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.
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.
Amazon is unquestionably the biggest sales platform in the North American market, and its marketplace alone commanded nearly a third of total online sales in the U.S. in 2018. But there’s also a lot of competition—more than 5 million brands compete for the same customers, with thousands more joining every day.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.