Online giant expands fulfillment operations in two states
Amazon continues to bolster its distribution fleet.
The online giant will be adding a new 1 million-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio — its fourth warehouse in The Buckeye State. Amazon will hire 1,000 associates to manage the picking, packing and shipping larger customer items, such as sports equipment, gardening tools, and pet food.
Amazon already operates fulfillment centers in the cities of Etna and Obetz, and is preparing for the opening of a new facility in North Randall.
Amazon is also preparing to open its third fulfillment center in Oregon. The new building, which will also be 1 million-sq.-ft., will reside in Portland.
Similar to the building in Monroe, Ohio, this depot will also pick, pack and ship sports equipment, gardening tools, and pet food. It will also create 1,000 new jobs.
Oregon already features a sortation center in Hillsboro, and a Prime Now hub in Portland. It is also preparing for the opening of two fulfillment centers in Troutdale and Salem.
“Our quick growth in the Beaver state is our drive to continue growing and innovating on behalf of customers,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s VP of North America customer fulfillment. “Fulfillment centers in the state will increase speed of delivery, expand inventory selection, and provide great Prime membership benefits. We are excited to better serve customers, and create 3,500 full-time jobs in Oregon.”
Report: Home goods retailer to accept digital wallet, Venmo
A new payment option will help Williams-Sonoma tap a new customer segment.
The home goods retailer will soon accept the peer-to-peer money-transferring service Venmo for bridal registry purchases. The digital wallet lets users make digital payments — or split payments with other users, according to ReCode.
The program, which will be a new service within Williams-Sonoma’s omnichannel strategy, will enable the home goods retailer to appeal to a new, more digitally savvy customer base. Williams-Sonoma will pay Venmo a processing fee to offer the service, the report said.
The program will be launched across all of Williams-Sonoma’s properties early next year.
To watch Venmo’s COO Mike Vaughan discuss the program, which was presented at Recode’s recent Code Commerce event in New York City, click here.
Study: Retailers triple same-day delivery offerings
Eager to get merchandise into shoppers’ hands the same day they place an order, 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery within two years.
This was according to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).
Currently, 51% of retailers indicate they offer same-day delivery, up from 16% last year, and within two years, 65% plan to offer this service. Delivery via a third party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased from 20% last year to 32% this year. The reason for the increase: retailers want to provide different options that enable customers to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.
Looking ahead, same-day delivery services will be even more innovative, as retailers explore autonomous fulfillment. Brands will also pursue self-driving vehicles and “helper robots,” the study said.
“With Amazon offering same day delivery in some markets, the push is on for retailers to get items delivered to customers as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Neville, VP at BRP. “Autonomous delivery and distribution are the next step with self-driving vehicles soon a reality and a few food delivery start-ups already testing the concept.”
These developments are pre-requisites if retailers want to adapt to the new customer journey, and accommodate the blurred lines of retail and innovative methods of shopping driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods. To succeed, retailers may need to reinvent themselves to create an effective blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain customer loyalty, the report explained.
To prepare for the future of retail, the study outlines three key customer imperatives:
Personal: Combining behavioral, historical and customer profile data empowers retailers to deliver tailored and relevant content to meet customers’ individual needs. In fact, 38% of retailers indicate that improving personalization is a top digital customer experience priority.
Ubiquitous: Customer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience require retailers to follow customers’ journeys as they research and shop from anywhere. That’s why 49% of retailers will offer customers the ability to ‘start anywhere, finish anywhere’ within five years.
Unified: Retailers’ technology, processes and organization need to be unified and aligned across channels to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience. Thus, 54% of retailers indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.