According to Statista, the e-commerce sales market is forecast to grow 50%, from 4.9 trillion in 2021 to 7.4 trillion in 2025. Competing for a share in this space is Touch of Modern, a curated online marketplace specializing in men’s lifestyle products not easily found in traditional retail stores.
Founded in 2012, Touch of Modern quickly became a force to reckon with in the e-commerce industry. In 2020, the company had over 23 million members and processed over $600 million in cumulative net revenue. Although it doesn’t disclose much about its financials, figures from its website insinuate a healthy and growing business.
With such a large and rapidly growing market, there’s bound to be intense competition for Touch of Modern. This article analyzes some of Touch of Modern’s main competitors and the strategies they use to stand out in the men’s lifestyle e-commerce market.
Bottom Line Up Front
Touch of Modern stands out in the men’s lifestyle e-commerce market by curating products that customers cannot easily find in traditional retail stores. The company has a loyal customer base and continues to grow rapidly. To further its lead in the market, Touch of Modern needs to focus on innovation and expanding its product offerings.
List of Touch of Modern Competitors
Touch of Modern Overview
In 2012, four recent college graduates, Steven Ou, Jonathan Wu, Jerry Hum, and Dennis Liu, quit their jobs and moved across the country to pursue a dream. By then, online shopping wasn’t new, but they noticed there wasn’t a go-to website where stylish urban men could find all the products they wanted in one place.
It wasn’t an easy road. The team spent months developing the site and sourcing products, but they were finally ready to launch in March 2012. One year later, in 2013, the company reported $1 million in net revenue. The success was crucial for the company as it secured $3 million in a Series A funding round led by investor Floodgate.
With the funding, the company could scale quickly. It grew its team, improved its website, and expanded its product offerings. By 2015, the company had made $100 million in cumulative net revenue. This was after a Series B funding led by investor Partech Ventures and later, $12 million in venture debt from WTI.
As of 2019, the company had more than 23 million members and 120 employees. It had also exceeded the $150 average order value, up from $100 towards the end of 2016.
Over the years, Touch of Modern has received several awards, including being named in the list of the fastest-growing private companies in 2016 and 2017 and winning the best retailer/agency collaboration in the 2020 Modern Retail Awards. Forbes also named the four founders on the 30 under 30 list in 2016.
Touch of Modern Business Model
Touch of Modern focuses on curation and personalization to differentiate itself from the competition. The company carefully selects the products it sells and works with designers and manufacturers to offer exclusive deals to its members. Its key partners include brands, vendors, creators, distributors, manufacturers, and affiliates.
Its value proposition to customers is providing quality products at affordable prices. Each product goes through a curation process to ensure it is of the highest quality and style. It then offers unbeatable prices through its direct-to-consumer relationships five days at a time.
Touch of Modern’s customer segment involves male millennial professionals with an affinity for stylish and modern products. Women trendsetters in tech and Instagram users are also part of the company’s target market.
The company uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach out to its customers. It has over 280,000 followers on Instagram, where it posts product photos, videos, and company updates. It also counts on word of mouth, mobile search ads, networking and partnerships, and affiliates to acquire new customers.
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Touch of Modern Competitor Analysis
The direct-to-consumer men’s lifestyle e-commerce market is highly competitive. While Touch of Modern competes in a diversified product category of men’s apparel, home goods, tech accessories, and more, it faces competition from online retailers that focus on a specific product category and those that provide for both sexes.
Below is a detailed analysis of some of Touch of Modern’s main competitors:
Bonobos is a men’s clothing company founded in 2007 by Stanford Business School graduates Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly. The company started as an online-only retailer but has since expanded to include physical stores known as Guideshops. Bonobos have its headquarters in New York City and more than 60 Guideshops across the United States.
Bonobos’ business model involves a combination of online and offline sales. The company uses a trunk show model for its product offerings. Customers can order items online and try them on in the nearest Guideshop before making a purchase. As a subsidiary of Walmart, it enjoys the scale and resources of a large company.
