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How retailers like eBay, Instacart, and Tapestry are tackling stubborn retail problems

“Retail will always be about three things: Ease, convenience, and value,” said our analyst Suzy Davidkhanian.

At this year’s Shoptalk Europe event, held in Barcelona last week, Davidkhanian observed that while retailers are encountering the same challenges as 15 years ago, the way they approach them has changed. Here’s a look at three examples.

The struggle: The shopping journey is becoming more fragmented.

The solution: Create a unified commerce strategy.

Who’s doing it: Fashion holding company Tapestry has become more agile by combining its wholesale and D2C teams, helping the brand create a consistent experience for customers across channels.

“Tapestry reorganized its business to ensure that wholesale and owned channels work together to give the consumer the same brand experience regardless of where or how they shop,” said Davidkhanian. “Gone are the days of segmenting the assortment by channel. If there's a new item, owned channels may get it a few weeks earlier, but those items will make it into the wholesale channel as well.”

The struggle: Consumers abandoning carts.

The solution: Reduce friction during the checkout process.

Who’s doing it: Hollister (owned by Abercrombie & Fitch) launched Share2Pay in October 2022, which allows customers to share their digital cart with another person to complete the purchase.

“Hollister knew that teens were its main market, but many of them can’t pay,” said Davidkhanian. By implementing Share2Pay, Hollister removed a barrier to purchase and created a more seamless experience for shoppers.

The struggle: Prices are rising and consumers are tightening their spending.

The solution: Help consumers find good deals.

“As the economy gets worse and worse, retailers need to think about new tools to make it easier for consumers to shop and save money,” said Davidkhanian.

​​Michelle Evans, global lead, retail and digital consumer insights at Euromonitor International, shared three ways that retailers can do that: by adding new features to make it easier for consumers to locate deals, investing in secondhand websites to tap into the pre-owned trend, or tapping into the community-buying model (where consumers from multiple households buy in bulk to save money).

Who’s doing it: Instacart introduced several features to save customers money, including a dedicated section of value-driven stores on the home screen and AI-recommended deals.

eBay’s luxury resale strategy caters to consumers looking to buy high-end brands at a discounted price.

Not many retailers are explicitly leaning into community buying, but it’s not unlikely we’ll see wholesale retailers like Costco or Sam’s Club incorporate that messaging into their marketing strategies.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.