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.

Kendra Scott’s Fast Rollout of New Omnichannel Tactics Amid COVID-19

| Mike O'Brien

A decision by the leadership team at jewelry retailer Kendra Scott to invest in an order management system ahead of last year’s peak season was a critical element enabling the company to quickly turn its fleet of stores into fulfillment centers and initiate curbside pickup, after shutting them down to the public due to COVID-19.

MCM CommerceChat Podcast

Needed Now: Real-Time Data Sharing Across Ecommerce Logistics Partners

| Mike O'Brien

In this MCM CommerceChat podcast, we talk to Matthew Cowan, general partner of Next47, a Siemens-backed venture firm that has invested in startups including last mile platform Bringg and on-demand transportation mapping service provider rideOS, about the critical need for real-time data sharing across supply chain partners.

This Week’s Expert Mailbag: How Are Workers Staying Safe in Warehouses?

| Mike O'Brien

Lots of us have questions these days. The biggest one being: When will we be able to return to “normal” – and what will that look like? In this week’s edition of Multichannel Merchant’s “Ask the Expert,” we address a concern about how warehouse workers are staying safe in the midst of concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

Flytrex Begins Backyard Drone Delivery Pilot from a Walmart in ND

| Mike O'Brien

Israeli drone startup Flytrex has begun a pilot program making backyard deliveries from a Walmart in Grand Forks, ND to about a dozen nearby homes, looking to expand the program to further-out properties there in the months ahead while keeping to current FAA restrictions to line-of-sight piloting.

NBCUniversal Launches New Checkout Platform for Shoppable Content

| Mike O'Brien

NBCUniversal’s new instant checkout service for its shoppable content lets consumers click and buy products they see across the media company’s broadcast and online properties, giving brands an opportunity to sell during a time when stores are shut down. Shoppers can make purchases without abandoning their program.

How Soapbox Pulled Off a COVID-19 Sanitizer Supply Chain Miracle

| Mike O'Brien

To meet demand for hand sanitizer in the midst of COVID-19, Soapbox reached deep into its supply chain to procure supplies and produce 3 million+ bottles of sanitizer in 2 weeks for major retail clients. David Simnick, CEO, and Daniel Doll, president and COO of Soapbox, talk about how they pulled off this massive undertaking.

Dark Stores Addressing Massive COVID-19 E-Grocery Demand

| Mike O'Brien

A handful of grocery retailers have flipped some locations into so-called dark stores to handle the crush of online orders, but it remains to be seen how widespread the practice will become or how much the trend will stick after the coronavirus threat dies down. Retailers include Amazon/Whole Foods, Kroger, Giant Eagle and Stop & Shop.

MCM CommerceChat Podcast

Sweetwater CEO on the Power of Music Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

| Mike O'Brien

In the midst of COVID-19 social isolation, people are craving connection. In the midst of uncertainty, videos of musicians sharing their gifts, both virtually and socially distanced, have gone viral, providing inspiration and hope. Sweetwater CEO Chuck Surack talks about his company’s experience and how they’re connecting with customers.

Profitero Raises $20m in New Round, Brings in Ad Industry Veterans

| Mike O'Brien

Profitero, an ecommerce analytics firm that includes Adidas, L’Oreal and General Mills among its 4,000 clients, has raised $50 million in new funding and brought in ad industry veterans to lead the company as it looks to develop new products and grow its business. Bryan Wiener has been named CEO and Sarah Hofstetter is president.

Amazon Increases its Dominance in Apparel Sales

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is continuing to dominate in apparel sales online, according to a new report from CoreSight, which reports 70% of apparel shoppers bought clothing or footwear on Amazon in the past 12 months, up from 60% a year ago. This compares to 51.2% who said they did so on Walmart, 44.6% at Target and 35.3% at Kohl’s.