, does this strategy to invest in partners stifle innovation in the Shopify ecosystem? And does this ultimately have a detrimental impact on merchants? Curious to see how this plays out in the next 12 - 18 months 🤔


Haus For Sale
One of the DTC darlings of the past 5 years, Haus, has filed for bankruptcy. However, there is hope that the brand will live on by the possibility of a white knight buyer. So…

Is their bankruptcy an indication of the wider challenges facing DTC brands? I’m not convinced it is. They didn’t raise obscene amounts of money and they were on the brink of diversifying into wholesale - so this wasn’t a DTC only channel implosion. Maybe these guys are simply a casualty of the current macro-climate? The fact that their Series A lead pulled out due to timing suggests so. Regardless, this sucks. My thoughts go out to the founders and team 🙏


Neumann’s Back (Again!)
Adam Neumann has bagged the single biggest check from a16z for his new real estate startup, Flow. Weirdly, I’m not sure where this leaves his other venture - FlowCarbon - also backed by a16z? I think I read that the latter was being paused until market conditions pick up?

There is quite a lot to unpack here and I’m not sure I have a huge amount to add. However…

Regardless of what one thinks of Neumann, I can’t but help be disappointed that £350m clams has gone to this guy when that money could have gone to so many other startups that aren’t funded by a white tech bro (that also fucked over so many people). Like, I see so much literature talking about the lack of funding for under represented people and the folks at a16z just completely ignore this movement and back this guy? Maybe his concept is revolutionary and it will be the next giga-unicorn, but it would have been cool for a16z to turn down Neumann and put that money towards
Founderland (or something similar). 🤷‍♀️


What else is clucking 🐥

 

WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT? 🧠

Demystifying the world of Headless Commerce by unpacking the who, what, how and why with agency and tech leaders…


With
Jason Greenwood, Founder & Lead Consultant at Greenwood Consulting 🔥


How would you describe Headless to an alien?

I wouldn’t but here goes: headless is a specific architectural approach to building web experiences. One where the back end administration software/layer is separate, or decoupled from the customer experience software/layer.


What are the top three pain points Headless solves for a brand?

Depends on the brand but generally speaking: improved site/experience speed, ability to deliver highly custom UX requirements and keep in-house devs fed with endless work


When is a good time for a brand to consider a move to Headless?

Depends on the brand but unless they can realistically spend around $1m on the initial implementation and at least $250k/year on maintenance, they’re probably not ready.



How does your agency or tech fit into the Headless ecosystem?

We don’t. We’re an architecturally agnostic consultancy. We don’t do implementations so have no dog in the fight. We help merchants marry their requirements (and help them define them) with the best fit architectural approach at the time.


What’s your go-to Headless stack?

We don’t generally recommend headless for our clients as it’s too immature and costly still. But we’re consulting a client right now that may go with BigCommerce, Shogun Front End and Bold Checkout as their headless stack due to their unique requirements.


Any final thoughts?

We believe that one of two things is going to have to happen for ‘headless’ commerce to really go mainstream - especially for B2B merchants. And for good reason. Headless is still much more complex, slow to implement and expensive to build and maintain than monolithic implementations. So, either: (a) the major eCommerce platforms go headless with their own storefronts (eg: Shopify hydrogen/oxygen approach), or (b), affordable FEaaS (Front End as a Service) becomes the norm.


Thanks, Jason 🙏

 

 

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