UrbanStems
You can’t buy happiness, but you can send flowers, and that’s pretty much the same thing. UrbanStems makes it easy, affordable and fun to make someone’s day with stunning bouquets & gifts.
Visit Website

Under The Hood: Mennakshi From Urban Stems

What’s the most challenging aspect to building UrbanStems that other D2C brands might not face?

Meenakshi: The perishability of our product is a challenge that affects everyone from supply chain to marketing at UrbanStems. We have a global sourcing strategy that can be interrupted by natural forces such as too much rain which can impact the crops or an infestation that might damage some of the stems in transit. All this means that we have lots of contingency plans in place and a very nimble culture.

What channel is driving the most growth for UrbanStems? Are you leaning into the channel or trying to diversify away?

Meenakshi: We are continuing to lean into our owned channels such as email, SMS, and loyalty to drive retention this fiscal year. In collaboration with our creative teams, we are focusing on reaching our customers through compelling campaigns all year round and capitalizing on personalized journeys to built around the important gifting moments in their lives.

On the performance side affiliate content is driving customers with above average LTVs and so we are continuing to onboard new partners and keep the content fresh with existing partners with new offerings and creative campaigns.

Taking a step back from UrbanStems specifically - are you optimistic about the future of direct to consumer?

Meenakshi: Direct to consumer has been challenging the last few years there is no doubt. Many businesses are transitioning from pure growth to profitability and it’s a change that requires complete cross functional alignment and adaptability, supported with nimble lean operations. I think that on the other side many D2C brands will be stronger, more focused and   hence bring better value to the consumers.

What’s one thing that you didn’t expect to be true about operating a D2C brand?

Meenakshi: Consumers continue to purchase close to demand - the expectation of quick turnaround from order to delivery - is a huge challenge, especially when dealing with perishable product.

What are some of your favorite tools & apps that you leverage at Urban Stems?

Meenakshi: We are not currently on Shopify, but I am currently very deep in to AI exploration both personally and professionally and how it can help all of us achieve our goals.

If you go back to when you first started as CEO at UrbanStems and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Meenakshi: I have been in this role for 6 months now, so continue to learn about the business every day.

But the one thing I always remind myself is to always operate with a “customer first” philosophy. If we give the customer the experience and product they want - brand loyalty and hence associated growth will follow.