Bonobos raised $1 million in net revenue within six months of its founding. In three years, it received over $7 million from angel investors and $18.5 million through institutionally driven funding from Accel Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company attracted investors such as Nordstrom, Glynn Capital Management, and Forerunner Ventures, who have since raised more than $127 million in over eight rounds.
In 2017, Walmart acquired Bonobos for $310 million in an all-cash deal. The move was part of the company’s strategy to expand its online presence and tap into the billion-dollar men’s apparel market. As a subsidiary of Walmart, it doesn’t publicly disclose its financials.
Its competitive advantage over Touch of Modern is its brick-and-mortar locations. Its focus on men’s fashion and its relationship with a large company like Walmart give it an edge in the market.
2. Mr. Porter
Mr. Porter is an online men’s retailer that’s part of the global luxury fashion group Yoox Net-a-Porter. Founded in 2011, the company has its headquarters in London with regional offices in New York, Milan, and Sydney. The company sells clothing, shoes, accessories, and grooming products from over 450 international brands.
Some notable names in Mr. Porter’s portfolio include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen. Mr. Porter goes beyond the wardrobe to provide other products in tech and home edits such as books, art and prints, cameras, headphones, and tableware. The company also has a blog, The Journal, which covers men’s lifestyle topics such as travel, food and drink, culture, and fitness.
Its diversified portfolio of products and services and its focus on luxury brands are Mr. Porter’s main competitive advantages. Mr. Porter enjoys the scale and resources of its parent company, Yoox Net-a-Porter, one of the world’s largest online luxury fashion retailers. As a subsidiary, it doesn’t publicly disclose its financials.
Mr. Porter’s business strategy focuses on customer acquisition and retention through a mix of online and offline channels. The company relies on word-of-mouth marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, email marketing, social media advertising, and influencer marketing to drive traffic to its website. It also has partnerships with magazines such as Esquire, GQ, and Vogue to reach its target audience.
Its main competitive advantage over Touch of Modern is its focus on luxury brands and its mix of online and offline sales channels. While Touch of Modern does offer a diversified product portfolio, it doesn’t have the same focus on luxury brands as Mr. Porter.
Nordstrom is a fashion retailer founded in 1901 with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It has over 350 stores across the United States and Canada and operates an e-commerce website. The company offers a wide range of products for men, women, and children, including clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products, and home goods.
Nordstrom’s main competitive advantage is its strong financial position, its wide range of products, and its brick-and-mortar locations. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange and is a component of the S&P 400 Index. It has a market cap of $3.92 billion and reported $14.78 billion in revenues for 2021. While it doesn’t mainly specialize in men’s fashion, Nordstrom has a significant presence in the market with its brick-and-mortar locations and wide product range.
Nordstrom’s business strategy focuses on customer service, innovation, and growth. The company invests heavily in customer service and has been ranked as one of the world’s most customer-friendly retailers. It’s also constantly innovating its business model to stay ahead of the competition. For example, it was among the first retailers to offer “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS) and ship-to-store services.
Touch of Modern’s main competitive advantage over Nordstrom is its focus on men’s fashion. While Nordstrom offers a wide range of products for all genders, it doesn’t have the same focus on men’s fashion as Touch of Modern. Nordstrom also doesn’t have an e-commerce website dedicated to men’s fashion.
Huckberry is an online retailer specializing in men’s outdoor gear, apparel, and accessories. It was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company has a wide range of products, including clothing, shoes, camping gear, fishing gear, and home goods.
Huckberry’s main competitive advantage is its focus on outdoor gear and apparel. The company has a robust online presence and offers a wide range of products for outdoors enthusiasts. It also has a loyalty program, the Huckberry Explorer Club, which gives members access to exclusive sales, discounts, and product releases.
The company’s business strategy focuses on content marketing and social media advertising. Huckberry relies heavily on content marketing to drive traffic to its website and build its brand. Through storytelling and product photography, the company showcases its products in a way that appeals to its target audience. It also uses social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to reach potential customers.
