I recently started sharing more of our principles, strategies and tactics in how we’re scaling Pela Case from 0 to 7 figures and now trying to go from 7 figures to 8 figures in GMV. This is meant as a compliment to that writing.

Whether you’re a new direct to consumer eCommerce brand or a large, mature brand/retailer, this is relevant for everyone in the industry.

If you’ve followed some of my other stuff, I have shared before that I don’t fully believe in highly scalable eCommerce as an approach to building these types of businesses. …

In a retail environment where Amazon dominates the majority of the news headlines and captures 53% of market growth in 2016, you’d think that retailers and brands would take notice and follow the Amazon playbook.

But they aren’t.

Retailers insist on playing the copy game, placing order after order of what worked in the past and whatever their “peers” are using.

We’re in a new world people, it’s time to watch and learn from the best, not the middling.

From what we see, there are two very critical mistakes that the average bricks-born ( merchants who started as physical retailers…

This idea of a single store as having multiple channels sort of hit me like a ton of bricks during a conversation with a 10 store retailer about digital technology being used in their stores more. More specifically we were discussing some of the new in-store technologies available to merchants, in particular the digital-enabled dressing rooms (i.e. — smart mirrors).

This prompted the following questions…

What does it mean when the actual physical store is broken up into many unique journeys? Are these now channels? If so, what does attribution look like in store? …

In one form or another we’ve all likely heard the phrase, “strength in numbers.”

It usually refers to people on a single team working together for a common objective.

But it’s also very applicable for what’s happening in the world of retail today and, as I see it, going forward into the short to medium term future.

The very biggest brands and retailers have a huge weakness which also happens to be every small brands biggest advantage.

What is it?

They can’t fight all of you. They (the bigs) know it, and it scares the hell out of them.


I’ve been thinking about this idea of legacy a little more these days. It’s come up a few times in conversation and in some of my reading. Up until now I really haven’t put much thought into it.

Thinking about my own legacy feels a little ego-centric so I haven’t quite gotten my head around the idea at a personal level yet. But thinking about legacy in the context of the entire retail / commerce industry is rather interesting.

The idea I’ve had is this: Retail shouldn’t really have a legacy. It should have zero impact on the planet.


I was recently having coffee with a friend of mine that has pretty deep experience in running what he calls “old school” manufacturing companies. He’s a young guy so you can forgive his term for manufacturers that have been around a while, sometimes decades.

Anyway, we were talking about how it still seems that most manufacturers have a really difficult time with adoption of modern technology, especially anything in the “sphere” of Ecommerce.

We talked about everything from actual Ecommerce platforms, to lead gen on channels like Facebook, to tablets and phone based apps for field level service people (i.e…

There’s a scene in the TV Show Silicon Valley that I thought really captured the essence of modern day (2016/17) entrepreneurs. You might know the one I’m talking about, where every single entrepreneur/startup was up on stage saying their product was going to make the world a better place.

The hard (sad?) truth is that most startups aren’t really making the world a better place for anybody other than maybe the very top 1% of the planet. Do we really need another “Uber” for [insert first-world-luxury service]?

Worse yet, in the land of physical products, do we really need more…

Nasty Gal is the latest but most certainly won’t be the last.

More will falter and many will outright fail. This isn’t doom and gloom, this is just what happens when too many companies take on too much funding and chase too much growth too fast, while having largely “unscalable” financial models in a market where the top 15 incumbents hasn’t changed in the last 15 years.

Ok, that was a mouthful.

Also, some context. I’m mostly referring to businesses where 95+% of their sales come from eCommerce. Also known as “online only” merchants in the retail world.

Allow me…

All this talk about artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, autonomous driving, high speed hyperloops, and the many other disruptive technologies make me wonder about the future of work and how these things are going to affect the retail sector.

With the introduction of all of these technologies, people don’t work the way the generations before us did — and that’s likely to change even more. In fact it’s estimated that 83% of jobs paying less than $20 an hour will likely be automated (maybe even replaced by a robot) in the next 20 years.

Based on what the average retail…

Matthew Bertulli

Co-Founder, Demac Media - Co-Founder, PelaCase.com

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