Walmart is aggressively testing new delivery capabilities – both built in house and in partnership with startups – as the retailer prepares for a delivery war with Amazon. Within the past two weeks, Walmart has announced that it's testing in-home grocery delivery, piloting a grocery delivery subscription service, and, most recently, partnering with a Silicon Valley startup called Gartik to test out using autonomous trucks to deliver goods between warehouses and fulfillment centers.
Shopify is taking a page out of Amazon’s playbook as it looks to become the all-encompassing platform engineering the growth of direct-to-consumer retail.
Ebay is pushing ahead on making its marketplace more personalized as customers shop not just by selection, but convenience. On Thursday, the company announced it was releasing 10 new features that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn and then adapt to customer preferences in search, product suggestions and ads, as well as on the homepage and through customer service.
In the last 18 months, Rocksbox's private-label products, made up of eight different brands, have grown from 25% of its total inventory to 85%, and private-label products are driving about 85% of sales for the company.
Pinterest said in its S-1 filing, released in March, that it was starting to build more product and measurement tools to better serve digitally native vertical brands, and had a dedicated sales team to serve these emerging brands. In the months since then, Pinterest has released a new campaign type called conversion optimization out of beta that it said it says has proven popular among DTC brands especially.
With Delivery Unlimited, Walmart is adding another option to its suite of delivery services that get orders to customers on a same-day basis, upping competition against Amazon and Target, as well as cross-retailer services like Instacart. It’s the latest in a string of additions to Walmart delivery options.
Pet retailer Chewy made a splash on the stock market this week. The online company priced its initial offering at about $22 per share, valuing it at $8.77 billion. On Friday, shares climbed to $39, and the company raised $1 billion in the IPO. PetSmart bought Chewy in 2017 for $3.4 billion, but spun it off in order to help pay down its debt.
Fashion resellers do not have access to the same tools and strategies that brands and retailers can employ, like collaborating on a new product or dropping a hyped collection. Instead, they have to turn to other strategies to draw attention and bring in new customers. Celebrity closet sales are one way that resellers are making that happen.
Retailers like Ulta, Stitch Fix, Sephora and Wayfair are betting on tools that make it easier for customers to search for and test out products, thus providing them with more data about how customers decide on a product in order to improve their personalization efforts.
Resale site Poshmark announced today that it will now allow its users to buy and sell a variety of home goods like candles, pillows and wall art. It’s the first time that the company has expanded beyond clothing and beauty. The company set the foundation for the move into home goods last year, when it started separating different categories of clothing, like men's and women's, into distinct sections on its app, calling them Posh Markets.
Compared to its biggest competitor Sam’s Club, Costco has been slow to push features like buy online, pickup in-store, as well as digitize the in-store experience. As the company starts to prioritize its e-commerce business, however, that's starting to change.
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