Post Shark Tank Tracking: Curie Bod Update

I last wrote about Curie Bod in March 2022, as I tracked their sales in real-time as they aired on Shark Tank. I wanted to see what the Shark Tank bump looked like for a DTC company.

In the 7 days leading up to the airing, Curie was averaging about 19 orders a day. 10 hours after they aired on Shark Tank, they had received over 3600 orders. And within 3 days after their airing, they received in total just over 7500 orders. 

With an average order value of $35, Curie went from generating about $665 in sales per day to doing over $260K in sales in 3 days after their airing.

However, the question remained, would Curie Bod keep up their elevated sales or would their sales return to pre-Shark Tank levels?

Post Shark Tank Sales

Nearly a month after their Shark Tank airing, Curie had received a total of 10,500 orders. However, sales quickly died down.

In April, they received about 3,900 orders (approximately 130 orders per day).

In May, they received about 3,800 orders (approximately 123 orders per day).

In June, July, and through today, Curie received just over 8,000 orders. That is an average of 97 orders per day.

However, Curie was featured on a re-run of Shark Tank in July:

Curie Bod Search Traffic

I have long seen a correlation between search traffic, website traffic, and sales (I know this is not rocket science but it’s nice to see it be proven out).

Here is the number of times per month Curie Bod was searched on Google:

The first spike in searches follows immediately after their initial airing, and the second spike is in July following their re-run.

The Results

Sales volume for Curie did drop off significantly after their first initial burst. However, they did not return back to their pre-Shark Tank airing levels.

Curie has one major positive going for them. The nature of their product lends to repeat purchases. No doubt Curie was able to grow their email list from the burst of sales they got from their first airing. They are able to use their email marketing to get customers to come back and buy again after they have purchased. Other brands may have a more one-and-done type of purchase results after airing on Shark Tank.

Curie most likely will be re-aired on Shark Tank a few times over the next year. Each time, I expect to see a bump in traffic and sales. However, not to the first airing level.

One More Additional Thought

The founder of Currie Bod, Sarah Moret, tweeted out this question: 

I am torn on this. I tend to agree with her follow-up to the question. In previous companies that I ran, I tried running ads targeting my competitor’s name (just don’t use their name in the ad), and we had little success with these ads. On the other side, I can see competitor ads working that compare your product to their product.

The thought has always been you must bid on your brand name as a defense strategy to make sure no one else comes up before your name if your brand name is searched. But I feel you are just wasting ad money with this, the vast majority of your customers would have clicked on the organic link rather than the paid link.

What are your thoughts?

Figs Will Beat Q2 Revenue Estimations

Figs’ is set to release their Q2 earnings tonight. For the last two quarters, I have estimated Figs’ revenue with a 97% accuracy before they released earnings. I will make my estimation today and come back to you tomorrow with the results and further analysis.

Figs will beat Q2 Revenue Estimates

Zacks has Figs Q2 revenue expected to be $118.98M (up 17.7% from Q2 2021).

Seeking Alpha is reporting Figs’ Q2 consensus revenue to be $117.96M (up 16.7% from Q2 2021).

Figs will report approximately $130M in revenue for Q2 2022.

My Estimation Breakdown

From April 1st, 2022 – June 30th, 2022, Figs received 1,227,111 orders through their website (over 99% of their total revenue comes from their website).

Not all of these orders will be ship in Q2. Some will be will be canceled, others will not ship until Q3. For my previous revenue estimations, I have been using a cancelation rate of 8.5%.

This means Figs will recognize revenue on about 1,122,806 orders.

As for average order value, Figs has consistently grown their AOV every quarter by an average of about 4%. In Q1 2022, Figs’ AOV was $113. For my Q2 estimations, I am using $116 as their AOV.

1,122,806 ordes X $116 AOV = $130,245,496

Concerns

Concern #1:

There has been a lot of talk about retailers having too much inventory and having to discount their products to move through their inventory. If this affects Figs, their average order value may not grow as expected. If AOV stays at $113, Figs should still report nearly $127M in revenue for Q2 (beating estimates).

Concern #2:

Starting in April, Figs launched in 7 new countries. The orders processed in these countries go through a 3rd party processor (Globe-e). I am unable to track how many orders Figs has internationally. I am waiting on Q3 results to get an idea of their total revenue from these 7 countries. Going forward, I will be able to use this information to refine my total revenue estimations. However, this should only add to my revenue estimations (so again, Figs will be beating consensus estimations today). 