In 2019, Huckberry raised $6.3 million from a single round of funding. The company reported revenues amounting to $158 million in 2020. We can attribute its growth to its focus on content marketing and social media advertising. However, Touch of Modern has a more diversified product portfolio and offers a broader range of products than Huckberry.
Everlane is an American clothing retailer founded in 2010 by Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, with operations in Canada. Everlane is a multi-channel retailer with a significant online presence and brick-and-mortar stores.
The company doesn’t specialize in men’s fashion, but it does offer a range of products for men, women, and children. Think of well-fitted tees, polos, henleys, sweaters, and even some basics like denim and outerwear. The company uses a direct-to-consumer model, which significantly reduces its overhead costs.
Everlane’s continued innovation and emphasis on sustainability are its main competitive advantages. The company was one of the first to offer transparent pricing, sharing the actual cost of its products with consumers. It’s also one of the most sustainable clothing brands committed to using recycled materials and ethical manufacturing practices.
The company has so far raised about $86.2 million from seven rounds of funding. Everlane doesn’t reveal its financials; however, trusted sources reveal it reported $40 million in revenue in 2017.
How Touch of Modern Stands Out From the Competition
A closer look into Touch of Modern’s business model and marketing strategy reveals why the company has been so successful.
1. Innovative Business Model
Touch of Modern has a unique business model that allows it to sell products at significantly lower prices than its competitors. The company uses a flash sale model, which means it sells products for a limited time at deeply discounted prices. This model allows Touch of Modern to sell products at up to 70% off the retail price.
2. Diversified Product Portfolio
Touch of Modern offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, home decor, and tech gadgets. This diversification allows the company to appeal to a broader range of customers. The company also strongly focuses on quality, which sets it apart from its competitors.
3. Strong Marketing Strategy
Touch of Modern has a strong marketing strategy that combines content marketing, social media advertising, and email marketing. The company produces high-quality content that showcases its products in a way that appeals to its target audience. It also uses social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to reach potential customers.
4. Impressive Financials
Touch of Modern is a privately held company, so it doesn’t have to disclose its financials. However, it highlights some of its financial achievements on its website. Mid 2019, the company reported $600 million in cumulative net revenue since its inception. It also revealed it had over 23 million registered users, and its average order value exceeded $150.
5. Customer-Centric Approach
Touch of Modern puts its customers first and strives to provide them with an excellent customer experience. The company has a dedicated customer support team available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns. To further improve the customer experience, Touch of Modern offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Touch of Modern Competitors Analysis (FAQs)
Question: Does Touch of Modern ship internationally?
Answer: Touch of Modern ships within the states in the US, including Hawaii and Alaska. Apart from Canada, it doesn’t ship to any other international countries. The company hasn’t revealed any plans to start shipping internationally soon.
Question: What business model does Touch of Modern use?
Answer: Touch of Modern uses a flash sale business model, which allows it to sell products at deeply discounted prices for a limited time. The company focuses on curation and personalization to ensure its customers find products they love. It also uses direct-to-consumer pricing, which cuts out the middleman and allows Touch of Modern to sell products at a lower price.
Question: Who are Touch of Modern’s main competitors?
Answer: Touch of Modern competes in a highly diversified market with many direct and indirect competitors. Its main competitors include Bonobos, Mr. Porter, Nordstrom, Huckberry, and Everlane. Some companies cater mainly to men, while others focus on selling a wide range of products. Touch of Modern differentiates itself from its competitors by specializing in selling unique products at deeply discounted prices.
Touch of Modern is a successful e-commerce company that’s built a strong brand and loyal customer base. The company has an innovative business model, a diversified product portfolio, impressive financials, and a customer-centric approach.
These factors have allowed Touch of Modern to stand out from its competitors and become one of the leading retailers in the online space. To maintain its position as a market leader, Touch of Modern needs to continue innovating and expanding its product offerings. It also needs to focus on building a stronger international presence.