eCommerce Minute

546: Fulfillment by Amazon Donations Program

An episode of eCommerce Minute

By eCommerce Minute
The eCommerce Minute is your daily dose of eCommerce, tech and retail news, with your hosts John Suder, Bart Mroz, and Brittany Blackman. The show is a production of SUMO Heavy, an eCommerce consulting firm with offices in Brooklyn, NY, and Philadelphia.
More places to listen
The eCommerce Minute is your daily dose of eCommerce, tech and retail news, with your hosts John Suder, Bart Mroz, and Brittany Blackman. The show is a production of SUMO Heavy, an eCommerce consulting firm with offices in Brooklyn, NY, and Philadelphia.

More places to listen

592: Uber is Getting Into the Ads Business
According to a report by TechCrunch, ride-hailing company Uber is working to invest in building an ads business inside of its Uber Eats sector.
November 18, 2019
591: Apple Could Soon Offer Phone Subscriptions
Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the possibility of bundling hardware into a subscription service, and there are a few speculations about exactly what that could entail. 
November 15, 2019
590: Shopify Rolls Out Email Marketing
Shopify has recently launched Shopify Email, in which Shopify describes as an email marketing tool designed to help you build meaningful relationships with your customers in an increasingly crowded commerce landscape. With Shopify Email, you can create, run and track email marketing campaigns natively inside Shopify Marketing. Using highly customizable email templates, existing brand assets, and product content from your store, creating marketing campaigns is now simple and streamlined. 
November 14, 2019
589: Amazon to Support Utility Bill Payments with Alexa
Amazon recently announced during its keynote address at the Money 20/20 financial technology conference that Amazon Pay users will soon have the ability to pay utility bills using Alexa.  Mentions: - The Hustle Newsletter - I Got Access to My Secret Consumer Score. Now You Can Get Yours, Too. (New York Times)
November 13, 2019
588: Walmart Offers Curbside Alcohol Pickup at 2,000 Locations
Walmart shoppers can now purchase alcohol through Walmart Grocery Pickup from 2,000 stores in 29 states.
November 12, 2019
November 11, 2019
November 11, 2019
587: Google Buys Fitbit for $2.1 Billion
Google has announced that it’s buying wearable company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The move comes as the company eyes up a piece of the crowded market for fitness trackers and smartwatches.
November 11, 2019
586: At Open Concept the Bar is Always Open
A new bar in St. Louis, Missouri is shaking up the scene with a concept we haven’t yet seen. Customers aren't charged by the glass –  but by the hour.  The new bar is appropriately named "Open Concept," and the website says for an average price of $10 an hour, you can drink as much as you can legally handle. Mentions: - Open Concept - Tech Company Says Using Facial Recognition Technology in Bars Isn't Creepy at All
November 8, 2019
585: After 17 Years, American Dream Mall Opens
After more than 17 years in the making, the first phase of America’s newest megamall has opened to the public in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  American Dream’s first phase features a Nickelodeon theme park and an NHL-regulation-size ice skating rink. The theme park will have more than 35 rides and attractions. 
November 7, 2019
584: Swap Out your Shoes with Shoe Bank
Shoe Bank is a marketplace for swapping shoes where women of all ages can give and get new shoes without spending any money. - Shoe Bank
November 6, 2019
583: Best Buy Joins in for Next Day Delivery Just in Time for the Holidays
Best Buy fires back at the competition announcing the launch of free next-day delivery on thousands of items that it sells online. Mentions: - Kombucha Girl  - Toilet Paper Math is the Hardest Math (Reddit)
November 5, 2019
582: Mira is a Search Engine Strictly for Beauty
Mira is a new AI-powered search engine that wants to create a more streamlined shopping experience for beauty consumers. - AskMira
November 4, 2019
581: Banksy's Gross Domestic Product Store is Now Online
Banksy’s merchandise is now up for sale on the Gross Domestic Product official website, and in classic Banksy fashion, the website is a little tricky to navigate. Through this system, applications are grouped by the item and time period they were submitted. According to the site, an independent third party will then randomly select a specific time frame for each item and only evaluate applications received during the selected time period. Mentions: - Gross Domestic Product - Pixsy - 504: Ikea Will Sell You a Rug But Only If You Really Love It - 251: Buy Shares of Classic Cars with Rally Road - Rally Rd. - Masterworks - Herb & Dorothy
November 1, 2019
580: Walmart Relaunches Online 'Toys Lab'
Walmart has launched an online interactive ‘Toy Lab’ designed to invite kids to test the period’s most-wanted toys from their tablet or computer for the second straight holiday season.  Mentions:  - Walmart Toy Lab - Webkinz - Eko
October 31, 2019
579: You Can Now Earn a Degree to Be an 'Influencer'
The Italian online university eCampus has opened up a three-year program in social media influencing. The eCampus degree will offer classes in fashion psychology, semiotics and the philosophy of language, TV history, intercultural communication and information technology, among others. Also: An extended conversation about influencer culture. #spicytea
October 30, 2019
578: California Bans Fur Sales
California will be the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products and the third to ban most animals from circus performances under two new bills signed earlier this month by Gov. Gavin Newsom. This new bill could be a huge blow to the fur industry that makes products from animals like mink, chinchillas, rabbits and other animals. According to the most recent data available from the Fur Information Council the US retail fur industry brought in $1.5bn in sales in 2014. 
