Walmart Gatik truck feature

Walmart First to Deliver Driverless Middle Mile

| Mike O'Brien

This week, Walmart claimed a first by announcing it had been doing driverless runs between a dark store and one of its retail outlets in its hometown of Bentonville, AR, since August, courtesy of technology partner Gatik. Walmart said the trucks are running multiple times per day, seven days per week on public roads.

best buy interior

Best Buy Focusing on Future Success Through Inclusion

| Mike O'Brien

Companies need to be more inclusive and diverse to remain competitive by attracting upcoming generations, while creating opportunities where they don’t exist today, said Mark Irvin, Chief Inclusion, Diversity and Talent Officer. He made his remarks during a keynote presentation at Ecommerce Operations Summit 2021 in Nashville.

Ecommerce Operations Summit Nashville skyline feature

Ecommerce Operations Summit Strikes the Right Notes in Music City

| Mike O'Brien

Ecommerce Operations Summit 2021 is back live, at the Gaylord Opreyland in Nashville on Aug. 17-18, and the team at Multichannel Merchant has a great event on tap to help operations and fulfillment professionals keep on top of key industry trends and address the challenges of a disruptive time. Read on for some program highlights.

Best Buy Pilots Subscription Program

| Mike O'Brien

Best Buy Beta is being piloted at select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and eastern Pennsylvania, expanding to Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee. Members will get discounts, unlimited Geek Squad tech support, up to two years of protection, free standard shipping and delivery and free installation on most products.

Black Friday mobile commerce feature

Black Friday Hits a Record $9B Online, Stores Down 30%

| Mike O'Brien

As expected, Black Friday 2020 saw tremendous success online but was a bust in stores, as shopper behavior has been altered irrevocably by the ongoing pandemic. Adobe Analytics reported $9 billion in ecommerce sales on Black Friday, up 21.6% from $7.4 billion in 2019. Store traffic meanwhile was down 48% to 52%.

best buy curbside feature

Amazon, Best Buy Tout Expanded Pickup Options

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon and Best Buy are both touting their expanded network of alternate pickup locations to deal with the holiday crush ahead of Black Friday, giving shoppers more options for getting their stuff fast. Amazon said it has Hub locations in more than 900 cities and towns, while Best Buy’s network is over 16,000.

Staples to Accept Returns from Other Retailers Through Optoro Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

Continuing a growing trend toward making ecommerce returns more convenient and safer for shoppers in the contactless pandemic era, Staples has struck a partnership with Optoro in which the office supply giant will accept unboxed returns from other retailers that will be processed by Optoro. More retailers will come online in January.

kroger store

Kroger Launches New Online Marketplace, Adds 50,000 Items

| Mike O'Brien

Kroger plans to launch a marketplace this fall through a partnership with French platform provider Mirakl, adding 50,000 items from sellers initially to its assortment, including toys and household goods in addition to specialty foods, international foods and natural and organic items. The marketplace is an expansion of Kroger Ship.

3PL

7 Ways a 3PL Can Be More Viable Than Internal Ecommerce Fulfillment

| Brian Barry

For many ecommerce businesses, even absent COVID-19, a profitable Christmas season will make or break the year. During the shutdowns, many 3PLs have remained open, serving clients even amid the labor challenges. Should you continue internal fulfillment or move to a 3PL? Here are seven considerations as you weigh the choice.

Deliv driver

Target Looks to Acquire Tech Assets of Deliv as Startup Unwinds Operations

| Mike O'Brien

On the same day it was announced Deliv was winding down its operations this summer, it came out that Target is in talks to snap up some of Deliv’s technology assets to bolster its local ecommerce fulfillment and bring founding CEO Daphne Carmelli onboard, NBC reported. Others had reportedly been looking at Deliv, including grocers.