Whether you've just started to work on your eCommerce, or you're thinking to "pivot" and go in another direction, it's always good to benchmark other successful brands that are selling online direct-to-consumer.
It's easier than ever now to start a business and work on solving your own problems but it takes guts and courage to come up with an idea, execute on it and disrupt a whole industry. Below are 13 brands we believe are putting together the key ingredients to build profitable eCommerce businesses.
We hope you can take a bit of inspiration from them
Nebia - http://nebia.com/
Nebia is changing the way you shower. A special technology "atomizes water into millions of droplets to create 10 times more surface area than a regular shower". They tested their new type of shower among customers at Equinox Fitness, employees at Apple and Google, and students from Stanford University.
Inspiration: Test your product in real condition, gather feedback and while you're at it, build some momentum on social media while doing it.
Quip - https://www.getquip.com/
Never heard of Quipe before? Think Apple designs your next toothbrush and here you go. Quip's mantra is to design and deliver simple ways to keep your mouth healthy. They met with top experts in the field while searching for a dental advisor.
Inspiration: Meet with as many experts as possible in your industry and find one technical advisor to hire
Harry's - https://www.harrys.com/
Oh Harry's. Everything about the brand is classy and sophisticated. When it comes to find the right positioning, think of Harry's and how well everything (marketing, social media presence, packaging, corner shops) is well-crafted and thought through.
Inspiration: Create a whole branding experience with the product you sell online. Every tiny details matter.
Dollar Shave Club - https://www.dollarshaveclub.com
When it comes to razors, it's hard not to mention Dollar Shave Club. Why is it another source of inspiration? Well, Unilever just bought the business for $1B. And their classic YouTube video is a marketing inspiration you should think of.
Inspiration: Go for the viral video
SmartBedding - http://smartbedding.com/
We mentioned earlier how passionate the founders at NeedWant are. NeedWant founders recently [went to China to visit factories](http://needwant.com/p/visit-factories-china-entrepreneur/" target=_blank"). They explained as well step-by-step their approach to craft better smart beddings. Have a look [here](http://smartbedding.com/pages/our-approach/" target=_blank")
Inspiration: Go meet with the factories, control how your product is done.
Sense by Hello / https://hello.is/
James Proud is young and ambitious entrepreneur from the UK. And he wants you to sleep better. He put together a team of designers, engineers and operations to produce Sense: a beautiful sleep tracker.
Inspiration: Listen to the market and adapt your product accordingly. Sense was first a wearable product. They changed the direction simply because more than one-third of people who bought a wearable tech product ditched it within six months.
Leesa - https://www.leesa.com/
Leesa was among the winners of the Shopify 'Build a business' last year. They produce and sell mattresses and blankets.
Inspiration: Know your figures well. eCommerce is number's game according to David Wolfe, co-founder of Leesa.
Grana - https://www.grana.com/
Grana is a direct-to-consumer eCommerce fashion retailer operating online through grana.com. The start-up has an efficient business model that implements a lean supply chain, designing and sourcing fabrics in-house.
Inspiration: Go for the whole transparency on how you source your product and then deliver to your customers. Show how it's different from the traditional. And why it's better. Find why in the case of [Grana](https://www.grana.com/conduct/" target=_blank")
SOMA - https://www.drinksoma.com/
Soma is on a mission to improve life for everyone who drinks water, with sustainable, plant-based filters that make water healthy and delicious, beautiful carafes and pitchers. Every time you buy a Soma filter, they donate to charity, and water projects specifically.
Inspiration: Go beyond your product and have a global positive impact.
Mellow - https://www.cookmellow.com/
Mellow is an unusual product for your kitchen. It's a smart appliance that will cook your food 'sous-vide'.
Inspiration: Show how your product will change people's lives, and emphasize on the before / after effect of your product. Put a clear, almost scientific video to make your point. See below.
Click and Grow - http://www.clickandgrow.com/
Ever wanted to grow your own food in your kitchen? Click and Grow is trying to make that working for everyone. They got backed by Y-Combinator, which is always an exciting sign to pay attention to.
Inspiration: educate the people about what you're doing and why
Greycork - https://www.greycork.com/
Greycork is the anti-Ikea. You get cool furniture shipped for free at home and you don't need a single tool to build them. Sweet isn't it?
Inspiration: Highlight your unique selling proposition. Here in the case of Greycork: build it in under 10 minutes without tools. What are you trying to sell, and how can you formulate a customer-centric proposition?
Burrow - https://hiburrow.com/
What happens when two guys move in a new place and can't find the right sofa and got frustrated by the whole experience? They decide to start a company to change the furniture industry. See below an extract of the founders interview published on [The Macro](http://themacro.com/articles/2016/08/burrow/" target=_blank")
When I tried to purchase it, I was told that it would take twelve weeks to be shipped to me, plus a $250 delivery fee.
We tried looking for companies that offered a better experience and a high-quality, affordable sofa. There were none, so we decided to start Burrow.
Inspiration: JFDI. Or "Just F#@&!* Do It. Have a problem? Have an idea to solve that problem? Try to make it a business!
Over to you!
What all these brands have in common? They're pretty damn' good at marketing and branding. They highlight as well their approach, trying to make it more transparent. Doing this helps to gain the trust of online visitors. Your customers are more interested now to know why you are selling what you are selling.
Which project are you working on? Go tell us on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/aftership" target=_blank")