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.

Amazon Early Reviewer screenshot feature

Amazon Canning Early Reviewer Program

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon announced it plans to cancel its Early Reviewer program as of April 25, and won’t be taking any new applications as of April 10, as it has found other programs more effective in generating customer reviews, upsetting sellers who had found success with it. Experts however saw Amazon Vine as a superior review generator.

MCM CommerceChat podcast

Amazon Logistics: Ready for Prime Time?

| Mike O'Brien

Last week Amazon spent $131 billion for a 19.5% share in ATSG, which operates aircraft it leases. And many believe Amazon Logistics is looking to restart delivering non-Amazon volume from its shippers. So what is up with all this activity and investment? We talk with Kiri Masters of Bobsled Marketing about the pieces that are in place.

retail 2021 feature

Retail: Stickiness of Digital Shift Resets Priorities

| Mike O'Brien

A new report from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and McKinsey & Co. highlights how sticky the digital shift has become over the past year, and how important personalization, supply chain optimization, omnichannel and sustainability have become to ensure survival in the new landscape.

Nimble Robotics Simon Kalouche feature

Nimble Robotics Takes In $50M, Adds AI Luminaries

| Mike O'Brien

Nimble Robotics, a maker of order picking and packing robots for ecommerce, is the latest fulfillment automation maker to join the massive VC gravy train of late in ecommerce technology, raising $50 million in Series A financing in a round led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures.

flowspace office feature

Flowspace Raises $31M in New Funding Round

| Mike O'Brien

Flowspace, a provider of warehouse-on-demand software and services, has raised $31 million in a new round to expand its business and build on capabilities like predictive analytics to help retailers achieve fulfillment network optimization through precise fulfillment hub and inventory positioning.

Dick's Sporting Goods exterior feature

Dick’s Sporting Goods Doubles Ecommerce Sales in 2020

| Mike O'Brien

Dick’s Sporting Goods, like Target and Walmart before it, is seeing strong results in the pandemic era, increasing overall sales 19.8% in the fourth quarter, while ecommerce was up 57% and same-store sales increased 19.3% as its omnichannel execution excelled.

Amazon, Delivery Contractor Fined $6.4 Million

| Mike O'Brien

A California regulatory agency has fined Amazon and one of its delivery contractors $6.4 million for alleged wage theft violations between April 2018 and January 2020, saying drivers were not paid properly on long shifts and often had to miss meals. The investigation cited Amazon and Green Messengers of Santa Ana, CA.

MCM CommerceChat podcast

The Shrinking Gender Gap in Shopper Preferences

| Mike O'Brien

While there may not be as many women buying drills and crosscut saws at Home Depot these days, it appears that men and women have a lot more in common these days in terms of shopping preferences. Rodney Mason, CMO of daVinci Payments, breaks down the implications for marketers in the latest MCM CommerceChat podcast.

Take Our MCM Outlook Survey 2021, And Have a Cuppa Joe

| Mike O'Brien

Multichannel Merchant is conducting its annual MCM Outlook survey to gauge how industry professionals are reacting to trends and market forces. The survey results help shape our editorial coverage, and your valuable input helps us get there. We’ll give you a $5 Starbucks gift card as our way of saying “thank you” for completing it.

Michaels exterior feature

Michaels To Be Acquired, Taken Private in $5B Deal

| Mike O'Brien

Michaels, the Dallas-based retail chain known for supplying do-it-yourself crafters for more than 45 years, is once again being acquired by a private equity firm after a seven-year run as a public company and an impressive valuation run in a very difficult year for the industry.