Post Peak, Amazon Removes Ban on FedEx Ground, Home for 3P Sellers

| Mike O'Brien

A month after prohibiting third-party sellers from using FedEx Ground and FedEx Home for Prime orders due to alleged on-time performance issues, Amazon is now saying they’re back on the nice list. Amazon said the performance issues have been resolved to its satisfaction, allowing 3P sellers to use the services again.

Holiday Ecommerce Up 18.8%; Retail Up 3.4%; Amazon Sets Records

| Douglas P. Clement

Ecommerce holiday sales rose 18.8% over 2018, driving 3.4% overall growth in seasonal retail, delivering a very merry season for merchants, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse holiday report. Ecommerce growth was up slightly from an 18.4% gain in 2018, accounting for 14.6% of total retail, according to Mastercard.

Target, Walmart Turn Up Heat on Last-Minute Holiday Ordering

| Douglas P. Clement

Target’s new last-minute delivery deals and deadlines for holiday gifts has it going head-to-head with Walmart over whose fulfillment is faster and more accommodating for shoppers. Both retail giants offer free two-day shipping, but Walmart has the edge in guaranteed delivery by Christmas for ultra-last-minute shoppers.

Amazon Tells 3P Sellers: No FedEx Ground; Complains of Service Issues

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is telling 3P sellers they can’t use FedEx Ground for Prime deliveries this holiday season, citing performance issues, according to the Wall Street Journal, saying the policy will remain until there are improvements. UPS and other carriers stand to benefit in the short term if they can find room in their networks.

Amazon Enables Holiday Laggards With Last-Minute Offerings

| Douglas P. Clement

Amazon is enabling Prime customers in eligible areas to shop millions of products on Christmas Eve, and receive them in time for gift exchanges with free same-day delivery if ordered by 9:30 a.m. local time. Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market purchases on Christmas Eve in those eligible areas offer free two-hour delivery.

Can’t Snag a Hot Holiday Toy? A Grinch Bot Probably Got There First

| Douglas P. Clement

So-called Grinch bots buy up popular toys in bulk at Christmas and resell them at a profit. They affected as much as 97% of traffic to ecommerce sites in the week ending Cyber Monday, Radware claimed. Now Congress is considering legislation for the third time to combat the threat. Will a new law or technology solve the problem?

Holiday Shoppers Still Value Stores, But Only With Lots of Brands

| Douglas P. Clement

Twenty-nine percent of holiday shoppers in the U.S. aged 18-34 plan to spend the most in physical stores this season, a number that rises to 39% for all age groups, according to a new study from Capgemini. The survey showed 37% of younger consumers overall would spend on retailers giving them access to multiple brands.