Concern #3:

I don’t know what I don’t know. Could Figs surprise me and blow up my entire tracking methods? I don’t think so, but every quarter when I make these predictions, this is my biggest concern. That being said, I have seen when search volume goes up revenue goes up. Here is the recent search volume for the Figs brand:

Year over year, search volume for Figs has gone up 50%. From Q1 2022 to Q2 2022, search volume increased by 15%.

15% increase from Q1 2022 revenue of $110M would be $126.5M.

I am still convinced that Figs will be revenue estimations, but I am always concerned that I am wrong (a healthy self-doubt).

So You Want To Start Selling Egg Cartons Online…

I know you woke up this morning and thought, “I should start selling egg cartons online!” We all have been there. Every child grows up hoping to be an egg carton dealer…

I love these types of businesses. It’s not flashy, it’s not sexy, but they make money. And as a supply business, it is prime for repeat purchases. If your customers grow, so do you.

And Yes, I did start digging into the egg carton business after hearing about Eggcartons.com on the My First Million podcast. I needed to see how much these egg carton businesses were doing selling online.

Google “Egg Cartons”

Plenty of options to buy egg cartons online. Turns out the term “Egg Cartons” has been Googled approximately 22,000 times per month this year. And as you can see from the graph below, the peak seasonality for buying egg cartons appears to be in the Spring (I have never had chickens, is there a time of year the chickens lay their eggs more than another time of the year?)

The Online Players

You can buy egg cartons from the following online stores:

Webstaurantstore.com

Grainger.com

Eggcartons.com

Amazon.com

Eggcartonsonline.com

Eggcartonstore.com

Strombergschickens.com

I choose to focus in on 3: Eggcartons.com, Eggcartonsonline.com, and Eggcartonstore.com.

Sales Volume

These sales numbers are from these business’ last few weeks of sales. As noted before, business appears to be at the low point of seasonality right now.

Eggcartons.com – 28 orders per day

Eggcartonsonline.com – 8 orders per day

Eggcartonstore.com – 32 orders per day

The volume is not crazy, but this does amount to millions of dollars in sales per year. 

Eggcartons.com and Eggcartonstore.com will probably receive between 10,000 and 15,000 orders through their website this year. The average order value is hard to estimate for this business, but let’s plug in a number of $200 for AOV. That’s between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 in online sales for both of these companies. 

These estimates do not include what their offline/direct sales are. Which, in my estimation, is most likely much greater than their online sales.

Estimated Website Traffic

Eggcartons.com:

April – 16.9K

May – 16.3K

June – 62.3K

Eggcartonsonline.com:

April – 3K

May – 3.8K

June – 7.5K

Eggcartonstore.com

April – 13.2K

May – 14.4K

June – 9.5K

As you can see, Eggcartons.com had a huge jump in traffic in June. My first initial thought is the shoutout they got on the My First Million podcast caused a jump in traffic (however, most likely not a jump in sales).

Driving Traffic

No, Tiktok is not driving traffic for this product. Nor are influencers or Facebook ads. This is a search-driven business (along with a little content marketing).

There are three search terms driving the traffic for these companies:

egg cartons (22,000 monthly searches)

egg cartons bulk (5,000 monthly searches)

egg cartons for sale (4,500 monthly searches)

All these terms have high competition and will cost you about a $1.50 – $1.75 bid to reach top of page.

How To Source Egg Cartons

Now that you have decided to start your own egg carton supply business, you need to buy inventory. Where do you source your egg cartons from?

I can see one import record for Eggcartons.com from Jiangyin Pton Molded Fiber Products. They export eco-friendly packaging from China. I am still on the hunt for other suppliers, but this will at least give you a start.

Good luck with your egg carton supply business!ese b

You’re Brands Instagram’s Follower Count Isn’t Worth Shit!

It is a nice vanity metric to have a large follower count, but it is not doing anything to drive your revenue.

—–

Last week, I wrote my 1-year update on the Sunglasses War between Shady Rays and Blenders Eyewear. I noted that Blenders Eyewear had 4x more Instagram Followers than Shady Rays. However, Blenders’ sales were only 1.15X greater than Shady Rays.

This got me thinking. Does your Instagram Follower count matter? Does the number of followers your brand has on Instagram actually help you drive sales?

So…. I took a look at 13 other brands I have been tracking for the past year to see if I could find a correlation between follower count and sales.

And the answer was no, I could not find a correlation between Instagram follower accounts and sales.

