Dealing with Front-to-Back Risk Factors in Ecommerce Operations

| Mike O'Brien

In our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, we talk to Robyn Meyer, partner, enterprise solutions at Transportation Insight, about challenges and opportunities in this disruptive environment, as well as some strategy, process and system changes companies can make to improve profitability and performance.

Postmates Offers Same-Day Delivery App for SMBs in Shopify

| Mike O'Brien

Same-day delivery platform Postmates is going live with a delivery app in the Shopify App Store, in beta during Q3, that lets smaller Shopify merchants offer customers the new option of two-hour delivery as the immediacy wars continue to heat up. Merchants receive email notifications when customers opt for two-hour delivery.

Amazon Counters Walmart with Free Same-Day Grocery Delivery for Prime

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon waited an entire month to swing back at Walmart’s new same-day grocery delivery program, making delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods free for Prime members by eliminating the $14.99/month charge on $35 and up orders. It’s available in 2,000 cities and towns, mostly through Amazon’s 480 Whole Foods stores.

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.

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.

Smaller Fulfillment Centers Seeing Greater Demand vs. Large Boxes

| Mike O'Brien

Multiple factors are driving continued greater demand for smaller warehouse facilities vs. big-box fulfillment centers, as companies scramble to position inventory closer to customers and trim ecommerce supply chain costs, according to a new report from CBRE. Vacancy rates are dropping further and rents growing faster for smaller FCs.

A La Amazon, Walmart Delivers Groceries to Garage or Kitchen Fridge

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is launching an in-the-fridge e-grocery delivery service it announced this summer, starting in Pittsburgh, Vero Beach, FL and Kansas City, similar to Amazon’s own delivery service launched last year. Walmart customers can choose either kitchen or garage fridge delivery and pay $19.95 per month with a $30 minimum.

Mercato Subscription Program Offers Free Unlimited E-Grocery Deliveries

| Mike O'Brien

Online e-grocery ordering and delivery platform Mercato has announced a subscription offering that provides unlimited free same-day deliveries for members in 25 states, a direct shot at the AmazonFresh program and other competitors. The program comes in Neighborhood and City flavors and uses DoorDash as its delivery partner.

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.