Target Sees Ecommerce Soar, But COVID-19 Costs Dampen Earnings

| Mike O'Brien

Target found the COVID-19 outbreak to be a two-edged sword in the first quarter, driving stratospheric ecommerce sales growth of 141%, while impacting profits due to about $500 million in associated costs, the company reported. It also saw over 5 million customers shop on Target.com for the first time in Q1.

Last Mile Tech Drives the DTC Customer Experience During COVID-19

| May Walter

When DTC brands are able to understand and implement last mile technology providing greater visibility and transparency, they put themselves in a position where they can control the customers’ experience from start to finish, ultimately enhancing it in every way possible. Here are three ways to boost the last-mile experience.

Free Here Technologies App Optimizes Ecommerce Delivery for SMBs

| Mike O'Brien

Here Technologies, a provider of location and mapping solutions for companies worldwide including UPS and FedEx, has created a free navigation app to help SMBs flipping to ecommerce optimize delivery routes by providing turn-by-turn navigation for multiple stop routes. The app has been tested by restaurants in Australia.

Popup Fulfillment Centers Overcome Last Mile Obstacles During COVID-19

| Zach Thomann

Supply chain issues related to COVID-19 are causing lots of problems for retailers who are still tasked with fulfilling orders on a timely basis. This means looking into nontraditional fulfillment methods that provide flexible and cost-effective solutions. Popup fulfillment centers are one viable solution to address these challenges.

Last Mile Service Providers Seeing Huge Coronavirus Demand Spikes

| Mike O'Brien

Amidst the massive pivot to online during the coronavirus crisis, providers of last mile delivery services are seeing huge growth in demand from various kinds of merchants, as house-bound consumers are ordering away for both essential and nonessential items. Demand is coming from a variety of sources, including stores, SMBs and CPGs.

Roadie Partners with Delta Cargo for Same-Day Delivery Across the Country

| Mike O'Brien

On-the-way delivery app Roadie has partnered with Delta Cargo to enable the first cross-country, same-day delivery service for critical items such as medical devices and machine parts using air cargo and last-mile drivers in tandem. While critical-need items are the most natural use case, ecommerce deliveries are not far behind.

New California Law Upends Economics of Using Independent Contractors

| Mike O'Brien

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a new measure that will require many companies using independent contractors to hire them as employees and provide benefits, dramatically changing the economics of the gig economy in ecommerce delivery. Deliv got ahead of the law in June by hiring its California workers.

Omnichannel Merchants Shift Closer to the Customer

| Ken Fleming

As consumer behavior shifts and omnichannel retailing grows, retailers are getting closer to customers to improve service and help ensure profitability. Increasingly, they look to four key areas where shifts can make fulfillment more efficient: Retail footprint; manufacturer direct shipping; 3D print & ship; and pickup sites.

Pilot Program for Automated Lockers Seeing Success in Seattle

| Daniela Forte

The use of automated lockers for ecommerce deliveries is moving beyond BOPIS applications, with adoption growing in apartment buildings, public transportation areas and even mobile tests. To that end, a shared locker pilot program by the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab and Seattle DOT will be expanding next year.

USPS Sees Parcel Volume Decline for the First Time in Nine Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a drop in its parcel volume for the first time in nine years during its third quarter, as major customers like Amazon continue to shift business away from the USPS and take on some of the deliveries themselves. However parcel revenue was up thanks to rate increases and a DIM adjustment this year.