Identity Marketing Firm SheerID Raises $64 Million

| Douglas P. Clement

SheerID, whose software quickly verifies a person’s status as a member of a particular consumer “tribe,” has raised $64 million in an equity round. It defines identity marketing as a form of personalization focused on winning over consumer tribes that align with the brand’s promise. Clients include Target, Amazon, Lowe’s and Urban Outfitters.

Amazon Drives 115% Rise in Ecommerce Ad Spend During Q3

| Douglas P. Clement

Spending on ecommerce ads rose 115% in the third quarter compared to last year, and was up 51% over Q2, driven largely by Amazon, a seasonal surge for Prime Day and a strong back-to-school season. A new Q3 report from Marin Software also showed that mobile continues its dominance.

FTC Steps Up Investigation of Amazon Over Anti-Competitive Charges

| Mike O'Brien

Investigators from the FTC have begun interviewing merchants selling on Amazon’s third-party marketplace in an attempt to ascertain if the ecommerce giant is using anti-competitive practices, according to a report in Bloomberg. They’re asking merchants how much business they do on Amazon.com vs. other major marketplaces.

Amazon Unveils New Robotic Hybrid Drone-Plane

| Mike O'Brien

You just knew Amazon wasn’t going to get shut out of a DOT sanctioned drone delivery pilot program a year ago that let in Google, a FedEx/General Electric/Intel team and Uber, and take it lying down. The ecommerce giant unveiled a bold new delivery system that’s part drone, part aircraft and part robot that uses sensors, AI and ML.

Walmart Adds Google Voice Capability for Online Grocery

| Mike O'Brien

Two months after dropping out of the Google Shopping Actions platform and the Google Express same-day delivery service after a year-long test, Walmart is adding Google’s voice ordering capability for online groceries as it continues to wage war with Amazon.

FedEx to Test Delivery Robots This Summer

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx is planning to test delivery robots this summer for customers including Walmart and Pizza Hut, while Target and AutoZone are looking at the capability, according to Reuters. The 10 mph robots would have to be approved by the city of Memphis. This is one innovative way companies are looking to cut last mile costs.

Ryder Introduces Ecommerce Fulfillment Service

| Mike O'Brien

Transportation and supply chain provider Ryder System has unveiled a new ecommerce fulfillment service offering designed to compete with full-service platforms such as Amazon and Google as well as major carriers by providing a soup-to-nuts system for shipping directly to customers.

Over 70% of U.S. Consumers Favor National Data Privacy Law

| MCM Staff

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers favor a national data privacy law that applies to all 50 states equally, according to a new survey. Adults are most comfortable handing over their email address and birth date, and least comfortable handing giving up their address and phone number, the survey found.