Amazon Enables Holiday Laggards With Last-Minute Offerings

| Douglas P. Clement

Amazon is enabling Prime customers in eligible areas to shop millions of products on Christmas Eve, and receive them in time for gift exchanges with free same-day delivery if ordered by 9:30 a.m. local time. Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market purchases on Christmas Eve in those eligible areas offer free two-hour delivery.

Walmart Testing Autonomous Grocery Delivery in Houston

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is testing autonomous grocery delivery in Houston with robotics partner Nuro to a select group of shoppers that opt into the pilot program, the company announced. The test will involve Nuro’s R2 robotic vehicle as well as some autonomous Toyota Priuses, also powered by Nuro’s technology.

Old Navy Adds Same-Day Holiday Delivery to Compete with the Big 3

| Douglas P. Clement

Old Navy is partnering with Postmates to provide same-day delivery in 4,000 U.S. markets as it competes with Amazon, Walmart and Target for the holiday retail joy of robust sales driven by aggressive delivery fulfillment.
Delivery will be free from Dec. 21-23 as an incentive for last-minute consumers to buy its casual clothing.

Ohi Raises $2.75 Million to Power Same-Day Delivery for DTC Brands

| Mike O'Brien

Ohi, a startup looking to democratize same-day delivery for smaller direct-to-customer brands with analytics and micro fulfillment centers in unused commercial spaces, has raised $2.75 million in a seed funding round led by Flybridge Capital Partners. Its first MFCs are in Manhattan, Brooklyn and LA, with more to come in SF and DC.

Walmart Shuts Down Fresh Grocery Delivery Via Jet.com in New York

| Mike O'Brien

Fourteen months after introducing same-day grocery delivery in New York, Walmart has shut down fresh grocery delivery through Jet.com as the operation had stumbled badly, according to Bloomberg, including price increases to offset an estimated $20 loss per delivery. Jet will continue to delivery non-perishable items in New York.

FedEx Delivery Robots Not Particularly Welcome During NYC Visit

| Mike O'Brien

Maybe they should’ve stuck with “Walking in Memphis.” Several FedEx delivery robots, collectively dubbed Roxo, were seen prowling the streets of Manhattan recently, but instead of getting a red-carpet welcome they elicited some Bronx cheers, according to the New York Post. The city threatened to physically remove any it spotted.

5 Steps to Increasing Customer Retention in Subscription Commerce

| Nicole Lee

While subscription commerce is up, many subscription box companies are challenged to maintain their subscriber base. The median churn rate for subscription boxes is 10.54%. What can your company do to retain subscribers? Here are 5 effective strategies and the fulfillment best practices necessary to support them.

Same-Day Delivery Drives Another Ecommerce Surge in Q3 for Target

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s strong Q3 performance, with 31% growth in ecommerce sales – just under the 34% in Q2 – continued the trend of same-day order fulfillment services driving growth. Target is the first to offer curbside pickup in all 50 states. In Q3, sales volume fulfilled by Shipt more than doubled, while curbside sales grew by more than 500%.

Assessing the Impact of 2020 Rate Increases from UPS

| Matt Bohn

Effective Dec. 29, UPS ground, air and international rates will increase by an average of 4.9%. Keep in mind that there is often a discrepancy between the announced increase and the effect on individual shippers. The team at Shipware provided a breakdown of some areas that will likely provide the most impact for merchant shippers.

Greening Up Your Ecommerce Operations During the Holiday Sprint

| Ann Starodaj

In 2019, over half of shoppers say they’re conscious of the environmental practices of retailers they shop with. At the same time, they love overnight shipping and free returns, which impact the environment. Retailers, striving to please consumers and be sustainable, are caught in the middle. Here are some ways to address the dilemma.