5 Common Traits of High Growth Ecommerce Brands [Webinar]

In the face of fierce competition, and a changing retail climate, some brands are striving ahead of their competitors time and time again. But this poses the question: “What is it that makes some brands grow quicker than others?”

The Rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs)

To coincide with this change, ecommerce experts are saying that we’re seeing “the rise of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs).”

DNVBs are a cluster of brands that have emerged as solely online businesses such as Gymshark, Bonobos and Birchbox, and have achieved the following in a very short amount of time:

  • Significant growth
  • High order volumes
  • High brand awareness
  • Strong digital presence

So what can we learn from these brands? What common traits and characteristics do these brands have?

To address these questions, we’ve recently teamed up with Shopify Plus agency, Statement on a webinar (recording below): 

5 Common Traits of High Growth Ecommerce Brands

In case you’d prefer to read about some of the common traits instead, we’ll now discuss a few of them in detail.

1. They are agile

Retail is changing fast and we’ve seen what has happened to those businesses who haven’t been as agile as others, such as Toys R Us and electronics retailer, Maplin.

Companies like this have sadly not spotted new and emerging trends, or reacted quickly enough to them.

The risk is increased for bigger businesses, yet the concept of agility and being able to iterate quickly is hugely important for two reasons -- so you can take advantage of new opportunities, and keep up with changing customer experiences. If you don’t, someone else will.

As an example of agility in action, Boohoo release up to 300 new products per day. How they’ve formed their supply chain - everything from the design and manufacturing process, through to website and marketing updates, and fulfillment and logistics is an engine that has been developed around the concept of agility.

2. They take advantage of user generated content (UGC)

High growth ecommerce brands recognize their customers as a major source of marketing for their own businesses.

User generated content, or UGC, is the concept of customers sharing photos and videos of their purchases with friends and followers via social networks like Instagram and Youtube. Getting involved with UGC develops a strong level of trust for your brand, but also helps to improve engagement and excitement about your brand.

Furthermore, by encouraging shoppers to share their experiences, they’ll feel much more aligned to your products and brand, improving loyalty.

Lingerie retailer, Lounge Underwear, is one brand that truly understands the importance of UGC, resulting in a large influencer following and strong levels of customer engagement via Instagram.

3. They automate

Brands that automate are almost guaranteed to see significant levels of growth, but with fewer business challenges and growing pains.

What we continually see is that after every click of the “buy button”, the processes behind that are highly repetitive, such as checking the order is complete and paid, fulfilling orders, updating cross-channel inventory levels, and reordering products.

All of these steps have to take place, but this can become labor intensive, inefficient and prone to error without the right systems in place. Furthermore, all of those people working on those tasks are not working on growing the business.

Thus, high growth ecommerce brands have implemented automated back office and ERP systems in order to maintain high levels of customer service, despite a vast increase in order volume.

Brightpearl customer, Finlay London automate their processes, and this became crucial in their ability to fulfill the large influx of orders they received after Meghan Markle wore a pair of their sunglasses to the Invictus games last year.

4. They deliver

The introduction of new services like Amazon Prime have radically changed customer expectations around how fast products should be delivered and how.

Customers expect same and next day delivery, as well as free delivery thresholds that are lower than they used to be. This means that you need to use a variety of shipping and delivery partners across all the territories you’re trading in, but you’ll need to analyze the costs involved and whether they are sustainable for your business.

Because of these expectations, innovation has continued to happen throughout the delivery and shipping services. As an example, ASOS launched their ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme, causing increased sales as well as a tsunami of returns.

Learn more about the Try Before You Buy (TBYB) trend in our report.

5. They’re in control of their data

Access to real-time data ensures high growth retailers can analyze their business performance quickly, enabling them to achieve the agility that was mentioned at the beginning of this blog.

In order to do so, high growth brands have centralized systems in place so that data really is in real-time, is businesswide, and is able to be accessed easily.

Furthermore, centralized data also means anyone in the business that is required to do so can make a decision quickly, whether this be to update a customer on their order, to change a product price on a particular channel, or launch into a new market.


If you want to discover more of the common traits that high growth ecommerce brands have, you can watch the webinar in full.

Alternatively, there is also an ebook created by Statement that you can download, which covers even more of the common high growth characteristics.

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About the Author

Justine Cross is the Content Marketing Executive at Brightpearl where she can be found writing away about all things retail and business related. Previously to joining the Marketing team, Justine enjoyed helping customers with the Brightpearl system within both the Customer Support and Customer Success teams. After over 5 years with Brightpearl, she has become incredibly passionate about business success for retailers, and spends a large part of her days thinking of ideas for hot topics she thinks you'll love learning from and reading about.