more articles by

Michael Waters

  • OCT 19, 2021

    Regional parcel carriers are eyeing national expansion

    In 2020, according to the postage technology company Pitney Bowes, the U.S. shipped 20.2 billion parcels, up a whopping 37% from 2019. That growth is radiating out to all companies within the parcel carrier ecosystem -- including not just household names like FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service, but also regional carriers like LaserShip, OnTrac and others.

  • OCT 15, 2021

    Manufacturing marketplaces are targeting small businesses and influencers

    A small group of startups are creating digital marketplaces that feature an assortment of potential manufacturers -- either custom manufacturers or professional private labelers -- in order to help small businesses speed up the process of designing and launching a new line of products.

  • OCT 14, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: Retailers are copying Amazon search advertising

    There’s a simple way to prove that Amazon’s advertising playbook has reshaped the industry: major retailers across the board are copying it. According to data from the e-commerce growth agency Profitero, retailers of all types have added significantly more ads to search results over the past year. Walmart, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer, is leading the pack, growing its average number of ads on the first page of search results from 1.9 in October 2020 to 4.0 in August 2021.

  • OCT 13, 2021

    Amazon and Walmart are duking it out over streaming merch

    Until now, Amazon has had largely uncontested control over merch from viral streaming shows -- but the Netflix partnership gives Walmart a new leg up over Amazon when it comes to selling merch. It is also kicking off a battle between Amazon and Walmart to control merchandise for streaming shows and films, as sellers on both platforms vie to offer tie-in products that ride the waves of virality.

  • OCT 11, 2021

    ‘A little bit of an anomaly’: How 4-Star stores fit into Amazon’s physical retail strategy

    Amazon's 4-Star stores are kitschier and don't get as much attention as some of its more high-tech concepts, like Amazon Go. Yet 4-Star offers two benefits that none of Amazon’s other physical store concepts do yet: one, it’s a showroom, and two, it doubles as a fulfillment center.

  • OCT 08, 2021

    Why vehicle services companies are embracing e-commerce

    As e-commerce begins to leave its mark on the buying and selling of vehicles, a small group of startups are betting that consumers will soon demand the same of other aspects of the vehicle world -- namely, vehicle repair, fueling and other services.

  • OCT 07, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: Why Amazon is opening insurance marketplaces

    While Amazon’s new insurance marketplace might not say a lot about the company’s ambitions in the insurance space, it does signal the extent to which Amazon has become a center of commerce -- not just for typical consumer products, but for services of essentially any kind as well.

  • OCT 06, 2021

    Quick-delivery grocery startups are taking over New York real estate

    In just a few months, quick-delivery grocery companies like Gorillas, Jokr, Fridge No More and others have moved from a relatively niche curiosity to some of the best-funded startups in the grocery industry. As they race to expand, they are also, more subtly, changing the face of retail real estate in major cities.

  • OCT 05, 2021

    To fuel growth, Amazon aggregators are starting to acquire tech companies

    SellerX, a major Amazon aggregator in Europe with $266 million in funding, appears to have acquired ReviewMeta, a website for verifying the authenticity of reviews on Amazon. For the growing business of e-commerce aggregators, this is likely the first of many to come.

  • OCT 04, 2021

    Retailers are getting creative to deal with supply chain constraints

    The latest retailer to announce significant changes to its supply chain is Costco, which is leasing three of its own container ships for a one-year period in order to more quickly transport products across the Pacific Ocean. Costco isn't the only major retailer to take that step: in recent months, IKEA, The Home Depot, Walmart and Dollar Tree have all chartered their own containers ships.

  • SEP 30, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: The relationship between Chinese sellers and Amazon is straining

    Amazon recently admitted that it banned 3,000 seller accounts, though one trade group in China puts the number closer to 50,000. The mutually beneficial relationship between Amazon and its biggest China-based sellers -- which has proven instrumental to the growth of the third-party marketplace -- seems to be on shaky ground.

  • SEP 24, 2021

    In-store retail advertising is going digital

    Retailers are trying to bring digital ads into brick-and-mortar stores. Companies like Starlite Media and Cooler Screens have begun offering ad services to both brands and retailers. It points to a bigger trend: retailers are eagerly testing ways to display digital ads to consumers, closer and closer to the point of sale.

  • SEP 23, 2021

    Amazon Briefing: Third-party sellers are outgrowing Amazon

    Companies like Pharmapacks and Anker are the first third-party sellers to go public. But more and more, Amazon sellers are achieving enough scale that they can stand as public-facing brands in their own right.

  • SEP 22, 2021

    Why food delivery companies are eyeing prescriptions

    As food delivery companies race to acquire enough customers to finally turn a profit, they are actively building up their presence in new markets -- and many seem to have decided that pharmacies are the most logical evolution of their business.

  • SEP 21, 2021

    Brands and platforms are courting college athletes to sell products

    In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that NCAA athletes could profit off of their name and image for the first time. Ever since, brands and platforms like GoPuff, Shopify and more have rushed to court college athletes to engage in endorsement deals and to launch their own products.

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