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.

Do You Have the Chops to be a Top Ecommerce 3PL?

| Mike O'Brien

For the third year in a row, the editorial team at Multichannel Merchant is putting together a valuable service for our readers: The MCM Top 3PLs, a listing of leading third-party logistics (3PL) providers in ecommerce and direct-to-customer operations. How does your organization measure up? If you’re a 3PL provider, you need to be part of this exclusive resource.

JamesAllen.com Seeing Success with Video Marketing

| Mike O'Brien

Online diamond bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com, which has been seeing great success using video to market its products on social sites like Facebook and Instagram, said merchants need to adapt the content to the audience based on where they are consuming information and what they want to see. Find out what other recommendations the company has for successfully leveraging video content.

UPS Launches Returns Processing Tool for SMBs

| Mike O'Brien

Looking to simplify operations for small- to medium-sized merchants and drive new business for itself, UPS this week launched Returns Manager, a tool that allows shippers without their own returns infrastructure to make the process smoother and easier for their customers.

Amazon Offers Instant Pickup in Five Cities

| Mike O'Brien

Not to be outdone by Target’s attention-getting news of its pending Grand Junction acquisition to bolster its same-day delivery efforts, Amazon announced a new Instant Pickup program that lets customers grab “essential” items at locker facilities in five cities in two minutes or less.

Target Acquires Grand Junction to Boost Same-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

In a move that will help it counter Amazon’s growing Prime Now footprint, Target announced plans to acquire transportation management software firm Grand Junction to expand its same-day delivery capabilities. And a former Amazon supply chain executive is helping Target get there.

Office Depot Launches Same-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

As Amazon continues to encroach on the office supply market and offers speedy service in a growing number of urban markets, Office Depot is launching same-day delivery on Aug. 28 in Atlanta and Los Angeles, followed by Miami/Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 6. It has some catching up to do with rival and would-be merger partner Staples.

Former Kiva Executives Launch 6 River Systems

| Mike O'Brien

Joining an ever-more-crowded group of robotics providers for ecommerce fulfillment, two former executives of Kiva Systems have built what they believe is a better mousetrap, via 6 River Systems and its Chuck autonomous robot. See what its capabilities are, and how a 6 River co-founder views the future of robotic fulfillment.

Boxed.com Will Send You Detergent When You Need It

| Mike O'Brien

Boxed.com, an ecommerce seller of bulk items at discount – think an online Costco – has created one AI-based tool that alerts customers when items are running low so they can reorder, and another that automatically sends them when it senses they’re nearly depleted.

Ecommerce Distribution Center Roundup

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has been busy with distribution center and fulfillment center development in Michigan and California. See what other development is taking place as companies like Home Depot, Dollar Tree, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods expand their fulfillment networks.