October 29, 2019
577: Carlsberg is Developing a Beer Bottle Made of Paper
Danish beer maker Carlsberg unveiled what it says is the first "paper bottle" for beer, made out of sustainably-sourced wood fibers.
October 28, 2019
576: Google Shopping Gets an Upgrade
Google has launched a redesign of Google Shopping in the US across both the online and mobile sites, featuring a new personalized homepage and price tracking.
October 25, 2019
575: Amazon is Offering Free Next Day Delivery on Cheap Items
Over the last few months, Amazon has removed several barriers that previously made it difficult for customers to purchase a single item for less than $5 on its own. 
October 24, 2019
574: Target is Powering the Rebooted Toys 'R Us Website
Target is partnering with the parent company of the Toys R Us brand, TRU kids, to assist with the relaunch of The toy retailer is attempting to emerge from bankruptcy, and this partnership will allow Toys R Us to have an online presence  – with Target handling the inventory, fulfillment, and shipping. 
October 23, 2019
573: Square Opens Payment Options to CBD Sellers
Square Inc. has announced that it is opening up payment-processing capabilities to sellers of CBD products. This comes after originally only offering the service as part of a beta program. Square’s venture into the CBD market began just a few months ago when it started an invite-only program with over 1,000 partners to see what merchants needed. The program helped figure out how to work with its own internal teams to become CBD friendly. Now, Square is opening up the beta program and letting qualified merchants apply. 
October 22, 2019
572: The Biggest Mall Owner in the U.S. is Going Online
Simon Property Group, one of the best-known shopping center developers, and digital commerce pioneer Rue Gilt Groupe, the owner of Rue La La and Gilt, are joining forces to build an e-commerce marketplace. Simon has been testing the website “” since March, building on its premium outlet centers business. On the site, shoppers can find discounted products from 2,000 brands. currently has 300,000 products available, with more on the way. 
October 21, 2019
571: Buy Modern Pre-Fab Homes with Dwellito
Launched in early October, Dwellito is an end-to-end service that helps homeowners buy a prefab home for their backyard - to use as a rental, suite, or a studio. 
October 18, 2019
570: Zulily Launches Price-Comparison Tool
Zulily has introduced a new feature that shows online shoppers how much cheaper its prices are than Amazon or Walmart.
October 17, 2019
569: McKinsey & Co is Opening a Retail Store
McKinsey & Company, the well-known global management consulting firm, has opened its first brick-and-mortar retail store in the Mall of America called Modern Retail Collective.
October 16, 2019
568: Pinterest’s New ‘Shop the Look’ Ads Can Feature Multiple Products in a Single Ad
Pinterest recently announced their Shop the Look ads are in a new collections format for mobile. These revamped ads allow retailers to feature multiple products in one ad.
October 15, 2019
567: Amazon Go Tech Coming to Airports and Theatres
Amazon is looking to license its Amazon Go cashierless technology to other retailers, specifically movie theaters, airports, and sports stadiums.
October 14, 2019
566: Rent the Runway Freezes New Subscriptions
Rent the Runway recently stopped accepting new customers due to warehouse system updates that resulted in hundreds of canceled orders and a customer service catastrophe.
October 11, 2019
565: Forever 21 Files for Bankruptcy
Forever 21 has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The fast-fashion retailer aims to close as many as 178 U.S. stores in order to resize its operations. Also, Brittany explains the 'VSCO Girl' trend and traces back to the exact moment The Ramones shirt caught on in modern female culture. 
October 10, 2019
564: Amazon to Launch Alexa-powered Food Network Kitchen Service
Discovery Inc. is launching a new video-streaming app in partnership with Amazon that offers cooking classes and advice from the most recognizable chefs, called Food Network Kitchen. 
October 9, 2019
563: Get Fresh Fish Right to Your Door with The Fish Drop
From the minds behind the, The Fish Drop gives you access to the freshness and quality that has come to be expected from the largest seafood market in the western hemisphere. Mentions: - Fulton Fish Market - The Fish Drop
October 8, 2019
562: Amazon orders 100K Rivian Electric Trucks as Part of Carbon Neutral 2040 Plan
Amazon will be boosting its efforts to reduce its climate impact by ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Michigan’s Rivian. Amazon’s new purchase comes as part of its efforts to convert its delivery fleet to 100% renewable energy by 2030. The e-commerce giant already runs 40% of its fleet on renewable energy.  Mentions: - Rivian - Amazon Co-founds The Climate Pledge, Setting Goal to Meet the Paris Agreement 10 Years Early
October 7, 2019
561: Shop at Amazon and Help Fight Climate Change with Beam
You can now help fight climate change when you shop on Amazon through a new Chrome extension called Beam. Mentions: - Beam Project - Ep 311: Lolli Lets You Earn Bitcoin While Shopping Online - Rakuten
October 4, 2019
560: Walmart Relaunches Shuttered Scoop Brand
Walmart recently announced that it was reviving Scoop, one of its older but iconic fashion brands.
