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TECHNOLOGY

Boxed wants customers to get ‘boxed up’ with perks

BY Marianne Wilson

Boxed, the warehouse club-styled online retailer that sells groceries, household products and other items by bulk, is expanding its model with a nod to Amazon Prime.

Boxed has launched a paid membership service, called Boxed Up, that offers free priority shipping on orders over $20, price-matching and other benefits to subscribers. The service, which costs $49 a year (with a free 30-day trial), also gives subscribers 2% cash rewards, VIP customer service and exclusive access to special promotions and gifts.

“Boxed Up is more like Amazon Prime than a Costco membership,” Boxed founder and CEO Chieh Huang told The New York Post. He said that Boxed will still be open to customers who don’t buy a membership.

“Boxed Up is the premium service that our customers have been asking for: They’re looking for deeper discounts and unique promotions, and are willing to pay more to access them,” the company stated in a FAQ.

In March, Boxed rejected a reported $400 million acquisition offer from The Kroger Co.

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Amazon is a big, big spender in….

BY CSA Staff

Amazon is the leader of the pack when it comes to spending on research and development.

The online giant spent $22.6 billion on R&D in 2017, a 41% increase over the previous year, according to ReCode. Amazon also spent more than any other U.S. company on R&D in 2016.

Technology companies claimed the top five spots in R&D spending in 2017, with Alphabet (parent of Google), Intel, Microsoft and Apple rounding out the top 5, according to ReCode.

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Report: Fashion dominates a majority of Amazon’s private-label brands

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is on a private-label tear, especially across the apparel category.

The online giant has aggressively expanded its private-label assortment, and now offers 80 Amazon-owned private brands across major categories, according to “The L2 Amazon Intelligence: Private Label Report,” from L2. The report evaluates Amazon’s private label strategy across six categories.

According to the study, the clothing, shoes & jewelry category accounts for 69 of those 80 private brands, signifying the growing importance of fashion to Amazon’s retail strategy, according to a blog on L2’s website.

Among these private-label lines include the launch of its shoe and handbag collection, called The Fix, and apparel that range from basics to designer-influenced women’s lines. Late last year, Amazon also moved into the competitive activewear category with three new sports apparel brands: Goodsport, Peak Velocity, and Rebel Canyon.

Amazon is also investing a significant amount of paid media dollars behind its brands on Amazon’s web site. For example, Goodthreads, Buttoned Down, and Amazon Essentials own 16% of sponsored products on search terms related to wovens (such as dress shirts). For polo-related keywords, they own 13% of sponsored products, the study revealed.

The online giant is also positioned to further expand its reach across the clothing, shoes & jewelry category. Amazon won a patent in April 2017, for an on-demand apparel manufacturing system. The solution includes a textile printer, textile cutter, and a computing device that will work in concert to design apparel once customers place an order.

The solution generates and provides instructions to a textile assembly production line, including aggregating orders for products, organizing orders according to a productivity factor, arranging item panels into an aggregated textile panel template, and directing these panels to various sewing stations, the patent explained.

While there are no details on whether Amazon will open an on-demand textile factory, the patent could support the retailer’s ongoing expansion into private-label apparel.

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