Posts Taged amazon

Same Day Delivery Shipping Wars Heat Up

In December 2017 we learned that Target had acquired Shipt for $550m in order to let Target customers order groceries and other products online and have them shipped to their home addresses from nearby Target stores.

The goal of this acquisition is to allow Target to offer same day delivery from approximately half of its stores by mid-2018, adding even more stores by the holiday season.

Not all categories of products will be included but it will start with groceries, electronics and other household goods and plans to include all product groups by the end of 2019.

Today Bloomberg reported that Amazon is considering acquiring some of the properties left vacant by the recent bankruptcy of Toys R Us. There is no information on what exactly Amazon plans to do with these stores, but it could continue to expand its bricks and mortar store operations and expand its bookstores which also serve as retail outlets for its Echo devices.

Another possibility for Amazon is that the acquisition of more retail outlets would allow for a bigger network to place inventory closer to where shoppers live, and would allow faster delivery to ecommerce shoppers in more areas.

Amazon has already placed merchants under pressure with the amazing speed and success of its Prime delivery, and as Amazon’s advancement with drone deliveries continues, the competition to keep up with faster delivery times grows more fierce.

Amazon’s goal is to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles that can deliver packages to shoppers in under 30 minutes, and today it was reported that it has been granted a patent for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures, with the hope that this will help Amazon to figure out how drones will interact with customers who are in the vicinity of their doorsteps.

Walmart’s approach is slightly different, but equally important. Walmart announced that it is planning to put Fedex Office locations in 500 of its stores over a two year period. Not only will they provide the usual FedEx services, but Walmart customers can also have online orders that are being delivered by FedEx held at a Walmart store for pick up.

As big box retailers think or more ways to get products to our doorsteps in the quickest possible time, the shipping challenge continues for niche online stores to compete.

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Amazon Competes for Government Contracts

When you mention Amazon to many people they immediately think of Amazon shopping and Prime delivery, but not as many are aware of the huge inroads that Amazon has made over the past years into cloud computing.

It has been reported that the Pentagon has opened a competition for a multi-billion-dollar cloud services contract, which many of the big players such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle fear will favor Amazon.com Inc.

Many of the companies looking to compete for government contracts had been pushing for the use of multiple cloud providers, however, the Pentagon announced on March 7 that it was planning to go forward with a single company.

US Department of Defense Chief Management Officer, Jay Gibson, has confirmed that this will be a multi-billion-dollar contract due to the Defense Department’s current technology needs.

The Pentagon confirmed that it intends to strengthen its use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things and for this reason is switching to cloud services.

As Amazon has already won two huge Defense Department contracts for cloud services, others in the industry believe it is in a good position to win this contract. Whilst the Pentagon’s contracting office stated that they had no preference in contractors, offering the contract to a single vendor, not only causes those who do not win the contract to be locked out of the market for 10 years, it also creates problems for existing government contract vendors, such as Oracle.

Oracle currently has long-term contracts with several government agencies that use its database to store information on their own systems, and switching to cloud computing, would seriously affect Oracle’s traditional source of revenue.

In February of this year a contract was awarded to REAN Cloud LLC, an Amazon partner for a reported value of $950 million, and although this contract was later challenged by Oracle and then reduced to $65 million, it still worries some that Amazon is now the leader in cloud services.

There is no question that the Pentagon’s planned transition to the cloud will threaten on-site database providers such as Oracle and IBM, and while other vendors plan to emphasize their strengths to win this contract, it will be interesting to see which company is ultimately awarded the contract.

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Amazon robots lead to better fulfillment

image of robot

Amazon revealed today that it had deployed 15,000 robots in ten of its fulfillment centers throughout the US. This will allow Amazon to increase the performance of its already super fast fulfillment centers.

After purchasing Kiva Systems Inc, a logistical provider of robot technology, Amazon anticipated it would have approximately 10,000 in centers by 2015. The retail giant estimates that the introduction of robots will not only increase the speed of fulfilling orders, but also eventually reduce operating costs by as much as $450 million.

Amazon is really raising the standard for retailers with super-fast shipping, and super-fast fulfillment. So what can smaller retailers to do attract buyers to their store when confronted with this competition?

Small businesses need to automate as many of their processes as possible to improve the service they offer to shoppers, and also to free up some of the time their associates would otherwise spend on routine tasks.

Retail predictions for 2015 are betting on a customer-centric year, where customer service, customer interaction with products and services and custom items for customers are a high priority. Small and medium sized businesses focusing on personalized products can make a big impression on shoppers with superlative service and the clever use of technology.

Contact xocbox to learn about automating your business processes.

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