October 3, 2019
559: Enjoy is an On-Demand Mobile Store
Enjoy is an online mobile store that partners with other companies, like AT&T, Sonos, Google and now EE, to create an online mobile store where customers can shop for devices and receive same-day delivery and setup. Mentions: - Enjoy - Welcome to a new kind of delivery experience. (YouTube) - Ron Johnson (Wikipedia)
October 2, 2019
558: You Can Now Order Postmates at Yankee Stadium
he New York Yankees have officially partnered with Postmates to let baseball fans skip concession lines by ordering food and drinks on their mobile app. Mentions: - New York Yankees Exclusive Partnership With Postmates - Today's Special: Fast Food (Noah Kagan Presents)
October 1, 2019
557: Shopify Launches CBD Platform for U.S. Sellers
Shopify is now allowing US brands to sell hemp and hemp-derived CBD products through its platform in an official capacity, the company recently announced.  Mentions: -  Shopify: Sell CBD Online - BigCommerce CBD 
September 30, 2019
556: Get Cookware and Kitchen Guidance with Equal Parts
Pattern (formerly known as branding firm Gin Lane) has launched Equal Parts, a part cookware, part home cooking coaching brand. Mentions: - Equal Parts - Pattern Brands - Gin Lane - Red Antler - 37Signals - Basecamp - Wildbit  - Hello Fresh - Brandless - Ikea Kitchen - Becooked - CKBK - Feast - Tasty - Misen
September 27, 2019
555: Amazon Rolls Out Cash Payment Option for US Customers
You can now buy goods on Amazon with cold hard cash. Simply check the PayCode option at checkout. You'll then receive a QR code, and you'll have 24 hours to pay for the goods at a participating Western Union. PayCode is an ideal solution for the retail giant to attract customers wary of divulging their financial information online and those who do not have a bank account. Mentions: - Amazon PayCode
September 26, 2019
554: DogSpot Lets You Leave Your Dog Safely While Running Errands
Each kennel has features to make your pup happy including air-conditioning, secure access, LCD touchscreen, air ventilation, heated floors, and a shatterproof window.  Mentions: - DogSpot
September 25, 2019
553: Amazon's Multi-Story Warehouses Aims to Cut Delivery Times
Amazon has officially agreed to take space in a first-of-its-kind three-story warehouse, a new type of distribution center that could speed up delivery times in dense cities to hours instead of days. Mentions: - Amazon’s New Multistory Warehouse Aims to Cut Delivery Times - Prologis
September 24, 2019
552: Target’s Circle Loyalty Program Goes Nationwide
Target said Monday it will be launching its revamped loyalty program, Target Circle, nationwide beginning Oct. 6. Target said that over the past 18 months of testing, over 2 million people have already enrolled in Target Circle, which doesn’t require the person to pay a membership fee or have a Target credit card. Mentions: - Target Circle Card - Target Red Card -
September 23, 2019
551: Shopify Acquires 6 River Systems for $450 million
Shopify announced that it is acquiring 6 River Systems, a startup focused on fulfillment automation for ecommerce and retail operations. Mentions: - Shopify - Shopify Sustainability Fund - 6 River Systems - Chuck Autonomous Vehicle (Video)
September 20, 2019
550: Starbucks to Open Pick Up Only Store
Starbucks has announced that it will be opening a pickup-only store in New York City this fall, building off the success of its Starbucks Now concept.  Mentions: - Starbucks Announces Reserve Roastery Coming to Chicago’s Mag Mile in 2019 - Todd Carmichael - LaColombe - Dangerous Grounds (TV Series) - Starbucks Penn Station - Amtrak
September 19, 2019
549: A.C. Moore Challenges Etsy with Handmade Marketplace
A.C. Moore has officially launched their marketplace for artists and makers, called A.C. Moore Marketplace.  Since introducing the platform in late June, more than 3,000 storefronts have been established with 75,000 products available for sale.  • A.C. Moore Marketplace • Zibbet
September 18, 2019
548: Amazon Tests Whole Foods Payment SystemUsing Hands as ID
Amazon’s engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up a store purchase, with the goal of rolling them out at its Whole Foods supermarket chain in the next few months.
September 17, 2019
547: Walmart and BuzzFeed Deliver Shoppable recipes
Walmart and BuzzFeed’s Tasty are expanding their partnership with a new shoppable recipes feature. Anyone browsing Tasty’s 4,000 recipes can add the necessary ingredients to their cart and check out with Walmart’s online grocery cart.
September 16, 2019
546: Fulfillment by Amazon Donations Program
Amazon is launching a new donations program, called Fulfillment by Amazon Donations, for third-party sellers that store their inventory in Amazon’s warehouses in the U.S. and UK.
September 13, 2019
545: Le Tote Buys Iconic Department Store Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor, once known as a high-end fashion destination has been sold to Le Tote, Inc., a fashion rental subscription service. LeTote scooped up the luxury retailer for a mere $75 million with an additional $25 million in the form of a secured promissory note after two years.
September 12, 2019
544: Buy Now, Pay Later with Sezzle
Sezzle allows consumers a chance to finance their purchases even if they’ve had issues in the past with credit, because Sezzle doesn’t tap a customer’s FICO score to evaluate them. 
