Kroger Finds Its Voice … Ordering

| Mike O'Brien

Grocery giant Kroger is adding voice ordering to its online arsenal, interestingly hitching its wagon to the Google Assistant voice app and not to Amazon’s Echo, at six of its associated brands, the company announced. See what else Kroger is up to as well as other tech skirmishes in the escalating online grocery wars.

Over 60% of U.S. Retailers Would Consider Banning Serial Returners

| Mike O'Brien

Sixty-one percent of U.S. retailers said they would consider banning serial returners as Amazon has done to combat the growing wave brought on by over-generous policies, according to a new survey from UK ecommerce software firm Brightpearl. In the UK, 45% of retailers said they would consider doing so.

Same-Day Delivery App Curbside Acquired by Rakuten

| Mike O'Brien

Tokyo-based marketplace and logistics supplier Rakuten has acquired Curbside, a startup with $50 million in funding that powers same-day store and restaurant pickup of online orders, for an undisclosed amount. See what this deal means for the retail and restaurant customers of Curbside.

Walmart’s Jetblack Marries Personalized Shopping, Same-Day Speed

| Mike O'Brien

Jetblack, Walmart’s new invite-only, personalized shopping service aimed at busy moms in Manhattan and Brooklyn, allows members to get same-day orders fulfilled by texting them in, at $50 a month. It’s the latest example of the beast of Bentonville seeking to go upmarket and out-innovate main rival Amazon.

How to Deliver Experiences First and Transactions Second

| Anthony Nicalo

Blaming a lack of consumer spending on a recession is easy, but the data shows something more profound. People are still spending money, but instead of shelling out for new possessions, they’re now splurging on experiences. To that end, here are three steps to improve sales moving forward.