Target Sees 42% Sales Growth in Ecommerce in Q1

| Daniela Forte

Target reported ecommerce sales growth of 42% in the first quarter, with positive guest response to same-day digital fulfillment services. The quarter marked Target’s eighth consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases. CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer’s comparable sales growth of 4.8% was a bit ahead of expectations.

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.

Blockchain Needs Open Source Standards to Succeed: FedEx Exec

| Mike O'Brien

In order for blockchain to succeed on a global scale in the transportation of goods, an open source standard will be required, according to a FedEx executive who heads up a blockchain alliance working toward that goal. The first standard of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, on shipment location tracking, was published in March.

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.

Kroger Selects Orlando Area for Second Automated Fulfillment Center

| Mike O'Brien

Kroger plans to build the second of 20 automated distribution centers in partnership with UK grocer Ocado for fulfilling ecommerce orders in Groveland, FL. The state-of-the-art FCs, built by Kroger and powered by Ocado’s automation technology, are just part of Kroger’s innovation push including driverless and same-day delivery.

Understanding Your Selling Options on Amazon

| James Gagliardi

As merchants search for ways to offer shoppers the convenient buying experience they desire, Amazon has reigned as a top choice. But navigating the increasingly complex web of ecommerce can be tricky. There are critical factors to review when choosing the best Amazon distribution model for your business.

Target Grows Digital Sales 31% in Q4

| Daniela Forte

Target reported a strong fourth quarter for ecommerce with digital sales up 31%, hitting $5 billion for the year, a five-fold increase since 2012. Overall comp sales were up 5.3% in Q4 on traffic growth of 4.5%, but revenue was flat at $23 billion.

Late to the Game, Target Launches Ecommerce Marketplace

| Daniela Forte

Going the way of main rivals Walmart and Amazon, Target is launching its own third-party ecommerce marketplace, Target+, including a curated list of products from merchants that complement its own offerings in categories like home, toys, electronics and sporting goods.

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.