Mike O'Brien

[email protected] / 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.

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OneRail Raises $33 Million, Looks to Expand to SMB

| Mike O'Brien

OneRail, an Orlando-based startup with software that optimizes last-mile deliveries, has raised $33 million in a Series B round to further develop its platform and bring in new talent to fuel its growth, with plans to launch an extension for SMBs on Shopify in 2023.

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FloorFound Expands Recommerce Network

| Mike O'Brien

FloorFound has expanded its nationwide recommerce network, including five facilities totaling 500,000 square feet of space and business intelligence software that helps retailers determine the best channel for maximizing resale value, plus an integration with project44’s supply chain platform.

Pitney Bowes Combines Scale, Label Printer for SMBs

| Mike O'Brien

Parcel consolidation and ecommerce firm Pitney Bowes has come with an innovative device that combines a label printer and scale. SMB shippers can process orders from Amazon, eBay and Shopify from their phones using companion software, compare discounted shipping rates, print labels and First Class stamps and track packages.

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Just Another Cyber Monday: $11.3 Billion Sets Record

| Mike O'Brien

As did Black Friday, Cyber Monday set a record of $11.3 billion in online spending, per Adobe Analytics, up 5.8% from the first-ever down year of 2021, once again driven by heavy discounting to spur demand in an inflationary period. At the peak of 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. PST, consumers were spending at a clip of $12.8 million every minute, Adobe reported.

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When Black Friday Comes, 2022 Edition

| Mike O'Brien

Black Friday looked good compared to an average day this year or even a year ago, but less so when compared to 2019. Online, sales were healthier, but just a 2.3% gain from 2021, Adobe said. Lululemon Athletica, American Eagle Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret were winners, and Gap, Banana Republic and Hollister were challenged.

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Cyber Week, Here We Come

| Mike O'Brien

Sales expectations are somewhat muted based on a welter of surveys and experts, as well as most retail earnings, but Cyber Week is still kind of a big deal, extended season and early deals notwithstanding. There are, of course, no lack of consumer jitters due to nagging inflation, with study after study indicating some degree of hesitancy.

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Gig Workers Change Considered by DOL

| Mike O'Brien

Last month, the Department of Labor proposed a change to the way it determines the classification of independent contractors. If it eventually becomes law, the rule change would have a lasting effect on the gig economy and gig workers. Kashyap Deorah, CEO of HyperTrack, talks about the balancing act in front of the DOL.

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One FedEx Ground Contractor Group Disbands, Another Forms

| Mike O'Brien

After making a lot of noise this year with a list of grievances including poor management practices and bad peak season forecasting leading to the brink of insolvency for many, an association of FedEx Ground contractors has disbanded, taking a shot at the founder on the way out the door.

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Pitney Bowes Investor Looking for Changes

| Mike O'Brien

A hedge fund which made millions with its stake in GameStop before the struggling retailer became a Reddit-fueled stock phenomenon has invested in Pitney Bowes, believing its assets are undervalued, and suggesting its ecommerce unit could be sold. Hestia Capital may put forward a former Stamps.com executive as a director.

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How Alen Expanded from DTC/Ecomm Onto Lowe’s Shelves

| Mike O'Brien

For 16 years, Alen has been selling its a top-rated air purifiers on Alen.com and Amazon. Now the company has expanded into retail, with product in 300+ Lowe’s stores, with potential for expansion. Alen has seen sales climb 210% growth since 2020. The CEO and the COO of Alen talk about the company’s growth and channel approach.