Cuts Clothing vs BYLT Basics

Both very similar type of companies. Cuts Clothing has 406K followers on Instagram and BYLT Basics has 300K followers. In May BYLT 2.6X the volume of sales that Cuts did.

In May, Bylt had 162,500 searches for their brand and Cuts had 112,500 searches for their brand. Similarweb estimates Bylt’s may traffic to be about 620,000 and Cuts to be 671,300. Lastly, Cuts grew its Instagram followers by 15,000 (4.2% growth) in May, and Bylt grew its followers by 9500 (3.6% growth).

With the smaller follower count (and growth), Bylt outperformed Cuts in May and in their 1 year order count.

Other Comparisons

Rhoback and Tommy John both have similar Instagram follower size. In May, Tommy John had double the amount of orders as Rhoback and over a 1 year period of time, Tommy John had 5x the order volume as Rhoback.

Bombas has 207K followers on Instagram, in the 1 year I have been tracking them, they have received nearly 3.8M orders. That almost matches the number of orders Gym Shark received (which have 5.8M followers on Instagram).

Mack Weldon has 82,700 Followers on Instagram, and in this 1 year period they did 4x the sales of Pair of Thieves (who have almost double the follower count as Mack Weldon).

Engagement Rate

If I hire an influencer, I expect them to have an engagement rate of at least 3%. To me, this means they have enough influence over their audience to drive sales.

Look at the engagement rate for these 15 brands. Only 2 brands have an engagement rate of over 1%. At these levels, it’s next to impossible to drive any level of sales on your site from organic posts.

I think the low engagement rate is a mixture of Instagram throttling back business accounts and these brand accounts just do not produce the content that their audiences want to engage with.

Does This Mean Instagram Is Worthless?

No, but maybe heading that way. You can still run paid promotions and partnerships on Instagram that will drive revenue for your brand. But what this is showing me, is that its extremely tough to monetize your Instagram followers organically.

Sunglass Wars – 1 Year of Tracking

I have officially tracked Shady Rays vs. Blenders Eyewear for 1 year. What is amazing is how similar these businesses are. Over this 1 year period, Blenders Eyewear received 1,114,443 orders and Shady Rays received 965,577 orders. 

Blenders Eyewear’s average order value is slightly higher than Shady Rays. Blenders’ revenue over this year is estimated to be slightly over $60M, while Shady Rays’ revenue is estimated to be slightly over $50m.

After 1 year of tracking, it appears the Blenders is winning the sunglass war, but Shady Rays is in a close 2nd place.

Look How Similar These Charts Are

Website Traffic, Revenue, Monthly Searches, and Instagram Follower Growth all show almost the same exact ebbs and flows. When monthly searches go up, website traffic goes up, sales go up. Maybe not in that exact order, but these data points are good indicators to see if a company’s sales are going up or down.

Seasonality

This a graph of the monthly searches for “Sunglasses” since July 2018. As you can see searches start to increase in March/April, peak in June/July, start to decrease in August/September, and bottom out in December/January. Obviously, this makes sense in the United States. As the weather starts to get nice, people start to go outside again, people start to look for Sunglasses to buy.

As pointed out before, if web searches are up, website traffic is up, and sales are up. Here is a chart of monthly searches for Shady Rays vs Blenders since July 2018:

Both of these brands follow the expected seasonality even though both brands try to sell complementary items to offset seasonality (Snowboarding/Skiing Goggles, Blue Light filtering glasses, etc).

Also interesting to note that Shady Rays has consistently seen more searches than Blenders during the summer months and this has led to slightly higher sales for Shady Rays during those months. But this interest fades for Shady Rays in nonpeak months.

Does a Brand’s Instagram Account Drive Sales?

Blenders (596K Instagram followers) has 4x more followers than Shady Rays (136K Instagram followers) but yet their sales are only 1.15X greater than Shady Rays. The larger social media following is not translating to more sales. 

So to answer the question, it appears that a brand’s Instagram account has minimal impact on its total sales. Why is that? Because brand pages on Instagram get relatively low engagement.

Shady Rays has an engagement rate (average likes on their posts) of 0.1%, and Blenders Eyewear has an engagement rate of 0.2%. As a baseline, an effective Instagram influencer should have 3% engagement rate. If a person is not getting at least 3% engagement rate, then they are not very good at influencing their audience to take an action. 

This low engagement rate is not exclusive to Shady Rays or Blenders Eyewear. Here are some engagement rates for other top brands:

Apple (27.8M followers) – .38%

BMW (33.5M followers) – .18%

Nike (229M followers) – .08%

Hermès (11.9M followers) – .08%

Rolex (13M followers) – .84%

Are brands just not creating the content their audience wants to engage with? And that is why they have low engagement scores?

