As eBay continues to make strides with new programs, Walmart brings ecommerce instore yet again, and Amazon files yet another patent. Read on to find out more.
As we reported on several weeks ago, eBay is working to harness the power of its sellerbase, many of whom are able to offer comparable service levels to Amazon's Prime 2-day delivery.
That's what Guaranteed Delivery is all about, and the invites are now out for the first group of sellers.
Speaking of delivery - a survey by Temando shows that actually, UK customers at least prefer shipping to be free rather than fast. Of course, both Guaranteed Delivery and Prime are fast, but where Prime is free at the point of order, many eBay sellers offer free, fast delivery.
It will be interesting to note what the customer response to Guaranteed Delivery is - if it becomes a ticket to increased conversion and revenue growth for sellers, expect to see businesses striving to participate in the program.
One more on fulfilment, and surprise surprise, Amazon has released a patent involving drones. This time the plan is for them to use trains and other transports as movable bases, increasing the potential operating range.
Frictionless instore experiences were once Amazon's territory with Amazon Go - Walmart took a big bite out of that PR pie with the launch of Scan & Go.
Shoppers scan items as they walk around the store, pay in app with one touch and simply show their receipt to a staff member as they leave.
It's a lower-tech solution than automatically charging customers based on recognising which specific items they've picked up, but it's more practical and could be widely adopted pretty soon.
With the news that mcommerce could be worth $6 trillion in coming years, Amazon is taking another swing at the smartphone market. This makes a lot of sense considering its clear strategic ambition to be the hardware centre of the smart home in future years.
It's easy to think of physical retail as the past, but as Walmart and Amazon's investments in bringing ecommerce to the store has shown, that's simply not going to be the case. With that in mind it's good to know what makes physical retail successful, and why Mall of America is not simply folding like many other physical retail operations.
That's all for this week - for a monthly digest of our best news, tips, and insight, subscribe to the blog.