SCOTUS Declines to Hear UPS Case on USPS Pricing

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling, which denied UPS’s legal claim that the U.S. Postal Service’s pricing model gave it an unfair advantage over parcel shipping competitors. In 2018, a U.S. Appellate Court in Washington, DC upheld the pricing methodology. Amazon backed the USPS in the case.

Amazon’s One-Day Shipping: The Real Story for Retailers

| Guy Bloch

If Amazon owns nearly half of the U.S. ecommerce market, why the need to offer one-day delivery? The reason: Its singular obsession with customer centricity. Insights abound for those able to get past the headlines. Here are three of the most important takeaways that were either overlooked or under-covered in the media frenzy.

With the Next Salvo, Walmart Offers Free Next-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

Firing back at Amazon’s move less than three weeks ago, Walmart is now offering free next-day delivery to customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas, with plans to expand to Southern California within days and 75% of the U.S. population by the end of the year. Walmart’s deal is mostly free: There’s a $35 order value threshold to qualify.

Amazon Automating Packaging to Save on Fulfillment Labor

| Mike O'Brien

In an effort to reduce its massive distribution and fulfillment costs, Amazon is implementing packaging automation, much as many other retailers have, while a separate program offers up to $10,000 to help set up Amazon employees willing to flip to delivery contractors.

Alibaba Targets Amazon through AliExpress Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Alibaba is changing up its fast-growing AliExpress marketplace to attract merchant sellers from nations besides China, a direct challenge to Amazon’s international marketplace, according to the Financial Times. The “local to global” program will initially admit sellers from Russia, Turkey, Italy and Spain, expanding as it goes.

Same-Day Delivery Service Dolly Raises $7.5M in New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

Same-day delivery services startup Dolly has raised $7.5 million in new capital to fund expansion and increase its operational and technical teams, raising its venture funding total to $20 million. An Amazon executive is one of the new investors. Dolly plans to expand to 15-20 new markets this year and uses independent contractors.

USPS Will Be Broke by 2024 Without Reform: Postmaster General

| Mike O'Brien

Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that the USPS will run out of cash by 2024 if reforms are not enacted. Brennan also proposed saving billions by cutting back mail delivery to five days a week and increasing package delivery to seven days, which it already does for Amazon.

Nordstrom, the Retail Industry and Ecommerce Sales Reporting

| Mike O'Brien

As ecommerce takes a greater share of retail sales, the view into relative channel strength has been somewhat opaque. But Nordstrom recently began reporting ecommerce as a percentage of net sales, not just a growth percentage. Tune in to the latest MCM CommerceChat podcast to hear more on this interesting development.