Quite possibly. Chubbies (588K followers) has a 2.5% engagement rate. Still not above the 3% target I would like to see but much higher than most brands on Instagram. Chubbies is clearly creating content their audience wants to engage with and I would bet they do see a lift in sales for their Instagram presence. 

WMP (Wear Me Pro) Eyewear

Over the past year I also have been tracking another sunglass brand: WMP (Wear Me Pro) Eyewear. I was just curious to see how another brand that I came across on TikTok compared to the “big boys” (Shady Rays and Blenders Eyewear).

In the past year, WMP has received about 58,000 orders (Shady Rays and Blenders received around 1M orders each). WMP has an average order value estimated at $45. This means WMP generated about $2.6M in sales in the past year.

From what I can tell, WMP is in its 6th year selling Sunglasses online. And looking at their historical search data, it does not appear they really started to get traction until 2020.

Note their search data for the past few months, something is going right for them.

Other WMP Eyewear data points:
Instagram Followers – 50.8K
Engagement Rate – .04%
Website Visitors – ~100K/month

1 Year of Tracking Nugget Comfort

Nugget Comfort received 358,000 orders between June 2021 and May 2022. However, I have learned from tracking Figs that not all orders received are delivered. A portion of these orders will be canceled.

A fair cancelation rate to go with is between 7-10%. For our purposes, I will use 10% for Nugget Comfort estimates.

With a 10% cancelation rate, Nugget Comfort will recognize revenue on about 322,200 orders.

And with an estimated average order value of $225, Nugget Comfort will recognize approximately $72.5M in revenue during this 1 year period.

ZERO DIGITAL AD SPEND!!!!

Over this 1 year period, Nugget Comfort has not run 1 single Facebook/Instagram ad, not 1 Google Ad, no ads that I can find at all.

$72M in sales with zero ad spend!

As I have written before, Nugget Comfort has been masterful at building up demand through FOMO (fear of missing out). The Nugget Couch became wildly popular in Facebook mom groups, and when the pandemic hit, demand for this product skyrocketed. 

Nugget ran a lottery in December 2020 for the opportunity to purchase 1 of the 60,000 units available for sale. Over 200,000 people signed up for the lottery.

New Product Launches and Partnerships

Nugget frequently released and “sold out” of new colors for their couches. I put sold-out in quotes because I am not convinced they actually sold out of the product, but they gave the appearance they did (driving FOMO even more). Often, Nugget would bring back retired or sold-out colors for limited sales throughout the year.

In November 2021, Nugget comfort partnered with Sesame Street to launch an Elmo cover Nugget Couch. As you could imagine, these sold out immediately. At the end of January, Nugget came back with another release with Sesame Street. This time it was the Emo Nugget and the Cookie Monster Nugget.

And just yesterday (June 7th), Nugget released their Outdoor Nugget. The same Nugget Couch but with fabric that can brave the elements. Only $399! (said tongue in cheek).

Indicators

Every month, I track more than just the sales data. I track website traffic, brand name search volume, and social media follower growth. I wanted to see if there would be any correlation between these data points that could prove to be indicators for a brand’s growth and sales.

As you can see from these 4 charts, they all look very similar. When sales spike, so does their monthly Instagram follower growth, so does their monthly searches, and so does their monthly website traffic.

If you see your competitor’s website traffic increase, or social media followers increase, or an increase in the number of times their brand name is being searched, it may be safe to assume that their sales are likely increasing as well.

Sex Chocolate: A Viral TikTok Product

Tabs Chocolate came on to my radar because of this My First Million Podcast segment:

How Tabs Started

Jake Lewin and Oliver Brocato (both sophomores in college) started Tabs in January 2021. However, they did not launch and start getting sales until December 2021.

Jake and Oliver both had previous experiences in e-commerce, and they were looking for their next product. They came across this TikTok video that received nearly 14M views:

They visited the website for Sextz (www.sextz.com) and noticed that they were barely putting any focus on their e-commerce sales. They noticed an opportunity. They could put their e-commerce know-how behind a product that has the ability to go viral; a big business could be built. 

In January 2021, they thought they could get the product ready and launch in time for valentines day. However, they soon learned that it would take a lot longer to get the formula correct and get their packaging made.

Tabs Chocolate was launched in December 2021.

Their First Viral Video

Tabs Chocolate partnered with Macia Wolf for a TikTok post:

(this is the post talked about in the My First Million Podcast Segment).

