Seismic Shifts Bringing a New Normal to Ecommerce Operations and Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

What will the world of ecommerce operations and fulfillment look like after World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 pandemic ends? The answer, like predictions of that date, is uncertain. But industry experts firmly believe that the seismic shifts that began in February 2020 will create a new normal in ecommerce operations.

supply chain illustration road

The Retail Supply Chain Reset After Coronavirus: Three Expert Views

| Mike O'Brien

While much is unknown about the long-term impact of coronavirus, retail supply chains will certainly look different once the crisis is past, industry observers agree. Multichannel Merchant spoke with experts from enVista, Le Tote and Johnson Stevens to get their views on the current situation and where things are headed.

Amazon Reportedly Using Hybrid MFC Approach in New Grocery Store

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon is reportedly using a micro-fulfillment center solution from Dematic at its first grocery store not named Whole Foods outside Los Angeles, sending a loud signal to the rest of the market that an MFC capability is critical to success and maintaining market share in the red-hot e-grocery sector.

Walmart Testing Autonomous Grocery Delivery in Houston

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is testing autonomous grocery delivery in Houston with robotics partner Nuro to a select group of shoppers that opt into the pilot program, the company announced. The test will involve Nuro’s R2 robotic vehicle as well as some autonomous Toyota Priuses, also powered by Nuro’s technology.

Robot Maker Fabric Raises $110 Million to Fund U.S. Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Israeli automation startup Fabric, formerly known as CommonSense Robotics, has raised $110 million in a Series B round with plans to accelerate growth in the U.S. including plans to build 14 on-site micro fulfillment centers to enable same-day delivery. The first FC will open in New York in Q1, with several other cities following.

Robotic Arm Startup Osaro Raises $16 Million in New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

Osaro, a San Francisco startup that makes robotic arms for ecommerce picking as well as vision and control software that can be integrated with other robotic solutions, has raised $16 million in a series B round, according to various reports. Early investors include former Facebook president Sean Parker and PayPal founder Peter Thiel.

Ecommerce Operations Summit Call for Speakers Closing Soon

| Mike O'Brien

It’s coming down to the wire for our Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020 call for speakers, which closes next Friday, Aug. 16. Our 9th annual event will be held April 14-16, 2020 at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL – a nice change of venue, don’t you think? Get your submission in now and elevate the conversation!

Robots Addressing Ecommerce Fulfillment Labor Issues

| Mike O'Brien

While there are some concerns about robots replacing humans and taking their jobs, with U.S. unemployment at about 3.6% ecommerce companies are struggling to find enough workers. Thus companies are seeing robotics as a way to close the gap and augment human labor instead of replacing it. Find out more in a new MCM report.

e-grocery bin

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.