September 11, 2019
543: Idle Fish is China's Top Second-Hand Market
Idle Fish is Alibaba Group’s secondhand marketplace that puts unwanted goods to use elsewhere, carving out a channel that makes recycling unwanted garments as easy as making an online purchase.  Launched in 2014 by China’s largest online marketplace, Taobao, Idle Fish is now China’s largest secondhand trading platform in terms of monthly active users, with more than 200 million registered users, and over half of them born after 1990. Idle Fish started as an online platform allowing China’s consumers to cash in on used goods that “idle” at home.  Mentions: • Idle Fish • Ant Forrest • Alizilla • ThredUp
September 10, 2019
542: ThredUp Partners with JC Penney and Macys
Macy's and JCPenney have recently announced plans to partner with a trendy online consignment store popular among millennial and Gen Z shoppers called ThredUp. They will be opening branded stores with their secondhand clothing and accessories in 40 Macy’s locations and 30 J.C. Penney stores starting this month.  Mentions: • ThredUp • Blobby's World • Recommerce Surges as Retailers, Brands Get in the Game (Practical eCommerce)
September 9, 2019
541: Amazon Might Fine Sellers for Using Giant Boxes
Companies that don't meet the guidelines of the Frustration-Free Packaging Vendor Incentive Program face a $2 penalty fee for each package that fails to comply. Mentions: • Amazon Pushes Brands to Be Less Boxy • 3M Flex & Seal Shipping Roll
September 6, 2019
540: Target Partners with Disney for In-Store Disney Shops
Target and Disney have recently announced a new partnership that will allow customers to buy Disney products right at its stores. The new Disney “shop-in-shop” experience will be located in 25 Target locations beginning in October. • How will Target's new Disney shops compare with J.C. Penney's?
September 5, 2019
539: Nuuly is URBN's New Clothing Rental Subscription Service
Combining the growing trend of rental services and the popular concept of subscription boxes, Urban Outfitters has officially launched their rental subscription service called Nuuly. Nuuly is a rental platform that offers more than 1,000 items from over 100 different brands. For $88 a month, subscribers can rent six items at a time per month. Also: Brittany offers fashion tips, John admits he "Marie Kondo"-ed his t-shirt collection, Bart shares his t-shirt hack.  Mentions: Nuuly  Rent the Runway  Marie Kondo 
September 4, 2019
538: Uber Eats Offers Dine-In Option
Uber Eats has begun to insert itself into the dine-in business. A new option in some cities lets you order your food ahead of time, go to the restaurant, then sit down inside to eat it.  Diners aren't charged for the service. Instead, restaurants pay a fee that varies from market to market, and customers can tip restaurant employees through the app. The feature is designed to allow restaurants to focus mainly on making food and providing top-notch service to customers.  The new Dine-In option is now available in some cities, including Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego. Also: We discuss food delivery options and their myriad fees and the ongoing chicken sandwich battle. Mentions: Uber Eats  Uber Eats Pool could make ordering food a whole lot cheaper  The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant 
September 3, 2019
537: Pinterest Launches Wellness Tools to Help Users Cope with Stress, Anxiety
Pinterest has introduced emotional wellness activities tailored for the millions of users searching the visual pinboard for emotional health and related topics.  Created in partnership with Brainstorm, the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, Vibrant Emotional Health, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the activities are meant for users to complete when they are feeling anxious, sad or stressed.  Also: The gang discusses the toxic world of social media, meditation and mediation apps. Mentions: Bird Twitter Is My Oasis in Internet Hell Insight Timer (Meditation App) Calm (Meditation App)  
August 30, 2019
536: Facebook to Test Video Subscriptions
Facebook has launched what it describes as a “small-scale test to sell subscription VOD services directly to users”. Initially, the Facebook video subscriptions will be available for four services: BBC and ITV’s BritBox, CollegeHumor’s Dropout, MotorTrend App and Tastemade Plus. Also, we discuss our favorite streaming platforms, John reviews the Amazon Prime remake of 'Papillion' and Brittany confesses her love for the show 'Jersey Shore'.  Mentions: Facebook Video Subscriptions Trevor Wallace You Betcha Papillion Jersey Shore
August 29, 2019
535: Amazon Launches Personal Shopper Stylist Program
The eCommerce Minute is back after a short Summer break!   Today's episode: Amazon has recently launched Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe, a styling service available to all Prime members through the Amazon App.
August 28, 2019
534: iDoorBox is a Portable, Secure Home Delivery Solution
Doorbox Corporation has invented a solution to solve the growing problem of package theft of Amazon and other online deliveries by implementing what they claim is the world’s first alarm-enabled, foldable, secure packaged delivery box.
August 14, 2019
533: Amazon and Realogy to Partner on Home Sales
Amazon has recently announced that it will partner with Realogy Holdings Corp. to launch a new home-buying program called TurnKey. TurnKey will allow homebuyers in 15 cities to instantly connect with a pre-vetted, high-rated real estate agent in their area.
August 13, 2019
532: Google Launches Shopping Portal
Google's new offering personalizes shopping suggestions for users based on their web activity, directing shoppers to purchase products through the Google site, a third-party retailer's site, or in-store.
August 12, 2019
531: Rent Space in Your Yard with ‘Rent the Backyard’
Founded by Spencer Burleigh and Brian Bakerman, Rent The Backyard will help homeowners make some extra cash by renting out their backyard.
August 9, 2019
530: eBay to Launch Fulfillment Service for Sellers
Ebay will launch a new service in 2020 called Managed Delivery, that will allow high-volume sellers to store, pack and deliver orders through a network of pre-approved third-party vendors. 
August 8, 2019
529: Toys R Us is Back. Again.