This post currently has 6.6M views and 643K likes. The video was posted on January 14th 2022, and that day Tabs generated nearly $50K in sales.

Current Sales Volume

I started tracking Tabs’ sales 18 days ago. In that period of time, Tabs received 1,288 orders (an average of 71 orders per day). If you estimate their average order value to be about $50, this means they will generate a little more than $100K in sales for the month of May.

Tabs has been battling supply issues. They were on per-order until May 2nd. The order I placed on May 7th, took 11 days to be processed and shipped out to me (in total, it took just over 2 weeks for me to receive my order).

Tabs is in the process of getting 120,000 units available for sale by the time summer hits in the United States. This should help speed up processing orders once their inventory is settled.

Lifetime Sales Estimate

Tabs launched on December 20th, 2021. Since then, they have received just over 13,000 orders. I estimate their lifetime average order value to be approximately $44. This gives them an estimated $575K in sales in the past 5 months.

How Are They Driving Sales?

Well, they have had almost all of their social media accounts suspended. They cannot advertise on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and others (it appears their product falls into a banned category for these channels).

Their number one focus has been partnering with influencers (mainly on TikTok). They have numerous influencers create TikTok videos for them with the Tabs product. The influencer posts it on their personal account, and Tabs will repost the video on a network of TikTok accounts that they manage.

On average, Tabs is paying an influencer approximately $100 per 100,000 views.

In February, Tabs was featured in an article on Vice.com: This ‘Sex Chocolate’ Is Going Viral on TikTok for Making People Super Horny. Tabs used LinkBy (https://linkby.com/) to get Vice to write this article (i.e. this was a paid placement).

Oscars Gift

GBK Brand Bar is a pre-Oscar lounge at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. They curated over $100,000 in gifts for top talent in the industry. Tabs Chocolate was a participating brand at the 2022 GBK Brand Bar. They were able to leverage this opportunity to get photos of celebrities holding their product (whether they are actually allowed to use these photos for promotion is unknown, but they are using these photos on their website).

Sourcing

Tabs Chocolate is being made by Gabriella Chocolates & Confections, located in North Venice, Florida. 

Their packaging comes from China. I have not yet figured out who is making their boxes, but their outer shipping bag comes from Zhuhai Eco Packaging Co.

Quick Hit Fad?

I am curious to see the longevity of this brand. Right now, the novelty of the product allows it to go viral organically. However, will people come back and repurchase (ie do people think this product actually works after trying it?)

Does Plant-Based Meat DTC Work?

Food and Beverage Direct-To-Consumer — My curiosity quest begins! 

I want to know what is going on in this space: what are the up and coming brands, what are the trends, what is working, and what is not working?

I have looked at a few F&B DTC brands in the past, such as Muddy Bites, Firebelly Tea, and Black Rifle Coffee. However, my curiosity has led me to looking into plant-based meat. 

Stagnant Growth

“The refrigerated plant-based meat category grew at 59% in 2019, 75% in 2020, but in 2021, the category was essentially flat, growing at 1%, ” 

“We believe the hyper exposure of the category early on drove a significant number of consumers to trial plant-based protein products.”

“In fact, trial rates were super high, penetrating 60% of US households, but consumers’ needs simply were not met, and they did not repeat purchases. As a result, the category did not reach expected levels of habituation, had very high lapse rates and very low buy rates.”

These quotes came from Curtis Eugene, president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Foods, during their February conference call discussing fiscal 2021 results. 

Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are probably the two most popular names in the plant-based meat category. In May 2019, both brands saw their brand name be searched over 600,000 times. That was up from about 100,000 searches in November 2018. Today, both brands see about 75,000 searches per month for their brand name.

You can see a similar peak and then die off in the search term “plant based meat”. Monthly search volume for this term starts to increase in May 2019, peaking in January 2020 at approximately 50,000 searches that month. Today, this term is searched approximately 12,000 times per month. 

As stated by Curtis Eugene, it is clear that this category got some initial hype (led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger), but the hype did not last long, and interest in this category has died down. And according to The Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based meat only accounts for 1.4% of total meat category sales in the US.

What Is Happening In The Direct-To-Consumer Space?

Impossible and Beyond both launched and DTC effort in 2020 (obviously, the pandemic forced this). However, both of these brands have since shut down these efforts. The prevailing thought is the revenue through their DTC channel was too little, and the delivery logistics of this type of product were too expensive.

