Welcome to The Week in Direct-to-Consumer, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news in the DTC space.

Saucony kicks off The Marathumb Challenge to combat doomscrolling

Running shoe and apparel brand Saucony just launched The Marathumb Challenge to combat so-called “doomscrolling” — suggesting that people lose out on time for exercise due to increased time spent mindlessly scrolling on their phones. According to Saucony, the average person scrolls the equivalent of three marathons (over 78 miles) on their phone each year. To combat this, consumers can join the challenge through the brand’s DTC website and app, where phone metrics will be pulled to determine if a participant has traveled farther in steps than they have in scrolls. If they have, they’ll earn exclusive merchandise.

The takeaway: With this attention-getting challenge, Saucony, like other running shoe and apparel brands, aims to bolster its DTC channel. Brooks Running saw online Black Friday sales increase 8% year-over-year in 2023 and added 59,000 new loyalty program members during Cyber Week, according to Retail Dive, and hot Swiss running brand On reported that its Q3 2023 DTC sales jumped 54.6% year-over-year.

Hi-Chew launches DTC e-commerce site and loyalty program

Candy brand Hi-Chew just launched a DTC website (Hi-Chew.com) and loyalty program. In addition to selling the brand’s entire range of products, the website offers recommendations via a personalized “Find Your Flavor” quiz and a free loyalty program that allows customers to redeem points for products and exclusive merchandise.

The takeaway: Hi-Chew is one of a rising number of brands investing in loyalty programs, including DTC jewelry brand Mejuri and DTC hydration drink mix brand Liquid I.V., as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

Curology launches on Amazon

DTC skincare brand Curology just launched on Amazon, making all its products available on the platform. According to a company announcement, the launch features 18 “dermatologist-designed” products, including the brand’s acne cleanser, gel moisturizer and more, as well as three new products: a dark spot serum, a liquid pore exfoliant and emergency spot patch clusters.

The takeaway: Curology joins a growing list of DTC personal care brands building wholesale partnerships with mega-retailers. In 2023, DTC skincare brand Loops expanded into Target stores nationwide, and DTC self-tanning brand Bondi Sands launched in select U.S. Walmart locations and on Walmart.com, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

Yeti leverages post-purchase communication in customer DTC experience

In a Sunday panel at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show conference in New York City, Yeti Director of Software Engineering Scott Streit discussed the role of post-purchase communication in the cooler and drinkware brand’s DTC experience, Retail Dive’s Bryan Wassel reports. Yeti sends messages at every step of the post-purchase process, leading to an average open rate above 80% and an average open-to-click rate above 43% for these messages. “You need excellence all the way from the homepage through a package arriving at their doorstep,” Streit said during the panel.

The takeaway: Yeti’s commitment to post-purchase communication is emblematic of the brand’s focus on nurturing its DTC channel. For Q3 2023, Yeti reported a 14% increase in DTC sales and announced significant enhancements to its e-commerce website, as we noted in an earlier installment of The Week in Direct-to-Consumer.

Further reading

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If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to our last recap: “The Week in Direct-to-Consumer: January 12, 2024 edition”

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