Amazon Makes 10 Million Items Available for Prime One-Day Delivery

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon just turned up the heat in the three-way battle for dominance atop ecommerce sellers, announcing more than 10 million items eligible for its new one-day delivery standard via Prime. This compares with 220,000 items available for free next-day delivery from Walmart, announced in mid-May, and 35,000 from Target ReStock.

Instacart Pricing Change Leading to Threats of a Shopper Boycott

| Mike O'Brien

Instacart, the same-day grocery delivery company used by many grocers, is dealing with customer ire as freelance shoppers fulfilling the orders are passing up some jobs due to a change in the pricing structures. Also a number of shoppers have taken to Twitter to call for a boycott of the service due to a drop in their wages.

Amazon Expands Free Shipping for the Holidays, Hires More Drivers

| Mike O'Brien

Pouring more water into its moat, Amazon has totally eliminated shipping charges this holiday season, removing the $25 threshold for non-Prime members on items ordered in time for Christmas delivery. Amazon is also hiring and managing thousands of seasonal delivery drivers to handle the holiday crush.

The Grocery Wars Heat Up with Amazon Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Flexing its Whole Foods Market muscles, Amazon announced an expansion of same-day grocery delivery in New York and three cities in Florida, after Walmart’s Jet.com and FreshDirect both announced plans for fulfillment centers in the Bronx, NY.

Israeli Drone Firm Taking Part in North Carolina Pilot Program

| Mike O'Brien

Flytrex, an Israeli company that developed a control system for automatic drone flight, may soon be helping deliver food to residents of a North Carolina town as one of 10 FAA-sanctioned test projects. As the first company to launch commercial drone delivery in Iceland, Flytrex is looking to expand the service to other countries.

Merchants Looking to Strike Gold Inside, Outside Prime Day

| Mike O'Brien

As Amazon Prime Day 4.0 is set to run for 36 hours Monday and Tuesday, merchants are making last-minute preparations on ads, promotions, pricing and Prime eligibility. Others are looking to create their own buzz, drafting on an extended ecommerce holiday projected to grow by 40% to $3.4 billion. See what else is in store.

Amazon Expands Hub Pickup Lockers in Apartment Buildings

| Mike O'Brien

A year after a quiet introduction, Amazon is expanding Hub by Amazon, secure keypad-access lockers in high-rise and garden apartments that allow shoppers to grab packages at their convenience. Interestingly, the service is available to other shippers as well as Amazon itself.

Alibaba Pursuing Walmart Stores on its Home Turf

| Mike O'Brien

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is investing $2.9 billion in China’s largest “hyper-market” or superstore company, Sun Art Retail Group, in a move there against Walmart and its partnership with Alibaba rival JD.com. This is yet another chapter in the growing “clicks-to-bricks” trend, including Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition.

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