81 Ecommerce Brands To Watch: Businesses That Are Changing the World [New Report]

ecommerce-brands-to-watch-nine-by-nine

What is a brand? It’s a question many marketers must consider as they build and grow an ecommerce business. 

What makes a brand meaningful? That’s a tougher question, and the answer lies in the eyes of the customer. 

“At its most basic level, a brand is the way in which a company is perceived by those experiencing it, and meaning is the lasting value we receive from that experience,” according to Phillip Jackson, co-founder, Future Commerce.

"At its most basic level, a brand is the way in which a company is perceived by those experiencing it, and meaning is the lasting value we receive from that experience."

Phillip Jackson, co-founder, Future Commerce

Ecommerce entrepreneurs and marketers have faced their fair share of unprecedented challenges so far in 2020. And they likely will into the foreseeable future. 

But as brand builders look to the second half of 2020 and try to rebound from the hardships presented in the first half of the year, one of the most critical keys to longevity will be the ability to deliver a valuable, meaningful, personalized, and relevant experience to customers. 

So what brands are doing this well and who’s making a difference for consumers around the world? 

Nine by Nine: 81 brands changing the world

Klaviyo recently teamed up with our friends at Future Commerce who sought to both tackle the tough question about what makes a brand meaningful and to highlight brands that are making the world a better place. 

Today, the results of that research are now available in a new report, Nine by Nine.

 

Get the report
 

“While not every one of the approximately 1.5 million ecommerce brands in existence can become a household name, every new brand aspires to achieve that level of recognition, to leave an impact, and to be memorable. We welcomed the opportunity to team up with our friends at Future Commerce and to help put a spotlight on the brands that are making a meaningful impact for both their customers and their industries. Showcasing these brands and how they’re making a difference will hopefully inspire newer brands on their journey to grow and make their own impact,” said Joe McCarthy, director of performance marketing, Klaviyo. 

"While not every ecommerce brand can become a household name, every new brand aspires to achieve that level of recognition, to leave an impact, and to be memorable...Showcasing these brands and how they’re making a difference will hopefully inspire newer brands on their journey to grow and make their own impact."

Joe McCarthy, director of performance marketing, Klaviyo

Nine by Nine isn’t your run-of-the-mill list of brands. Rather, this inaugural report spotlights brands that are distinguishing themselves by making a difference across nine categories that will define the future. 

Over the course of six months, Future Commerce conducted research, which included collaborating with leaders across the industry who are part of the Future Commerce Expert Network and Future Commerce Alumni. People in these groups are founders, brand experts, activists, analysts, investors, consultants, agency team members, and other industry leaders. 

“When we examined our recurring themes and content over the past four years of Future Commerce, we found that nine themes repeated like a rhythm. Show after show, our guests and our hosts were outlining themes that have become central to our content. From the podcast to our Insiders essays, to our launch of the Step by Step series in late 2019, nine categories of focus for retail brands have emerged. We’ve honed in on those, and they’re the basis for Nine by Nine,” said Phillip Jackson. 

9 future-defining categories 

In the report, nine brands are represented across each of these nine categories: Community-driven, New Luxury, 100 Club, Prime Challengers, Audience-first, Purpose-driven, C.A.R.L.Y. (Can’t Afford Real Life Yet), Late Stage Retail, and Local Heroes. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Purpose-driven category: 

“Purpose-driven brands are so important because American purchasing behavior is trending toward alignment with a worldview. The more fractious the world becomes, the greater the need for meaning and purpose in every area of our lives. Commerce is our common bond as a people. Commerce brings us together, despite our differences in race, color, or creed—engaging in commerce with a brand that shares your ideals is a vote for a world that looks more like the one you wish to see.”

Purpose-driven brands are so important because American purchasing behavior is trending toward alignment with a worldview.

See why companies like Arfa, Glossier, Haus, Hint, Lord Jones, NOBULL, Outdoor Voices, Peloton, Square, and ThredUP are among the 81 brands that are paving the way for other ecommerce businesses that want to make their mark on the world.

 

Download the report
 

Final thoughts 

In the words of Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst serving eBusiness and channel strategy professionals at Forrester Research, “…a brand is a promise. So a brand is meaningful when it can consistently be true to that promise, whatever that promise is whether it is a service level or a product or a set of values it collectively delivers.” 

""...a brand is a promise. So a brand is meaningful when it can consistently be true to that promise.""

Sucharita Kodali, vice president and principal analyst serving eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, Forrester Research

What promise are you making to your audience? How are you delivering on it? How are they experiencing that promise through your products, services, marketing initiatives, customer service touchpoints, and more? 

As you look toward the second half of 2020, let the 81 leaders in these nine categories be ones you watch and draw inspiration from as you continue to build your brand and make it meaningful to your audience. 

Learn more about ecommerce brands that are creating meaningful experiences for customers and changing the world.

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