Mike O'Brien

mobrien@accessintel.com / MikeOBmcm

Mike O’Brien has worked in journalism, marketing and public relations for … well, quite a while. At Multichannel Merchant he focuses on the world of direct-to-customer operations and fulfillment, editing MCM’s weekly O+F Advisor newsletter, and programs the annual Operations Summit conference. Previously Mike was a senior account executive for Marx Communications, a boutique public relations firm working with marketing and advertising services clients. Other past work includes stints as a media relations consultant for a concert promoter, a marketing communications specialist for a pharma software firm, a research analyst covering the corporate e-learning market and a daily newspaper reporter on every beat imaginable – except sports.

LateShipment Helps Shippers Access Carrier Refunds

| Mike O'Brien

With an estimated $3 billion left on the table each year in unclaimed refunds from major carriers for errors such as late or wrong deliveries, a software company has figured out how to automate the claims process and win some of that money back for its shipper clients.

Amazon Key Allows In-Home Deliveries When You’re Out

| Mike O'Brien

Right on the heels of Walmart’s September announcement of an in-home grocery delivery service being tested in New York City, Amazon has come out with its own offering allowing drivers to enter homes and drop off items under the watchful eye of a new Amazon smart connected camera – all tied to Alexa.

Northwest Research Inc. Acquired by FedEx

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx announced it has acquired inventory management provider Northwest Research, adding technology to help with its ecommerce fulfillment capabilities. The companies said Northwest will provide “new approaches to inventory management issues, including specialized research to maximize successful outcomes for challenging shipments.”

SpaceX Says, Same-Day Delivery Is So Last Week

| Mike O'Brien

Jeff Bezos and the innovation teams at Amazon seem to have cornered the market on far-out ideas that push the envelope for ecommerce distribution, from delivery drones to blimp warehouses to even an undersea DC. That is, until Elon Musk and his hardy band of rocketeers at SpaceX came along and shot the moon – or Mars.

Happy Returns Takes a New Approach to Ecommerce Returns

| Mike O'Brien

A startup company is looking to ease a chronic ecommerce pain point – returns – by enabling customers to bring unwanted items to a nearby mall for fast processing and credit, even if the seller doesn’t have its own stores. See what Happy Returns has been up to and what its plans are for the future.

Radial Assets Seen As Complementary to bpost

| Mike O'Brien

An executive with bpost cross-border unit Landmark Global said it will be able to help customers of new sister company Radial expand into markets in Europe and Asia, while Radial can provide a range of value-added ecommerce and omnichannel services for bpost’s customers in those same markets.

Target Offers Voice Shopping, Two-Day Delivery with Google Express

| Mike O'Brien

Target is significantly expanding its partnership with Google, offering customers voice-directed ordering through a Google Home device or an Android TV – and two-day delivery nationwide via Google Express. The company will also soon offer voice ordering through Android phones and iPhones.

FedEx Expands Same-Day Delivery to 30 U.S. Markets

| Mike O'Brien

Ahead of the holiday season, FedEx has expanded same-day delivery service to 1,800 cities in 30 regional markets through its FedEx Office division. The deliveries are made by uniformed FedEx drivers in branded vehicles, and the service includes a mobile app to track delivery status including alerts on estimated arrival time.