Walmart Again Reports 37% Growth in Ecommerce During Q2

| Daniela Forte and Mike O'Brien

Walmart reported a 37% increase in ecommerce sales in Q2, the same as in Q1 and supported by strong growth in grocery, as its massive digital investments and focus continue to pay off in its locked battle with Amazon. The company is projecting full-year ecommerce growth of 35%, leveraging its huge store base for fulfillment.

CommonSense Robotics Goes Underground with Grocery Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.

Kroger Pilots 30-Minute Grocery Deliveries in Cincinnati Area

| Mike O'Brien

In the never-ending quest for delivery immediacy, grocer Kroger is testing out 30-minute deliveries in its home market of Cincinnati, cutting the promised time from Amazon’s Prime Now in half. Called Kroger Rush, the service costs $5.95 per order, with the first order free, and requires an app download.

Target, Walmart Find Fresh Ammo in Grocery Wars

| Mike O'Brien

After weeks of concentrating its fire on Amazon, Walmart is now dealing with a flank action from Target as the latter has fully integrated its Shipt same-day delivery service with Target.com. Walmart, for its part, just launched a $98 per year subscription program for same-day grocery delivery, a service that normally costs $9.95 per order.

E-Grocery, Meal Kit Spend Driving Cold Storage Demand

| Mike O'Brien

Demand from e-grocery and meal kit sales will lead to development of 70 million-100 million sf of cold storage space over the next five years, up from 214 million square feet, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE. The 18-29 year old age group is the fastest growing in terms of e-grocery activity.

Ecommerce Fraud Cooks Up Trouble in Food Delivery

| Eyal Raab

While retailers pursue same-day delivery, grocers often complete and ship orders in an hour, while restaurants get even less time. Merchants in food delivery thus have to make instant decisions about the legitimacy of a purchase or risk upsetting their customers. The trick is implementing fraud prevention without ruining the experience.

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.