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.

Report Finds U.S. Retailers Underperforming in Key Omnichannel Categories

| Mike O'Brien

Given all the attention paid to buy online pickup in store including its popularity with shoppers, only 28% of U.S. retailers currently offer the service, compared to 64% of British retailers providing its cousin, click and collect, according to a report from OrderDynamics. Retailers here were also found lagging in other categories.

DHL Investing $300M in Warehouse Robotics, Automation

| Mike O'Brien

Deutsche Post unit DHL Supply Chain North America is investing $300 million to increase the level of automation and robotics at 350 of its 430 facilities, to better handle the crush of ecommerce orders. DHL also plans to open a 24,000-square-foot innovation center near Chicago in September 2019.

Walmart Testing Same-Day Grocery Delivery in China

| Mike O'Brien

After beefing up its grocery delivery chops here, including automated kiosks and crowdsourcing, Walmart is now testing same-day grocery delivery to customers in China through a hookup with WeChat and delivery service Dada. This is separate from Walmart’s partnership with JD.com, although both have invested in Dada.

USPS, Amazon Weather Bad Data Days as Peak Season Begins

| Mike O'Brien

Both the U.S. Postal Service and Amazon experienced data glitches that exposed customer information. The USPS may have exposed the personal data of more than 60 million customers, while Amazon told customers their names and email addresses were exposed due to a technical error on its ecommerce site.

Vera Bradley Sees Results with Text Solution for Customer Care

| Mike O'Brien

High-end handbag, luggage and accessories seller Vera Bradley was looking to enhance the customer experience by adding texting as a contact channel, after realizing shoppers might have already been trying to send texts to customer service numbers. See what results the company experienced with an integrated text solution.

Thanksgiving Ecommerce Sales Hit Record $3.7B, Up 28% from 2017

| Mike O'Brien

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day were a record $3.7 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, up 28% from 2017, making it the fastest growing retail day in ecommerce history. It was also a very mobile-friendly holiday, with orders from smartphones representing 36.7% of all sales and driving 54.4% of site traffic, Adobe reported.

Holiday Season Ecommerce Sales Hit $31.9B to Date, Up 16.7%

| Mike O'Brien

Even before Thanksgiving, ecommerce sales are already off to the races this holiday season. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 20, U.S. consumers spent $31.9 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics, up 16.7% from 2017. More than $1 billion in sales were generated all of those 20 days, Adobe said, a new record, surpassing $2 billion on Nov. 20.

Retail Fraud Attempts Expected to Rise 14% Over Cyber Weekend

| Mike O'Brien

Retail fraud attempts are projected to increase 14% during Cyber Weekend compared to last year, according to benchmark data from online payment provider ACI Worldwide based on hundreds of millions of merchant transactions. The fraud activity is likely to peak on Thanksgiving Day, according to ACI.