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    Entries in San Jose Courier (4)

    Wednesday
    Mar042015

    Petco Joins with Instacart For Same-Day Delivery

    Petco has made a move toward boosting its online retail and service options to its customers. Partnering with Instacart, the pet store company is looking for a return from implementing same-day delivery for its pet food items.

    Instacart has recently announced its partnership deal with Petco to deliver pet food items via same-day delivery. It is a $2 billion valuation for the service and it will be launched in two participating pilot cities: San Francisco and Boston. San Francisco is the hometown of Instacart and also has been the major testing spot for a number of retailers, including Google and eBay. Amazon rolled out AmazonFresh, its' own same-day grocery delivery service in its' hometown Seattle and later tested same-day delivery of products in San Francisco as well.

    Petco will mark Instacart's first non-grocery partner for same-day delivery. Instacart's CEO Apoorva Mehta, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, “Groceries are more than sufficient for us, but why stop there?”. Indeed, for any delivery company, especially utilizing mobile technology like Instacart, it makes sense to expand. Shoppers have become more comfortable with mobile convenience and will make purchases from wherever they are. Brick-and-mortar store retailers have jumped on board with same-day delivery, as Google partners with Wal-Green's, Toys-R-Us, American Eagle, and more to meet online demand.

    Macy's is another example of same-day delivery expansion. The department store launched the service aggressively in 8 major US cities, including Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Chicago, Washington DC, and New Jersey. Sister company Bloomingdale's rolled out the service in some of those cities also. Deliv handles its' actual deliveries, as many retailers partner with a same-day courier like A-1 Express. The San Jose courier has a national footprint and partners with Fortune 500 companies for fast deliveries.

    Instacart's couriers will pick up and deliver items, such as dog food, kitty litter, birdhouses, and more, right to the customer's The deal with Petco means Instacart’s couriers will bring to customer doors kitty litter and birdhouses as fast as an hour for fees between $3.99 and $5.99. The price is comparable to other retailers offering the service, such as Macy's. It's service is priced at a flat fee of $5 for orders over $99. Shoppers with smaller orders pay standard shipping rates, plus the flat rate.

    Google Express, formerly known as Google Shopping Express, charges $4.99 per order or customers can pay $10 per month and $95 annually. Amazon Prime members get same-day delivery for $5.99 and Non-Prime members pay a fee of $9.99 for the first item and $.99 cents per additional item. Wal-Mart even offers same-day delivery in multiple US cities and Canada. Walmart To Go costs $10, regardless of the order size and in some parts of Canada the service is free, in order to compete with Amazon there.

    In addition to its standard fee, Instacart makes money through fees store owners pay and product markups. Regardless, same-day delivery fees have to stay attractive in order for it to be worth it to shoppers. Now that Instacart is expanding to other products besides groceries, customers may very well use the service to pick up heavy pet items like dog food bags and kitty litter. Only time will tell with Petco's pilot program, and we will see if it proves to work.

    Reference: 1.23.15, Wall Street Journal, Greg Bensinger, Instacart Now Delivers Kitty Litter With Petco Deal

    Thursday
    May292014

    Amazon To Use Robots In Warehouses And Same-Day Delivery For Online Orders

    When it comes to aggressive, pioneering technology in e-retail order fulfillment, there are few companies doing what Amazon does. The robust, web-based retailer numerous of fulfillment centers strategically placed throughout the US, and the number is growing rapidly. Yet, Amazon is not only after quantifying its’ growth, but also optimizing the quality of the warehouses. This is where Amazon’s next step could be groundbreaking and revolutionize how retailers fulfill their orders as soon as this year.

    Amazon is about to increase the current 1,000 robot worker scale in its’ warehouses to 10,000 by the end of 2014 reported CNN Money. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos held a meeting with its’ shareholders explaining the new initiative and its’ benefits. It will save time and money, as fulfillment cost will go down.

    The retailer bought robot-maker Kiva Systems two years ago and is using those same robots today. The report stated the robots operate on a highly, complex grid, which requires months of planning and testing to make it work. The new robots will not change Amazon’s employee numbers at the warehouses, but will enhance order fulfillment. This is one aspect of Amazon fulfilling orders, utilizing the latest in robot technology. However, Bezos showed last year that not only technology innovation for order fulfillment is high on the retailer's list, but also the speed in which online packages leave the warehouse and into the shopper’s hands.

    Using actual flying drones for same-day delivery of online orders was announced by the CEO as a serious implementation, which Amazon televised drone footage on 60 Minutes. The "octocopters" will be used for Prime Air, another service option within Amazon's Prime family. Customers will be able to receive the online orders within thirty minutes or less. Drones may be quite a hefty investment on the front end, but at the latter, its' definitely worth it. 86% of all Amazon order types actually meet the drone delivery criteria. This translates into volume to cover its' drone costs and gain profit share.

    The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) does provide some hurdles that the warehouse robots won't have to consider. The agency stated it will take "several years" to create the drone rules. The agency did state that it has already tested an "Unmanned Aircraft Systems roadmap" last year and is reviewing national airspace requirements. 7,500 drones will fly in the US within five years, which the first commercial drone was used last September for surveying. Inspite of the red tape, Amazon is as focused on drone use, as it is in warehouse robots.