Tru Kids Brands, the new owner of the company, has recently announced that Toys "R" Us is being reborn in the United States with two new stores. The return comes a little over a year after the chain collapsed, resulting in the shuttering of all 700 of its American stores.
August 7, 2019
528: Refraction AI Wants to Put Delivery Bots in the Bike Lane
The difference between REV-1 and other autonomous delivery bots is that the REV-1 is lightweight and low cost, so there are no expensive lidar sensors on the vehicle. It just operates in a bike lane and is designed to travel in rain or snow, making it qualify under e-bike regulations, especially since it does not exceed 15 mph.
August 6, 2019
527: Pinterest Rolls Out Video Tools for Creators and Brands
Earlier this month, Pinterest introduced their new and improved video platform including new video features for creators and businesses to reach their audiences including an improved uploader, video tab, lifetime analytics, and Pin scheduling.
August 5, 2019
526: Rent Your Unused RV with Outdoorsy
Founded 3 years ago by Jeff Cavins, Jennifer Young, and Ryan Quinn, Outdoorsy is one of a handful of companies capitalizing on a global trend taking the nation by storm: young people are so over hotels. 
August 2, 2019
525: Walmart and Sam's Club Offer Audible Prescription Labels
Setting an important standard in accessibility in healthcare, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies recently announced that they’re introducing En-Vision America’s ScriptTalk audible prescription labels into nearly 1200 of their pharmacies. 
August 1, 2019
524: Amazon to Spend $700M to Retrain Workforce
Amazon has recently announced its plans to spend $700 million retraining 100,000 employees (which is roughly one-third of its U.S. workforce) by 2025.
July 31, 2019
523: Uber Lets Riders Shop with Cargo Consoles
Riders can shop for products from a number of brands, including Glossier and Amazon, as well as items like AirPods, while they’re in an Uber, to be shipped by Cargo to their house two to five days later. 
July 30, 2019
522: Alexa Will Dish Out Medical Advice to UK Citizens
In what they claim as an unprecedented first, The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has announced a partnership with Amazon’s Alexa to offer health advice from the NHS website. 
July 29, 2019
521: Amazon Will Give You $10 to Track You on the Web
When you sign up for Amazon Assistant, a comparison-shopping tool that customers can add to their web browsers, you’ll get a $10 credit. The Amazon Assistant tool compares Amazon’s price for products with prices that users see on, and elsewhere.  In order for it to work, the assistant needs access to users’ web activity, including the links of certain pages of content they view. 
July 26, 2019
520: 7-Eleven Adds Location-based Delivery Option
The new service, called 7NOW, reaches more than 2,000 7-Eleven “hot spots” including New York’s Central Park and Venice Beach in Los Angeles. To use the service, customers need to download the 7-Eleven’ 7NOW app and select “Show 7NOW Pins” to find a hot spot close by. 
July 25, 2019
519: Whole Foods Aims to be a ‘Clean Beauty’ Destination
Whole Foods Market has revealed its plans to make the grocery chain a “clean beauty destination” revamping their organic soaps and skincare offerings. 
July 24, 2019
518: Amazon Competitor VeriShop Goes Live
At its launch, Verishop had roughly 160 verified brands, and around 4,000 items including AllSaints, Diane von Furstenberg's DVF, and Levi's, and expects to gather over 300 more brands by the end of this year. 
July 23, 2019
517: Amazon Launches 'Counter' Retail Pickup Centers
In addition to their recent efforts towards simple centralized pickup, and beefing up their brick and mortar presence, Amazon launched a new pickup option in the US called Counter.
July 22, 2019
516: Get Cheap Flights from Philly with Moonfish
Moonfish’s online platform finds users the cheapest flights possible- like a flight to Barcelona out of PHL for $200. 
July 19, 2019
515: Shop 'The Drop' at Amazon
The Drop aims to provide "exclusive access to limited-edition, street-style inspired collections designed by fashion influencers from around the world”.
July 18, 2019
514: L.L. Bean Partners with Uber to Offer Free Rides to Campsites
The brand is teaming up with Uber in major cities to offer free, on-demand rides to the “L.L.Bean Backyard Campsite,” pop-up destination. 
July 17, 2019
513 : Dollar General Offers FedEx Parcel Service
Over half of all of the 15,000 Dollar General stores in the US will offer secure FedEx drop-off and collection services by the end of 2020.
July 16, 2019
512: Google Tests Shoppable Recommendations in YouTube
Google has started testing a feature on its YouTube video platform that will show product prices and recommendations beneath videos so viewers can make purchases directly. 
July 15, 2019
511: Amazon Trains Delivery Bots with 3d Models
The robots have no idea that they’re just in a giant robot park in a simulation and believe that they’re really outside in neighborhoods. 
July 12, 2019
510: Best Buy Gets Into Home Fitness
The company specifically chose fitness equipment that was interactive, and  items that virtually connect you with coveted fitness trainers to help you “stay motivated, have fun, and get the most out of  your workout.”
July 11, 2019
509: Amazon Exits the Restaurant Biz
Amazon has announced that Amazon Restaurants is shutting down in the United States, and will cease operations on June 24. The 4-year-old service has lurked in the shadows of its competitors for too long, and Amazon has decided to pull the plug. 