That being said, there are still a few players in this space trying to make DTC work for plant-based meat. I took a look at Simulate (known for their product: Nuggs), Nowadays, Daring Chicken, and Deliciou. To my surprise, none of these companies are generating a ton of a sales through their websites:

Simulate – Averaging 17 orders per day in May

Nowadays – Averaging 25 orders per day in May

Daring – Averaging 12 orders per day in May

Deliciou – Averaging 35 orders per day in May

That means at most, these brands are doing well under $100K per month in sales (which means they are all likely doing less than $1M a year in sales through their website).

Simulate always had a DTC focus. However, I am no longer sure that is the case. You can find their Nuggs in almost any grocery store near you. In June of 2021, Simulate took on $50M of funding. 17 orders a day on their website does not justify that funding. They must be focusing on other channels of growth (grocery stores, restaurants, etc).

Well… Now What?

It does not look like plant-based meat is a good DTC play. We have already seen Beyond and Impossible exit this channel, and from the 4 brands I tracked, it appears they all are struggling to generate enough revenue from this channel to make it viable for them. 

The question now is why? I hosted a Food and Beverage Direct-To-Consumer round table discussion yesterday, and three qualities were brought up as to what makes a good fit for a F&B DTC product:

  1. Is it lightweight?
  2. Does it have shelf stability?
  3. Is it an item that would have re-occurring purchases?

For plant-based meat, the product is not terribly heavy, but it is over 1lb, making shipping costs at least $7-$8 per order. The product does not have great shelf stability (only lasting 10 days when refrigerated). And lastly, the product could be re-ordered regularly, but as we saw from Maple Leaf Foods, they were not seeing customers return and purchase it again. 

Plant-based meat is not a good DTC product based on those 3 qualities.

What Areas Of F&B DTC Interest You?

Are there any brands you are seeing that are catching your eye and making a DTC play? Are you seeing any trends that should be looked at? I am taking suggestions on where to look next in the F&B DTC space!

Update — Calling My Shot Again: Figs Q1 2022 Revenue Estimates

Victory Lap Time! On April 13th, I predicted that Figs would report $106.6M in Q1 2022 revenue. The consensus among analysts was the revenue expectation would be $117M. On May 12th, Figs released their Q1 2022 earnings. Revenue came in at $110.1M.

My tracking methods led me to a 97% accuracy in predicting their actual revenue numbers.

How Could I Improve This?

There are two factors that I have to estimate to get to their revenue number: Average Order Value and Cancellation Rate.

I have been using their last reported average order value in my revenue calculations. For my Q1 2022 estimates, I used their Q4 2021 average order value (which was $113). Figs average order value for Q1 2022 ended up being $116. If I had used $116 rather than $113, my revenue estimate would have been $109.5M. This would have improved my accuracy to 99.5%.

For the last 8 quarters, Figs’ average order value has grown on average by 4% each quarter (3.5% for the past 6 quarters). Going forward, I will factor in some growth to their average order value to get a more accurate prediction.

The second factor to consider is their cancelation rate. I am able to track how many total orders they receive. However, not all these orders get shipped, and thus Figs cannot consider them in their revenue reporting (pesky GAAP rules). I noticed in Q4 that the number of orders they reported in their revenue was 9% lower than the total number of orders they received. For Q1 2022, I used a cancelation rate of 8.5%. It appears their actual cancelation rate for this period was 8%. I expect to keep this percentage around 8-9% in my estimates moving forward.

Why Did Figs Miss Their $117M Expected Revenue Target?

I am sure you have heard this before: supply chain issues.

Figs had to move a planned product launch out of Q1 because the product could not make it to the fulfillment center in time. These new product launches have proven to be big revenue events for Figs. They have shown that part of their growth strategy is to constantly be running new product launches (new styles, new colors, etc). So, it is a big deal to them when they have to push back a product launch.

Also, two of their most popular items became out of stock in Q1 because the ships their products were on got unexpectedly re-routed while in transit. 

Because of the uncertainty in its supply chain, Figs has now downgraded its total 2022 revenue projection to $510M – $530M from $550 – $560 (the stock market did not like this).

What Is Working For Figs?

First, interest in their product and brand continues to grow. Figs now has 2 million active customers. This is up from 1.5 million active customers a year ago.

Searches for their brand name “Figs” is up 50% year over year (2.169M searches Q1 2022 vs 1.45M searches Q1 2021)

Second, they are seeing strong growth in their product expansion lines. 80% of their revenue still comes from scrubwear sales. However, sales for their lifestyle products are up 81% in Q1 year over year. And sales for their footwear product line in Q1 2022 were greater than all their total 2021 footwear sales.

