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.

Port Logistics Group Acquires Whiplash Merchandising

| Mike O'Brien

Third-party logistics provider Port Logistics Group has acquired Whiplash Merchandising, a provider of ecommerce fulfillment software, a year after it took a stake in the company. Whiplash brings shopping cart integration, warehouse management system (WMS) and order management system (OMS) capabilities.

Nordstrom, the Retail Industry and Ecommerce Sales Reporting

| Mike O'Brien

As ecommerce takes a greater share of retail sales, the view into relative channel strength has been somewhat opaque. But Nordstrom recently began reporting ecommerce as a percentage of net sales, not just a growth percentage. Tune in to the latest MCM CommerceChat podcast to hear more on this interesting development.

Amazon Moving to One-Day Delivery Guarantee for Prime Members

| Mike O'Brien

No sooner had everyone mostly adjusted to the new normal of two-day delivery across the continental U.S. than Amazon raised the bar yet again, signaling a move to free one-day shipping for its 100 million-plus Prime members. Amazon will be transitioning to one-day Prime delivery throughout 2019, starting in Q2.

Powering Ecommerce Growth for Brands

| Mike O'Brien

From fast and free shipping to offering delivery choices, ecommerce companies need to be responsive and even proactive in anticipating needs, and outside partners often have the scale and expertise to make it happen. Learn how FedEx Fulfillment helped Revtown and BAWLS overcome operational challenges and grow their business.

Fanbank Lets Stores Sell Items on Facebook through Credit System

| Mike O'Brien

Fanbank, a Santa Monica, CA-based startup, aims to give small business owners a greater opportunity to reach online buyers by creating digital credits that can be redeemed in brick-and-mortar stores through Facebook ad campaigns. The ads show up in shoppers’ newsfeeds, and soon will be publishable on a merchant’s Facebook page.

Happy Returns Gets $11M Investment Led By PayPal

| Mike O'Brien

Happy Returns has received an $11 million investment from PayPal Holdings Inc., the venture arm of the payment solution company, with both pledging to reduce reverse logistics friction for merchants. The investment will also help Happy Returns toward its goal of 1,000 ecommerce returns bars by the end of the year.

Kohl’s Expands Amazon Returns to All 1,150 Stores in the Lower 48

| Mike O'Brien

A year and a half after first testing the program in Los Angeles and Chicago, Kohl’s will start accepting Amazon returns in July for free at its 1,150 stores in the 48 continental U.S. states, even without a box or label. Kohl’s says that “eligible Amazon items” can be returned free of charge.

Key by Amazon Now Allows Delivery to Your Garage

| Mike O'Brien

First it was the front door, then the trunk. Now Amazon can have the delivery person drop off your ecommerce order inside the garage using smart lock technology. Key by Amazon – formerly known as Amazon Key – has now been extended to allow deliveries through the garage door.

Locus Robotics Raises $26M in Series C Round

| Mike O'Brien

Andover, MA-based Locus Robotics, spun out of 3PL Quiet Logistics in 2015, has raised $26 million in Series C funding, increasing its total to $66 million. The round was led by the venture arm of mobile scanning and printing technology firm Zebra Technologies and Scale Venture Partners.

Regional Carrier Eastern Connection Ceases Operations

| Mike O'Brien

Eastern Connection, a regional carrier with a 35-plus-year history, shut down its operations earlier this month, the company announced, leaving shippers in the Northeast from Maine to Virginia looking for alternate capacity. Other regional carriers, including Lasership and CDL, stand to benefit along with UPS, FedEx and the USPS.

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