July 10, 2019
508: Sam's Club Makes Tire Buying a Snap
Sam’s Club is introducing a tool called "Sam's Garage" that will enable members to get "personalized tire recommendations in less than five minutes”.  Sam's dug through 25+ year old technology, 600 clubs, five systems and inventory for each, totaling 1,100+ data sources to built the app in 9 months.  Sam’s Club employees will carry tablets to use the app to assist customers. 
July 9, 2019
507: Macy's is Using Pinterest Pincodes in Summer Campaign
Macy’s recently launched an out-of-home experiential campaign that asks consumers to use their phones at popular summer spots around the United States.  In partnership with Pinterest, these places feature Pinterest Pincodes that consumers can scan with their phones, and are then directed to a Pinterest board with outfits curated for that specific location.
July 8, 2019
506: Amazon's StyleSnap Will Change the Way You Shop
Amazon has recently introduced StyleSnap, an AI-powered feature that helps you shop for those pieces that you just can’t seem to find. 
July 5, 2019
505: Walmart Shakes Up
As of this month, Walmart is fully integrating Jet’s teams into its own ecommerce operations. 
July 4, 2019
504: Ikea Will Sell You a Rug But Only If You Really Love It
Consumers interested in the limited collection had to put on a headset and prove they were having an intense reaction to one (or more) of the designs. 
July 3, 2019
503: Amazon's New Rewards Card Targets Those with Bad Credit
The new card is another attempt by Amazon to make its retail services accessible to more consumers.
July 2, 2019
502: The DRNKPAY App Curbs Drunk Shopping
DRNKPAY not only helps control spending but also creates awareness as to how much the user is drinking.
July 1, 2019
501: Shopify to Take on Amazon with $1B Fulfillment Network
Shopify has taken a page from Amazon’s playbook by announcing the launch of a network of fulfillment warehouses and shipping logistics capabilities in the United States. 
June 28, 2019
500: Our 500th Episode
A Super-sized 500th episode:  • Shopify Unite 2019 Recap • eCommerce Landscape for Q3/Q4 • Thoughts on Magento 1 Sundown • Our newest Whitepaper • Announcing our new podcast
June 27, 2019
499: The World's First AI-Developed Whiskey
Together with Finnish tech company Fourkind and Microsoft, Swedish distiller Mackmyra is creating the world’s first whiskey developed with artificial intelligence. 
June 26, 2019
498: A Digital Dress Sells for $9500
The world’s first digital dress has been purchased for $9,500, and it’s only available to wear online. 
June 25, 2019
497: 'Good, Cheap and Fast' Is the No-Frills Amazon Shopping Site
Good Cheap and Fast finds above-average products selling for below-average prices by using data science, price tracking and human analysis.
June 24, 2019
496: Vancouver Market Hands Out Embarrassing Plastic Bags
A Vancouver market has introduced plastic bags with embarrassing designs in order to deter customers from using single-use plastic bags. 
June 21, 2019
495: Facebook to Launch Crypto Coin
The multi-currency backed stable coin can be used for purchases in products such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp with zero fees and across the internet more broadly. 
June 20, 2019
494: ‘Care Free Boat Club' is Like Uber for Pleasure Boats
The Carefree Boat Club gives members all of the perks of being out on the water without any of the expenses or hassles of actually owning a boat.
June 19, 2019
493: Flexa Will Let You Shop Retailers with Bitcoin
Flexa has established a network and launched an iOS wallet app called Spedn that allows you to spend cryptocurrencies at brick-and-mortar retailers
June 18, 2019
492: Amazon Offers Gift Cards for 3-D Scans of Your Body
Amazon has been conducting research that involves digital 3D "scans" of people's bodies in exchange for a $25 Amazon gift card. The purpose of the study is to “learn about diversity among body shapes,” for customizable apparel and not for marketing purposes. 
June 17, 2019
491: Amazon Launches 'Alexa Delete What I Say' Voice Command Script
Your Alexa devices will now allow you to request that your conversations or commands be deleted from the database.  
June 14, 2019
490: Shopify Acquires Handshake B2B Platform
Shopify’s acquisition of Handshake brings domain expertise and product efficiency to Shopify Plus and its expanding market of huge merchants.
June 13, 2019
489: Uses Tinder-like Services to Match Salespeople and Customers
Car shopping is one of the most dreaded, anxiety-inducing financial decisions. People repeatedly list car shopping as the worst shopping experience. understands this fear and feeling of vulnerability, so they decided to do something about it.  They’ve introduced technology that will match you with a real-life salesperson tailored perfectly to fit your shopping style. 
June 12, 2019
488: Taco Fans Can Book a Room at the Taco Bell Hotel
Taco Bell announced that it is debuting The Bell, a hotel and resort in Palm Springs, California. The hotel plans to open its doors on August 9, but only for a limited time.  The hotel will feature a pool with themed activities and sauce packet floaties; a nail and a hair salon inspired by Taco Bell, and a gift shop selling exclusive branded apparel.  The entire establishment will feature taco-inspired decor, and everything from the guest rooms to the cocktails will have a ‘Taco Bell Twist’. 
June 11, 2019
487: Amazon Working on a Wearable Device That Reads Emotions
Amazon is developing a voice-activated device worn on the wrist, that can recognize human emotions, described as a health and wellness product.  According to Bloomberg, the Alexa voice software team and Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division are collaborating on the new device. 
