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 Ecommerce Operations Summit conference. Previously Mike was a senior account executive for Marx Communications, a boutique public relations firm working with marketing and advertising technology companies. 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 corporate e-learning and a daily newspaper reporter on every beat imaginable – except sports.

Walmart, Deliv Part Ways, Retailer Signs Four New Partnerships

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart and Deliv have decided to part ways, and the major retailer is still working with seven other delivery services to get grocery orders to customers, Reuters and others are reporting. Walmart has signed on four new delivery partners since January, including Deliv competitors Doordash and Postmates.

Amazon Officially Calls Out Carriers as Competitors

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon’s moves into logistics and fulfillment over the past few years have been well-documented, with FedEx and UPS downplaying the threat and Amazon saying it just wants to address its capacity shortfalls. Until now, that is, when Amazon added “transportation and logistics services” to the long list of competitive sectors in its 2018 10k filing.

The Risk/Opportunity of Try Before You Buy and Ecommerce Returns

| Mike O'Brien

Try before you buy has become increasingly popular for apparel retailers because shoppers love it, but it can play havoc with returns. Justin Press of Brightpearl shares his insights in this latest edition of the MCM CommerceChat podcast. He will also lead a panel on this topic at Ecommerce Operations Summit, April 9-11 in Columbus, OH.

Vacant Retail Locations Being Repurposed for Ecommerce Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

In an indicator of the continuing evolution of retail, more shuttered stores and malls are being converted to industrial space, especially for ecommerce fulfillment, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE. See where this is happening, what the drivers are and the prevailing local headwinds.

USPS Rate Hikes Send Shippers Scrambling for Savings

| Mike O'Brien

With the new U.S. Postal Service rates in effect, shippers are looking for creative ways to keep their parcel spend down as costs among the major carriers continue to rise. Find out what the increases mean and hear what some industry experts have to say about the impacts.

Talking Data Science with Abercrombie & Fitch

| Mike O'Brien

In this MCM CommerceChat podcast, Anthony Burnside, manager of direct-to-customer order management and omnichannel fulfillment for Abercrombie & Fitch, talks to Multichannel Merchant about the role of data analytics and data science inside his group and organization

UPS Expanding Latch Partnership for In-Home Delivery to 10 More Cities

| Mike O'Brien

In another whack at porch piracy, UPS is expanding an in-home delivery service through smart lock partner Latch to 10 additional cities, after successful tests in New York and San Francisco. It will be available later this year in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Miami and Seattle.

Amazon Steps up Ocean Freight Shipping from China to the U.S.

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has been quietly shipping ocean freight from China to West Coast ports, in another sign of its increasing logistics ambitions and an entire supply chain play, according to a report in USA Today. In the past year, Amazon Logistics has shipped 4.7 million cartons of consumer goods from China to Long Beach and Seattle.