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.

Wayfair Opens First Physical Store in Natick, MA

| Mike O'Brien

Follow in the footsteps of other digitally native brands that have gone click to brick like Bonobos, Warby Parker, Framebridge and Tuft & Needle, Wayfair this week opened its first physical store in the Natick Mall in Natick, MA, outside its Boston headquarters. This trend shows that brands starting online acknowledge the power of the store.

Target Reports 34% Growth in Ecommerce, Blows Out Projections

| Mike O'Brien

Target reported strong Q2 performance, with 34% growth in ecommerce sales, nearly 75% of which was attributable to its same-day order fulfillment strategy including buy online pickup in store, curbside pickup and local delivery. The retailer beat expectations on earnings, comp growth and revenue, and raised 2019 guidance.

UPS: No Peak Season Residential Surcharge, But Others Apply

| Mike O'Brien

UPS will not add a residential delivery surcharge this holiday peak season, unlike the past two years, but will add surcharges for larger packages and those requiring additional handling. The company expects to exceed record volume of 800 million packages set last year, with 75% of it handled by automated sortation systems.

Subscription Seller Loot Crate Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

| Mike O'Brien

So-called “geek gear” subscription box seller Loot Crate, an early leader in the now red-hot category, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as cash runs low, according to various media reports. The company has a white knight buyer in the wings, a major collectible manufacturer and distributor that took on its debt.

UPS Says Easy Returns Process Essential for Ecommerce Success

| Mike O'Brien

Shoppers love nothing more than convenience – well ok, maybe price trumps it – but convenience definitely sells. And when retailers offer a seamless ecommerce returns process, it plays a pivotal role in consumer’s purchasing decisions, according to an annual report from UPS.

USPS Sees Parcel Volume Decline for the First Time in Nine Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a drop in its parcel volume for the first time in nine years during its third quarter, as major customers like Amazon continue to shift business away from the USPS and take on some of the deliveries themselves. However parcel revenue was up thanks to rate increases and a DIM adjustment this year.

Ecommerce Operations Summit Call for Speakers Closing Soon

| Mike O'Brien

It’s coming down to the wire for our Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020 call for speakers, which closes next Friday, Aug. 16. Our 9th annual event will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL – a nice change of venue, don’t you think? Get your submission in now and elevate the conversation!

FedEx Cutting Out Amazon on Ground Deliveries

| Mike O'Brien

Two months after deciding not to renew its contract with Amazon for air freight service, FedEx is now parting ways with the ecommerce giant on the ground as well. FedEx will not renew its ground contract with Amazon when it expires at the end of August, effectively severing the long-term relationship as Amazon grows its own capabilities.

ShipRush Adds LTL Capability to its SMB Shipping Software

| Mike O'Brien

The growing volume of larger items being ordered online, everything from furniture to gym equipment to home improvement products, has led Descartes unit ShipRush to be the first to add a less than truckload (LTL) capability to its SMB shipping software platform.

Target Expands Curbside Pickup to 1,550 Stores for Back to School

| Mike O'Brien

Target is expanding its free curbside pickup program, Drive Up, ahead of the busy back-to-school season, making it available at 1,550 stores and adding coverage in the Northeast, the company reported in a blog post. Several markets are being added in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with expansion in others.