The secret to global e-commerce success is making it local

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, once said that “a big business starts small.” In 1970, Branson opened a mail-order record business that eventually became Virgin Records. Many businesses followed and the Virgin Group now controls over 400 different companies.

What Branson didn’t have at his disposal in the 1970s was the e-commerce ecosystem that exists in 2021. That ecosystem allows nearly any business – regardless of size – to reach a global customer base, almost instantaneously.


Walmart drives closer to autonomous delivery with Ford, Argo AI deal

Ford and Argo AI, which are already collaborating on an autonomous vehicle pilot for rideshare with Lyft, are adding a package delivery pilot to the mix with a separate agreement with Walmart.

The three companies will begin autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami, Austin, Texas, and Washington. The service will use Ford (NYSE: F) vehicles equipped with Argo AI’s self-driving technology.

“Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where...

Online grocery platform Misfits Market nabs $225 million Series C-1

Misfits Market gets new Series C-1 funding round of $200 million, raises valuation to $2 billion

During online grocery’s brief history in the marketplace, three power players have emerged. Walmart, Instacart and Uber, a trio of well-established companies with dedicated user bases, are currently leading the race, but as the grocery delivery wars heat up, there’s a fourth player that looks ready to throw its hat into the ring.

Online grocery platform Misfits Market on Tuesday announced that it had closed a $225 million Series C-1 funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $526.5...

FedEx, Salesforce announce end-to-end e-commerce solution

FedEx and Salesforce are joining forces to provide an end-to-end e-commerce and supply chain solution

FedEx is shaking up the e-commerce space. The nationwide carrier on Tuesday announced a partnership with e-commerce software titan Salesforce to provide an end-to-end e-commerce and supply chain management solution. Shares of both companies are down following the news.

The new offering, which the companies expect will become available to consumers in the spring of 2022, integrates Salesforce (​​NYSE: CRM) Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Order Management with supply chain capabilities from FedEx (NY...

BNPL providers not charging late fees may face consequences

Buy now pay later services with no late fees might struggle for profit this holiday season

Nothing good comes for free, but it does come 75% off up-front. That’s the payment model for many of the buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) services that are springing up across businesses large and small – customers will often pay for the product in four smaller installments, forking over only a quarter of the asking price at checkout and coming up with the rest later.

It sounds sort of like how a credit card works, with the buyer receiving the product before the credit provider receives the payment....

Advanced Handling Systems’ e-commerce, 3PL shippers have new robotic options

Advanced Handling Systems’ (AHS) third-party logistics and e-commerce warehouse customers can now choose to deploy robotic solutions from Berkshire Grey for their facilities.

AHS, which integrates fulfillment and distribution solutions and counts many Fortune 100, e-commerce and 3PL companies among its clients, said Berkshire Grey’s (NASDAQ: BGRY) artificial intelligence-enabled automation will help its clients address labor shortages and logistics challenges that are threatening the supply...

Algorithms are great but people dictate success for big-and-bulky delivery

When the Amazon driver leaves a package on a doorstep, it’s a successful last-mile delivery. But when the item is a sectional sofa, there is an added complexity that no Amazon algorithms have yet perfected.

For last-mile delivery of big-and-bulky items, technology is great, but the final mile remains a people-centric operation.

“We’re successful because we are at the intersection of people and technology,” Brenda Stoner, CEO and founder of last-mile delivery firm PICKUP, said. “We depend on the...

Adapting to the future of final mile

It’s not uncommon for living rooms to double as an entertainment space and office these days. As the pandemic continues to keep many Americans at home, their willingness to shop online for large and bulky items, products that typically wouldn’t fit into traditional courier distribution networks like exercise equipment, has emerged as a significant shopping trend. In short, the shop-from-home method is looking to be the norm for a growing number of bigger products.

Meghan Meurer, executive vice...

UPS to hire more than 100K seasonal workers for peak

UPS Inc. said Thursday that it plans to hire more than 100,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming peak holiday shipping season, roughly the same number that the transport and logistics giant hired during the 2020 peak season.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) said it is hiring for full- and part-time positions for drivers, driver helpers, package handlers and personal vehicle drivers. The latter is expected to become an increasingly important part of UPS’ peak delivery landscape, as well as an increasingly...

Home Delivery World panelists: Innovate, fail fast and listen

For e-commerce customers, there is nothing more frustrating than a poor delivery experience.

“My most frustrating experience is when I get a notification that my package has arrived and I go outside and look and it’s not there, and I look around … and then a couple of hours later it arrives,” Penelope Register-Shaw, chief strategy officer for The FrontDoor Collective, a group of networked delivery service providers, said during a panel on last-mile delivery offerings during last week’s Home...

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