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.

On-Demand Warehouse Provider FLEXE Raises $43M in New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

On-demand warehousing and fulfillment firm FLEXE has raised $43 million in Series B funding, led by Activate Capital and Tiger Global Management, with participation from Madrona Venture Group and follow-on investments from Redpoint Ventures, Prologis Ventures and others. Clients include Walmart, Staples and Toms.

Nordstrom, the Retail Industry and Ecommerce Sales Reporting

| Mike O'Brien

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.

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.

Walmart Chief Technology Officer Exits Position

| Daniela Forte

Walmart chief technology officer Jeremy King, who oversaw much of the company’s digital strategy, is abruptly leaving the company according to Bloomberg and other sources. This comes at a critical juncture when Walmart’s ecommerce arm is growing rapidly and making headway against rival Amazon.

Retooling Your Fulfillment Network to Stay Competitive

| MCM Staff

To succeed, retailers and ecommerce companies need to meet heightened customer experience demands. That means offering fast shipping, free returns and same-day delivery, if possible. Learn insights from industry experts on ways to optimize your fulfillment network and focus your technology investments to compete and win.

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.

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.