Target, Walmart Turn Up Heat on Last-Minute Holiday Ordering

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s new last-minute delivery deals and deadlines for holiday gifts has it going head-to-head with Walmart over whose fulfillment is faster and more accommodating for shoppers. Both retail giants offer free two-day shipping, but Walmart has the edge in guaranteed delivery by Christmas for ultra-last-minute shoppers.

Amazon Tells 3P Sellers: No FedEx Ground; Complains of Service Issues

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is telling 3P sellers they can’t use FedEx Ground for Prime deliveries this holiday season, citing performance issues, according to the Wall Street Journal, saying the policy will remain until there are improvements. UPS and other carriers stand to benefit in the short term if they can find room in their networks.

Supply Chain Optimization: How to Alleviate Common Pain Points

| Kyle Krug

While it may vary by industry, every supply chain has its own set of pain points. When left to fester, they can create permanent damage. Working to identify and immediately triage these pain points should be a top priority for all companies. This 3-step process has proven to be an effective way to get to supply chain optimization.

How a Supply Chain Makeover Will Help Le Tote Integrate Lord & Taylor

| Mike O'Brien

Le Tote plans to modernize Lord & Taylor’s assets, including integration with Le Tote’s rental business to drive upselling. Retail industry veteran Robert Escobar has signed on to help Le Tote create a roadmap for a supply chain makeover to meet its business objectives. Find out more in this MCM CommerceChat podcast interview.

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.

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.

Thoughtless Ecommerce Fulfillment Will Do Holiday Season Brand Damage

| Brian Barry

A horrible experience with an Amazon order for a child’s Christmas gift quickly morphs into an object lesson for your ecommerce fulfillment operations. You may never get a chance to make a second impression on a new customer. Here are 6 ways to help you ensure that the experience for your customers is consistently excellent.

10 Steps to a More Agile, Flexible Ecommerce Supply Chain

| Brian Barry

An agile ecommerce supply chain is focused on speed, cost savings, productivity and responsiveness and flexibility to market demands. Supply chain management (SCM) exists to improve a company’s long-term performance. Here are 10 steps to help you improve your ecommerce supply chain agility and performance.

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.