Platforms

As Amazon lifts FedEx shipping ban, questions about reliability and logistics remain

During the Holiday season, Amazon abruptly announced that it wouldn't let merchants use FedEx to fulfill Prime orders. Now, the e-commerce giant has made an about face and let the parcel service back in. What's behind these moves is a complicated ecosystem of logistics competition and customer expectations.

Latest Stories

  • DEC 19, 2019

    How Google’s commerce ambitions could impact online retail

    Google is slowly but surely expanding its commerce features. Whether or not companies want to participate, there's a good chance Google will try to insert itself into the transaction. The question remains: How far will Google go and what will the collateral damage be?

  • DEC 18, 2019

    Explainer: How Amazon’s massive logistics network works

    With the holidays fast approaching, Amazon's massive logistics network is being put to the test.In order to get those packages to customers on time, Amazon doesn't just rely on third-party carriers like the USPS, UPS and FedEx. Since building its first fulfillment centers in 1997, Amazon also now has its own fleet of trucks and cargo planes rushing to get customers their delivery time. It's also constantly adding new types of robotics to its warehouses, looking for ways to speed up the picking and package sortation process.

  • DEC 12, 2019

    To grow, Postmates looks to retail delivery

    Postmates announced a new partnership with Old Navy, allowing customers to have items delivered to their door within a day. While the app has always been agnostic when it came to types of products delivered, this partnership indicates that it's further trying to differentiate itself from the food space.

  • DEC 03, 2019

    ‘Still an area that needs to be proven’: Amazon is slowly incorporating live video into big shopping days

    In February, Amazon launched Amazon Live, a page for its own QVC-like shopping videos that are livestreamed and produced by Amazon, as well as a new app that would allow brands to create their own live shopping videos. Although Amazon is encouraging more brands to test out Amazon Live, it has yet to become a critical driver of sales during large shopping holidays like Cyber Monday.

  • NOV 26, 2019

    Why Pinterest’s commerce strategy is focusing on small businesses

    Pinterest has a new page that showcases select small businesses. It's another example of the social media platform trying to prove to brands that it's a worthy alternative to Facebook and Google. The next year will be the real test for whether or not Pinterest can make the case.

  • NOV 22, 2019

    Behind PayPal’s $4b Honey purchase: Lots of shopping data

    This week, PayPal announced that it was acquiring Honey, a browser extension and mobile app that helps users find coupons when checking out on a retailer's site, for $4 billion. It's a pricey purchase, but one that will quickly give PayPal a lot of data on how shoppers search for products, and what ultimately makes them buy. That type of data will be critical for PayPal's ambitions to become more than just a payments processor.

  • NOV 19, 2019

    How Poshmark uses small local events to drive engagement and retention

    Poshmark has over 7 million sellers on its resale platform. One way it's been trying to garner more engagement and retention is by facilitating small local events for these users. The company is now trying to invest further in this events program, as it tries to scale and potentially go public.

  • NOV 15, 2019

    Nike’s Amazon departure highlights bubbling brand tensions

    Nike made the announcement that it would no longer have a brand presence on Amazon. This move highlights the calculus businesses make about how they should interact with the e-commerce platform. As a result, a debate is ensuing about whether brands need Amazon or Amazon needs brands.

  • NOV 13, 2019

    WhatsApp is trying to make inroads into in-app commerce

    Facebook wants people to shop on its platform. The latest evidence comes from two product rollouts -- one for catalogs in WhatsApp, the other called Facebook Pay. It's part of a bigger industry realization that conversational messaging is the next big frontier for US platforms. But Facebook has some big hurdles to overcome in order to succeed.

  • NOV 11, 2019

    Amazon is testing new seller features, including A/B tests for content and Instagram-like posts

    Amazon has a few new features it's testing with brands that look a lot like some Facebook programs. They all seem like ways to promote more content posted to the e-commerce platform -- and it looks like Amazon is beginning to listen to some of the needs of its partners.

  • NOV 08, 2019

    ‘Almost a scam’: As DTC brands grow, Shopify is struggling to keep up

    Shopify is largely considered the go-to solution for DTC e-commerce architecture. But some say the enterprise solutions are lacking. And other digitally native brands trying to scale their businesses have had to get creative to use the platform to their advantage.

  • NOV 01, 2019

    The food delivery wars are about convenience, not brand

    GrubHub's most recent earnings sent its stock price spiraling. The poor results and meager Q4 outlook point to a crowded restaurant delivery space. The 15-year-old company used to be the leader in the space and new entrants with slightly different business models are giving GrubHub a run for its money. The question remains whether any of these businesses are sustainable.

  • JAN 14, 2020
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    Staying relevant in a fast-paced industry: A health and beauty company's guide

    A growing number of health and beauty brands are turning to cloud-based systems that can handle customer, financial and inventory data across all processes, from production to payment.

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