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The Disappearing Middle-Class of Retail

Last July, I wrote a piece about the disappearing middle-class of e-commerce. Fast forward thirteen
The Marketing Brief
The Disappearing Middle-Class of Retail
By Rob Bettis • Issue #3 • View online
Last July, I wrote a piece about the disappearing middle-class of e-commerce. Fast forward thirteen months and we are continuing to see the evolution of this trend. It seems the middle-class of retail is also disappearing, as successful e-commerce brands like Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Casper are bringing their online experience to brick & mortar.
Quoting from my aforementioned post:
Small, targeted product catalogs — just enough to provide the whole experience. Vivid narratives that help me connect with their vision/mission. And the highest quality products that turn customers into disciples.
Interestingly, these companies are all approaching retail in a similar way - high-profile, strategic locations. It is more akin to a marketing strategy than a retail strategy, perhaps putting their brand experience into the literal hands of consumers.

Casper to open 200 stores across the US, as Mattress Firm struggles
The State of Voice-Commerce
Much have speculated on how smart home voice assistants will change online retail. But if disruption is coming, it may not be anytime soon. Amazon is the reigning king of online retail and their Alexa-enabled devices lead the voice assistant market. Yet Alexa users seem less than interested in shopping through their devices.
Amazon still hasn’t figured out how to sell more stuff via Alexa
Are We Experiencing Social Saturation?
Interesting for two reasons, this week I wanted to spotlight the slowing (and for some declining) user statistics for the major social media platforms in the United States.
In the macro, Facebook, Twitter, & Snapchat are all experiencing growth ceilings. Obviously in the case of Facebook & Twitter, this could be (at least in part) blamed on the excessive bad press of recent weeks. But in reality, growth has been slowing for several years prior.
In the micro, Instagram is the only social network that is currently thriving, in large part to the addition of Instagram Stories. If you are not a Snapchat user, you may not know that Instagram Stories is a blatant rip-off of Snapchat, only Instagram Stories is much more intuitive and user-friendly. It seems Instagram’s shameless knock-off may be paying dividends.
Snap’s Drop in Active Users Could Signal a Social Media Peak - The New York Times
Facebook's Browser Flying Under The Radar
When we talk about mobile browser marketshare in the US, we typically focus on the heavy-hitters, Safari & Chrome. Their dominance is largely tied to the operating systems they inhabit, iOS & Android respectively. But Facebook’s in-app browser has quietly, but firmly, moved into third place.
Facebook is now a major mobile browser in U.S., with 10%+ market share in many states – TechCrunch
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Rob Bettis

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