7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition

dollar_shave_club

The big news in the e-commerce World this week is Unilever’s purchase of Dollar Shave Club (DSC) for a cool $1B (cue the Dr. Evil laugh).

The simplest of ideas has gone from start to $1B in 5 years. This at a time when e-commerce has been going through ups and downs.

E-commerce is one of our three focus areas at SurePath. So, we have followed this company with interest. Here are my top 7 lessons from this runaway success. Some of them are counter to prevailing investor wisdom and how to win in e-ecommerce. Continue reading 7 lessons from the Dollar Shave Club Acquisition

Retail is detail

E-Commerce

I was with one of our e-commerce CEOs yesterday when I heard this one liner: “Retail is detail”. So simple, but so true.

All businesses involve detail, but retail e-commerce stands out. When you operate with the margins that come from selling goods vs. selling software you have to get things right. 

Most commerce businesses are horizontal in nature: reselling goods made by others. These business have low gross margins. The only way to make them work is at massive scale. This is why Zappos was not profitable despite having $1B in sales at the time of it’s exit. The most extreme example of this is Amazon (who bought Zappos). They reached truly massive scale before turning one penny of profit. Continue reading Retail is detail