    These floor-based robots are for the purpose of getting orders fulfilled faster, but its' for naught if Amazon can’t deliver the order just as fast, when it leaves the warehouse. This is where a Same-Day Courier Services like A-1 Express can make the difference, especially within a thirty-mile radius. The San Jose Courier can be a national source for Amazon to match its' speed inside the warehouse. With the logistical expertise and latest courier technology, A-1 Express can meet and exceed all of Amazon's same-day delivery needs. There is no need for Amazon to perform its' own deliveries, when A-1 Express can do it and make for lowering delivery costs long-term.

    Reference: 5.22.14, CNN Money, Katie Lobosco, Army of robots to invade Amazon warehouses

    Tuesday
    Dec032013

    Amazon announced a new partnership with The United States Postal Service 

    Forget about the seventh day for rest; the seventh day is now for shopping!

    “We are moving toward a society where e-mail and social media have caused the week and weekend to blur,” said Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics and labor at MIT.

    Amazon announced a new partnership with The United States Postal Service today. The USP will now be making Sunday deliveries for the web based company on Sundays starting in New York and Los Angeles with other cities to follow. “We’re excited about the potential of the rapidly growing e-commerce market and what it means for the Postal Service,” declared Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.  

    This partnership comes at a fortuitous time for both organizations. With the holiday shopping season being six days shorter this year than last due to the calendar, the online retailer hopes to provide a relevant convenience for customers, while The USPS, who announced earlier in the year they were cutting Saturday mail deliveries in many areas, hopes to simply keep their doors open.

    Amazon’s new partnership not only will keep them relevant during the increasingly competitive holiday shopping season, the company’s new Sunday shipping agreement is predicted to gain sales throughout the rest of the fiscal year as well. According to Amazon, customers who opt for Amazon Prime, their $79 a year subscription service that offers free 2-day shopping, video streaming, and more, buy twice as much as those who don’t. Because Amazon can now have a consumer’s products shipped to their home before they would ever have a chance to make it to the store during a regular week, Amazon intends to see an increase in overall sales with a particular increase in Amazon Prime sales.

    While this new deal is mutually beneficial for Amazon and The USPS, it also opens the door for other companies to partner with courier services to offer this type of convenient delivery. One such courier service company that already has many partnerships country-wide is A1Express. The San Jose Courier can help companies and consumers ensure their e-commerce deliveries are made quickly to the front door.

    Monday
    Oct212013

    Click And Mortar Is How To Compete With Amazon, Use Same-Day Couriers To Deliver

    It appears nothing is going to stop e-commerce from continuing to flood the retail market. With ipads, tablets, and other tech gadgets at the disposal of shoppers, retailers have accepted that they must find a way to interact with effectively selling online. Retailers now have probably found the best route to connect the physical brick-and-mortar location with online shopping. This may also be the best route to take to compete against the number one e-retailer in the world—Amazon.

    Amazon is growing fast and retailers are after finding a niche to compete. In a recent report by Reuters, Experts are finding that “click and mortar”, or “click and pick”, is the best way for retailers to compete against Amazon. Click and mortar is a service that consists of the shopper having the ability to purchase items online and then going to pick up those items from their nearest local retail store. It combines store and online shopping.

    It is interesting that click and mortar is not just a service being implemented in the US, but around the world. For example, the same competition is occurring in Britian regarding e-retail. Georges Plassat, head of Carrefour, spoke highly of click and mortar. He stated in the report, "I am totally convinced that click and mortar is the future". Carrefour is the number two retailer in the world. As big the company is, they are finding that it must have some form of success online. They cannot allow e-retailers like Amazon to gain too much e-commerce ground.

    Another statistic to inform us of the global state of retail is a survey conducted by the Australian Centre of Retail Studies. It stated that 68% of retailers believe physical stores will remain the most important channel for shoppers, regardless of e-retailers. It will be a challenge for even e-retailers like Amazon, to be the bedrock for retail shopping within itself. However, it definitely can affect the pace of growth for physical stores. Mobile commerce is emerging as a force for e-retail as well.

    E-retailers, specifically Amazon, are being seen as a threat to physical stores and some retailers taken the retail giant seriously enough to act. "Customers want to combine pure online with visiting stores. Stores have a big role to play," said Mark Lewis, head of John Lewis Online, a division of John Lewis, Britain’s biggest department store firm. The online company accounts for over 25% of group sales and is expected to reach 40%. This brings to mind retailers like Wal-Mart, which have implemented click and mortar to compete. Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Target, and others have also launched same-day delivery to offer shoppers the option of delivering their online purchases right to their front door.

    Retailers that offer click and mortar can partner with same-day couriers like A-1 Express to offer innovative services like same-day delivery. As a partner, A-1 Express can be a recommended one-stop source for same-day delivery that customers are referred to. Therefore, instead of the shopper having only one option to pick it up themselves, they can as call on the San Jose Courier to deliver their online items directly to them.

    Reference: 10.9.13, Reuters, Emma Thomasson and Dominique Vidalon, Retailers see "click and mortar" as way to beat Amazon