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The Modern Retail dictionary, 2022 edition

Still, there are jokes to be cracked amid a difficult year. In what’s now an annual tradition, we updated the Modern Retail Dictionary with the hottest topics and most groan-inducing cliches our editors and reporters came across in their inboxes this year. And, what we really think when we read them. See past entries here, here and here.

From all of us at Modern Retail, may your new year be filled with fewer buzzwords.

15-minute delivery: A way to get discounted groceries for a month, until the delivery service runs out of business 

AI expert: Someone who used ChatGPT once 

Affiliate marketing: We hired a PR agency

Attribution software: A way for CMOs to justify their marketing spend, or a way to start a fight on DTC Twitter

Buy now, pay later: Debt, but branded for Gen Z

Commitment to value: Pushing more private label products 

Demand challenges: We thought pandemic growth would last forever 

Diversification: Spending 70% of your marketing budget on Facebook instead of 80%

DTC brand: Now basically any brand with a Shopify store and an Instagram account 

EBITDA: Not the same as profits!

Erewhon: A place where influencers post photos of their groceries 

Experiential retail: This store was designed to be Instagrammed 

Gen Zalpha: A brand’s way of pretending they are still going to be relevant by the time Gen Alpha grows up 

Grocery delivery: We use Instacart

Hired ahead of revenue growth: We thought we could raise VC money forever 

Inflation: A word that appeared in every memo in 2022 

Meet the customer where they are: Our explanation for why we, a premium brand, are on Amazon

Metaverse experience: We launched a store on Roblox 

Non-dilutive startup funding: Debt

Phygital experiences: Brands that went all-in on e-commerce during the pandemic, and are frantically trying to pivot back to…

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