Lastly, Figs has started its international expansion. In April, Figs did a soft launch in 7 EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands). International sales are up 59% year over year.

April Sales

In April, Figs received a total of 261,020 orders. Applying an estimated 8% cancellation rate, that means Figs will recognize revenue for 240,138 orders. Plugging in an average order value of $117 (modest growth from Q1), Figs will recognize about $28M in revenue for April.

This is significantly down from the March revenue of $45.6M.

I see three options as to why this may be a down month:

  1. Supply chain issues continue to hurt their sales further.
  2. April could be a traditionally slow month for them and this was expected (unfortunately, I do not have their monthly revenue for the first 9 months of 2021).
  3. Starting in April, international sales to those 7 countries listed above, started going through a 3rd party processor (Globe-e). These sales are no longer represented in my tracking of wearfigs.com, and unfortunately, these international orders are now grouped within Globe-e’s orders, and I cannot see how many orders Figs is processing through this international service. 

It could be a combination of all three as well.

I will be back in early July for my Q2 revenue estimation for Figs!

Banana Ball – The Business Behind The Savannah Bananas

We need to talk about the Savannah Bananas, a baseball team in Savannah, Georgia, that is going viral on social media right now. Yes, I typically only break down e-commerce businesses (and I will break down their e-commerce merchandise sales), but I am just fascinated (and slightly giddy) with the Savannah Bananas that I need to break down this business.

Baseball purist, avert your eyes!

Best Seat In The House, And Bored Out Of His Mind

Jesse Cole is the founder of Fans First Entertainment and owner of the Savannah Bananas. Jesse is a former D1 college pitcher who got injured and could not continue his pitching career post-college. He started his coaching career by joining the staff of a Cape League baseball team (A premier summer baseball league for college players in Cape Cod, Massachusetts). With the best seat in the house (on the bench), he found himself bored out of his mind watching the game.

In 2008 at the age of 23, Jesse became the general manager of the Gastonia Grizzlies of the Coastal Plain League in North Carolina. In 2014, Jesse purchased the team. Under Jesse’s leadership from 2008 to 2015, the Gastonia Grizzlies broke attendance records each year.

In 2015, Jesse became aware of an opportunity to create another team in the Coastal Plain League based in Savannah, Georgia (after the Mets relocated their farm team out of Savannah). In 2016, the Savannah Bananas were born (after letting their fans vote on the team name). 

Starting in 2016, The Savannah Bananas have sold out every game and set several Coastal Plain League attendance records, all because Jesse wanted to make baseball fun.

Stop Doing What Your Customers Hate

Jesse studied his fans’ behavior and learned what they disliked. He didn’t wait for them to tell them what they didn’t like. The fans voted with their actions. Jesse will often cite the famous Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Jesse would have pictures taken of the crowd during different moments in the game to see when the fans became disinterested. He would focus on those moments to try to keep the fans engaged. He saw no matter what they did, after 2 hours, fans were leaving the stadium. By the fans’ actions, they told him they wanted 2-hour baseball games.

Fans did not like being nickeled and dimed at the stadium after paying for their ticket. So Jesse sold tickets that included all-you-can-eat concessions.

Jesse hated that their fans had to pay service fees on top of their ticket prices. So this led Jesse to buy their ticket exchange, iSportsTix. Originally, Jesse made a deal with iSportsTix, that Savannah Bananas would pay them $3,200 a year to use their system with no additional fees. This no-fee policy grew the Bananas fan base where iSportTix could not handle the demand. So Jesse bought iSportTix. They now handle the ticketing for 8 other independent baseball teams, plus a hand full of minor league hockey teams. Each team pays an annual fee of $4,000 dollars.  