June 10, 2019
486: Coupang: South Korea's Amazon Killer
Coupang is the largest online retailer in South Korea, with more than $3.8 billion in annual sales.  The startup is celebrating its 9th birthday this year, and half of South Korea’s 51 million people have downloaded its mobile app.   Coupang is the fastest-growing and best-financed e-commerce site in South Korea. 
June 7, 2019
485: Amazon 'Gamifies' Warehouse Tasks
The games allow employees to compete against each other, which also sneakily pushes workers to up the ante among themselves to pack more boxes, and in turn, raises overall productivity levels. 
June 6, 2019
484: The Binji Card Consolidates All Your Credit and Debit Cards Into One
On May 15, 2019, Binji, a financial tech company launched the most fully realized personal finance platform to pay and receive payments in today's digital age. It's the only platform offering the ability to consolidate credit and debit cards into a single card to use as funding sources for your Binji Account
June 5, 2019
483: Crazy Cazboy's is a Retail Treasure Hunt
Crazy Cazboy’s  is changing the way pricing and sales dynamics work; it’s a store where prices decrease steadily throughout the week.  On Friday, the discounter brings out new merchandise all priced at $6. On Saturday, prices drop to $5. Continuing the day-to-day decline, on Wednesday the price on all products reaches a low of 25 cents.  The store then closes on Thursday to restock, and the prices go back to $6. 
June 4, 2019
482: Amazon's New Box Packing Robots Work Faster Than Humans
Amazon has officially begun rolling out machines that do an important job that is held by thousands of people; boxing customer’s orders.  Amazon’s plan is to reduce labor and boost profits using automation to do common warehouse tasks, and not just solely for speed reasons as some may speculate. 
June 3, 2019
481: Dunkin' Introduces Limited Edition Themed Nail Polish
Dunkin’ has recently introduced a limited edition line of nail polishes throughout the United States in a partnership with vegan nail polish company, Lauren B. Beauty.  The featured shades are inspired by Dunkin's Signature Lattes, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Flavored Coffees, and their iconic orange and pink logo colors. Dunkin’s coffee inspired shade range features colors such as: Cocoa Mocha (a chocolate brown) and Caramel Craze (a candy-colored brown), and one of Baskin Robins’ inspired shades is Pistachio Almond Fudge (a turquoise). 
May 31, 2019
480: Alexa Guard Turns Your Echo Into a Security Device
Amazon has just released an update for your Echo that will listen for signs that someone is breaking into your home.
May 30, 2019
479: Walmart Brasil to Ditch eCommerce
Walmart Brazil has struggled with its e-commerce presence and has decided instead to focus on bricks and mortar retail.
May 29, 2019
478: Amazon, Walmart join online SNAP Pilot
For the first time, shoppers will be able to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program online for groceries.
May 28, 2019
477: Burger King Delivers Whoppers in Traffic
Burger King has recently begun to roll out its ‘Traffic Jam Whopper’ campaign in Mexico City. This delivery platform will bring BK food to consumers in the most heavily gridlocked areas within a 1.8 mile radius of a Burger King restaurant.
May 27, 2019
476: Amazon Alexa Launches HIPAA-Compliant Skills
The skills might allow patients to book appointments, check on prescription deliveries, identify wait times at emergency rooms, and access some limited healthcare information. 
May 24, 2019
475: Walmart Undercuts Amazon with Next Day Delivery
Walmart has announced its undercutting Amazon's newest Prime-member perk and launching free, next-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of products.
May 23, 2019
474: Spotify Tests Voice-Enabled Ads
The streaming music and podcast service announced the launch of voice-enabled advertisements, which will encourage the listener to say a verbal command to take action on the ad’s content.
May 22, 2019
473: Tampa Airport Debuts 'TPA All-Access' Pass
The program will allow non-travelers each Saturday to access shops and restaurants beyond the security checkpoint year-round. 
May 21, 2019
472: Walmart is Going Big on Pet Care
The world's biggest retailer is launching an online pet pharmacy and will expand its in-store veterinary clinics. Walmart's online pet pharmacy site is, similar to PetSmart's, that will deliver pet meds straight to your door. 
May 20, 2019
471: AliPay Users Have Planted 100M Trees in China
Users are rewarded for making environmentally friendly decisions and earn points, such as recycling old clothes or walking to work instead of driving.  These points can then be redeemed to plant trees.   To date, more than 100 million actual trees have been planted covering 580 square miles in desert regions of the country.
May 17, 2019
470: NBCUniversal Introduces 'ShoppableTV'
Soon you'll be able to shop with your smartphone just by pointing it at your TV. That's the concept behind Shoppable TV which was recently unveiled by Comcast's NBCUniversal. 
May 16, 2019
469: Burger King Jabs McDonald's with 'Unhappy Meals'
Timed to Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the "Real Meals" include the Blue Meal, Salty Meal, Yaaas Meal, and DGAF Meal. Burger King is also making a donation to Mental Health America, but says that's "just a plus," as awareness was the key goal of the partnership.
May 15, 2019
468: Amazon is Now Making Drivers Take Selfies
The company will then use facial recognition software to make sure they know exactly who is delivering your packages. 
