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.

Nike to Stop Selling on Amazon, Two Years In

| Mike O'Brien

Seeing the future as more DTC and under its control, Nike has decided to stop selling on Amazon’s marketplace after a two-year experiment, CNBC is reporting. The news follows shortly after Nike’s hiring of board member John Donahoe, chairman of PayPal and former CEO of eBay, as its new president and CEO, replacing Mark Parker.

Dealing with Front-to-Back Risk Factors in Ecommerce Operations

| Mike O'Brien

In our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, we talk to Robyn Meyer, partner, enterprise solutions at Transportation Insight, about challenges and opportunities in this disruptive environment, as well as some strategy, process and system changes companies can make to improve profitability and performance.

Postmates Offers Same-Day Delivery App for SMBs in Shopify

| Mike O'Brien

Same-day delivery platform Postmates is going live with a delivery app in the Shopify App Store, in beta during Q3, that lets smaller Shopify merchants offer customers the new option of two-hour delivery as the immediacy wars continue to heat up. Merchants receive email notifications when customers opt for two-hour delivery.

USPS Expecting 800 Million Holiday Packages, Down from Past Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service is projecting it will handle 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a drop from both 2018 and 2017. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 24 to high-volume urban locations, with projections of over 8 million package deliveries on Sundays in December.

How Major Carriers UPS, FedEx Have Been Diverging on Services, Prices

| Mike O'Brien

For many years, UPS and FedEx were in virtual lockstep on pricing and service offerings. That is until the past couple years, when they’ve begun to diverge as they seek to differentiate and carve out different market strategies. Mark Taylor of enVista discusses these changes as part of an MCM CommerceChat podcast.

Multiple Factors Weigh into Parcel Carrier Choices for Ecommerce Shippers

| Mike O'Brien

With shipping and delivery such a critical piece of the customer experience in ecommerce, you need to choose the right carrier partner – or partners – that meet your business needs and fit your budget. Hear from shippers about how they determine the best fit and mix of service level and cost, and how they work with their carrier partners.

Omnichannel Performance of Grocery Retailers a Mixed Bag in Report

| Mike O'Brien

With an omnichannel approach becoming ever more prevalent in the grocery industry, a new report found grocery retailers excelling in some areas while needing a bit of improvement in others. That’s according to a new omnichannel readiness benchmarking report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and FitForCommerce.

UPS Says National Returns Day Will Be 26% Higher Than 2019

| Mike O'Brien

UPS is projecting a 26% increase on “national returns day” on Jan. 2, when 1.9 million inbound packages are expected to hit its network as Q4 ecommerce continues to balloon. Another somewhat smaller returns peak of 1.6 million packages/day will hit the week of Dec. 16; the daily average that month will be 1 million, UPS said.

Amazon Counters Walmart with Free Same-Day Grocery Delivery for Prime

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon waited an entire month to swing back at Walmart’s new same-day grocery delivery program, making delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods free for Prime members by eliminating the $14.99/month charge on $35 and up orders. It’s available in 2,000 cities and towns, mostly through Amazon’s 480 Whole Foods stores.

Roadie Partners with Delta Cargo for Same-Day Delivery Across the Country

| Mike O'Brien

On-the-way delivery app Roadie has partnered with Delta Cargo to enable the first cross-country, same-day delivery service for critical items such as medical devices and machine parts using air cargo and last-mile drivers in tandem. While critical-need items are the most natural use case, ecommerce deliveries are not far behind.