Walmart Ditched Associate Delivery Program After Six Months

| Mike O'Brien

Less than a year into a pilot program that had employees making local deliveries of online orders, Walmart in January all but quashed the program quietly as associate buy-in wasn’t happening. See how it’s still happening at one Georgia store, and other ways Walmart is working to figure out local fulfillment of ecommerce orders.

Smart Lock for Home Deliveries Targets Porch Piracy

| Mike O'Brien

BoxLock, a smart lock startup, is aiming to address the growing problem of porch piracy by securing ecommerce deliveries through barcode scanning by parcel carriers. It went live on Prime Day and is exclusive to Prime members but that’s bound to change as the solution catches on.

Half of U.S. Consumers Visiting Amazon During Prime Day Experienced Issues

| Mike O'Brien

A survey by JDA Software found that more than half of U.S. consumers – 52% – ran into technical difficulties during Prime Day. Of that group, 27% either gave up without making a purchase or bought less than they had planned. Amazon is also facing allegations of raising prices on some products, with the FTC looking into it.

The Grocery Wars Heat Up with Amazon Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Flexing its Whole Foods Market muscles, Amazon announced an expansion of same-day grocery delivery in New York and three cities in Florida, after Walmart’s Jet.com and FreshDirect both announced plans for fulfillment centers in the Bronx, NY.

Israeli Drone Firm Taking Part in North Carolina Pilot Program

| Mike O'Brien

Flytrex, an Israeli company that developed a control system for automatic drone flight, may soon be helping deliver food to residents of a North Carolina town as one of 10 FAA-sanctioned test projects. As the first company to launch commercial drone delivery in Iceland, Flytrex is looking to expand the service to other countries.

UPS Testing Smart Lock Delivery in New York

| Mike O'Brien

Following similar moves by FedEx, Amazon and Jet.com, UPS is piloting deliveries to multi-unit New York dwellings when residents are absent, in partnership with smart lock maker Latch. Preliminary tests began in Manhattan earlier this year and have now expanded to Brooklyn.

Amazon Prime Day Sales Up 24% from Last Year

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon said Prime Day was another big winner, calling it the biggest shopping day in its history, with more than 100 million products purchased by Prime members during the 36-hour extravaganza that stretched from mid-afternoon on July 16 to the early morning hours of July 18 on the east coast.