May 14, 2019
467: Marriott Launches Airbnb Competitor Homes & Villas
The hotel chain is launching its own version of home sharing for vacation rentals to compete with the likes of digital sellers like Airbnb and VRBO. The initial offerings will include 2,000 homes in 100 destinations.  The company says it will focus on premium and luxury homes in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.  Among its listings, you will find unique homes like a castle in Ireland with a private lake, a 6-bedroom London townhome with a climbing wall, and an oceanfront villa in Anguilla with a private beach, butler, and staff.
May 13, 2019
466: Walmart Unveils First 'Intelligent' Lab Store
Walmart has unveiled its new “store of the future” which will serve as a testing ground for new technologies. The store concept is called the Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short —  features AI-enabled cameras and interactive displays.
May 10, 2019
465: Amazon Launches Middle East Marketplace
The rebranded Souq will allow customers to shop Amazon in Arabic for the first time on its websites and apps.
May 9, 2019
464: 7-Eleven Lab Store Features Upscale Fare
7-Eleven is testing some new concepts for its convenience stores.  It’s opened up an experimental testing ground in Dallas that company execs have named the Lab Store.   With its rebranded lab store, 7-Eleven is testing its ability to be seen as a convenient place to pick up healthy snacks and enjoy a better-for-you meal. 
May 8, 2019
463: Giant Food Pilots Produce Prescriptions
The grocer plans to participate in a program called Produce RX to help give their customers in the Washington DC area access to healthy foods.  The program is in partnership with DC Greens, a nonprofit that works to improve food education, increase food access and advocate for better food policy.
May 7, 2019
462: Forever 21 Shutters Chinese eCommerce Site
Clothing and fashion retailer Forever 21 announced its shutting down its online stores in China. The company announced that it would close all its online shops, while huge clearance sales are ongoing in its physical stores.
May 6, 2019
461: Target Launches 'Everspring' Clean Product Line
Target is joining the growing ranks of retailers shifting product lines to organic, all-natural, and recyclable products. Everspring is the name of a new suite of products launched by Target that are made from renewable materials, recycled products, and plants.   The Everspring line will encompass more than 70 household products, such as paper towels, napkins, cleaning products, laundry detergent, and hand soaps.
May 3, 2019
460: Amazon to Make One Day the Shipping Standard
Amazon will speed things up even further with One Day shipping for eligible Prime items.
May 2, 2019
459: This Magic Sticker Keeps Produce Fresher Longer
A company from Washington called StixFresh has developed a solution formulated from all-natural ingredients that can help extend the shelf-life of avocados, citrus fruits, mangoes, and apples up to 14 days.
May 1, 2019
458: Facebook is Building a Voice Assistant
It’s not clear exactly how Facebook expects to use the assistant, but one sign may be in the team that’s heading up the project.   CNBC reports that Facebook's Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality group is leading the effort.  That’s the division overseeing development on its AR Oculus headsets.   The voice-enabled tech might be incorporated into devices like Oculus and its Portal video chat.
April 30, 2019
457: Adidas Makes a 100% Recyclable Shoe
We recycle paper, glass, and plastic.  We recycle metal and cardboard.  But have you ever thought about recycling your sneakers? Adidas thinks it's time.   They're launching a new performance shoe made entirely of recyclable materials. Adidas says that, by enabling a manufacturing model where raw materials from one shoe can be used to make another, it intends to take responsibility for the entire life of a product.
April 29, 2019
456: Stay Awake Forever with Black Insomnia Coffee
If you're starting to feel your 'morning joe' just isn't cutting it ti anymore, we've got a blend for you. It's called Black Insomnia Coffee.  Dubbed "the world's strongest coffee," a single cup contains 736 mg of caffeine. 
April 26, 2019
455: Amazon to Close Chinese Marketplace
Amazon is pulling the plug on its Chinese marketplace.  The U.S. e-commerce giant will instead focus on the lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world’s most populous nation. This means Amazon customers in China will no longer able to buy goods from Chinese merchants.
April 25, 2019
454: Reusable Liviri Boxes Tackle Meal Kit Packaging Waste
Meal kit convenience comes with a massive downside. A typical meal kit delivery comes with insulation, gel-filled icepacks, and tiny lil containers or bags holding individual ingredients–like a few sprigs of herbs or a few spoonfuls of sauce or condiments –all  this inside a giant cardboard box. The Liviri containers eliminate single-use packaging and can be reused up to 75 times. 
April 24, 2019
453: Cup Noodles Machine Uses Instagram as Currency
Hungry, but short on cash? Listen close, we've got some good news. Nissin Foods, makers of the iconic Cup Noodles, has teamed with food and drink blog Foodbeast to create a vending machine that trades Instagram posts for prizes.
April 23, 2019
452: Walmart Plans to Add Thousands of Robot Workers
Walmart is going robotic. The largest retailer in the world announced it is adding thousands of robot workers to its stores.  Some robots will be autonomous floor scrubbers.  Walmart also plans to use robots that can scan inventory on shelves and bots to automatically scan deliveries as they roll off trucks. The company said it’s a high-tech approach to solving workplace problems.  
April 22, 2019
451: Amazon Go Will Take Cash After All
Amazon Go has been touted to be the convenience store of the future - no cashiers, no cash - just use your phone to check in, grab your things and go. A frictionless transaction for the customer on the go.  Well, we might have to put a pin in that last part about being cashless.  Responding to growing criticism, Amazon has revealed that it plans to allow customers who shop at its Amazon Go stores to pay with cash.
April 19, 2019