Banana Ball

  1. Every Inning Counts – The team that gets the most runs in an inning, gets a point for that inning. Win the inning, get the point.
  2. Two Hour Time Limit – If the game is tied at the end of two hours, the game will go into a showdown to determine a winner.
  3. No Stepping Out – if the batter steps out of the box, its a strike.
  4. No Bunting – Bunting Sucks. If the batter bunts, they will be thrown of the game. 
  5. Batters Can Steal 1st – If a passed ball or wild pitch happens during any pitch of an at-bat, the batter can take off to first.
  6. No Walks Allowed – If a pitcher throws the fourth ball it becomes a sprint. The hitter will take off running while the catcher has to throw the ball around every defensive player on the field before it becomes live. The hitter can advance to as many bases as he can. The ball does not have to touch the catcher or pitcher. 
  7. 1 on 1 Showdown Tiebreaker – Each team picks one pitcher and one hitter to face off. The defensive team only has the pitcher, catcher and one fielder. If a hitter puts the ball in play, he has to score and make it home to get a point. If the ball is put in play, the pitcher and fielder are allowed to chase the ball and throw it to the catcher for a play at the plate. If the pitcher strikes him out, or gets him out before scoring, he doesn’t get a point. If the batter walks, he takes second and the hitting team will bring in another hitter to the plate. 
  8. No Mound Visits Allowed – Let’s Leep the game moving. No mound visits from the coach, catcher, or any other players. Hype your pitcher up from afar if needed. 
  9. If A Fan Catches A Foul Ball, It’s An Out – Why not let the fans get in on some of the action? Whatever you do, just don’t catch a Bananas Foul Ball.

Jesse is trying to optimize the game of baseball for a better fan experience. However, he cannot do this with his Savannah Bananas baseball team that plays in the Coastal Plain League (they still have to play by traditional baseball rules). So Jesse created Banana Ball that is played by two professional baseball teams, The Savannah Bananas and The Party Animals. 

The clips from these games are the ones you see going viral on social media. This year Banana Ball went on tour, playing 12 games in 6 different cities. All games sold out (nearly 70,000 tickets sold cumulative). And 2 of the games were aired on ESPN!

Metrics of Success

  • The Savannah Bananas have sold out every game at their stadium and have over a 12,000 person waitlist to get tickets.
  • Over 1,000 people are on a waitlist to work for the Savannah Bananas
  • Social media growth last 4 months:
    • Instagram 236% follower growth (from 121K to 409K)
    • TikTok 161% follower growth (from 916K to 2.4M)
    • Twitter 155% follower growth (from 33K to 84.9K)
  • Website traffic – Over 100,000 Monthly Visitors (up from 20,000 monthly visitors)
  • Search Volume – 301,000 monthly searches in March for the term “Savannah Bananas” up from 27,000 searches a year ago!
  • 15 year MLB veteran, 2x World Series Champion, 3x All Stay, Cy Young Award Winner, Gold Glove Winner, Jake Peavy went and pitched for the Savannah Bananas

$10M in Revenue?

I am not sure the Savannah Bananas will get to $10M in revenue this year, but they may be very close. 

Banana Ball Tour – $20 a ticket, 12 sold-out games to a max cumulative capacity of 69,600. That is $1.4M in ticket sales.

Plus two more games added in Kansas City in front of 10,000 people each ($200,000 in ticket sales per game, however this may be split with the other team).

Plus 6 more Banana Ball Home games at the end of the season – $480K

Total Banana Ball 2022 Ticket Sales ~ $2.1M

Savannah Bananas (CPL) Ticket Sales – 24 Home games at $20 per ticket is $1.9M

Online Merchandise Sales – Because of the surge of interest in Savannah Bananas, their website traffic, and merchandise sales have increased. In the past 14 days they have received 2,090 merchandise orders. Their average order value is most likely between $75 – $100. That means on a daily basis, they are generating about $11,000 – $15,000 in revenue from their online merchandise sales.

No doubt they will be faced with some seasonality but its safe to say they could see upwards of $3M in revenue in 2022 from their online merchandise sales.

So far, I have outlined the case for a possible $7M in revenue in 2022. However, there are still a lot of unknowns that I cannot estimate:

  • How much revenue do they bring in from non-all-inclusive concession sales? Alcohol Sales?
  • In stadium merchandise sales?
  • Bananas Academy (The Bananas Academy is a mixture of different camps and training sessions that allows any player form age six to high school to find the perfect fit for them to learn from the Bananas)?
  • Sponsors, partners, and media rights? In 2020, the Savannah Bananas removed all in-stadium advertising. I am not sure if that is still the case or if they have other sponsors. Did the Bananas get paid for the ESPN Airing? Are there other opportunities to monetize their content?

What a Business…

Even if you are a baseball purist, you have to appreciate the business that has been created here. Jesse found a way to get people’s attention and get them interested in what he was doing. He turned people into raving fans of his product and that is why he has over 12,000 people on the waiting list to be able to purchase a ticket.

Jesse also has the business “Bananas For Business”. As it says on their website: “Stop wasting money on marketing and start creating an experience where the customers do the marketing for you.” He is taking the concepts he has built with the Savannah Bananas and helping other businesses create a fan first experience.