E-Commerce Briefs: Google Marketplace; Walmart; Drone

“E-Commerce Briefs” is my occasional series of news and development that affects online merchants. In this article, we’ll focus on Google’s new e-commerce expansion, Wal-Mart’s expansion of the fulfillment center, invitations to UK merchants to the US market, and advances in drone delivery.

Google eCommerce

According to a Bloomberg article last month, Google is becoming an e-commerce player and is trying to revive its efforts to compete with Amazon. For the past decade, Google has failed to use the platform for shopping. In 2013, Google launched Shopping Express, a marketplace that hasn’t gained momentum, including partnerships with large supercenters such as Target and Walgreens.

The project was allegedly unsuccessful because consumers relied on the habit of going to search instead of clicking on the desired shopping tab, often eventually reaching Amazon. Also, Google’s delivery infrastructure was poor.

In Europe, authorities considered Shopping Express a monopoly because it was in a search engine and were forced to shut down in 2015. Express was shut down in the United States in 2019 as well.

Bloomberg reports that the new marketplace will not have to pay merchants to participate. Instead, Google encourages sellers to buy more ads.

Other planned features announced at last month’s Google I / O 2022 conference include a single click for shoppers to go from the Google Search seller list to the seller checkout page, and for visitors to use photos. Includes the ability to search for nearby retail products.

In short, Google plans to integrate its search capabilities with merchant sales. It was the first problem in Europe. The plan could also draw the attention of federal regulators, as the US Congress is considering the practices of high-tech companies.

Walmart solicits British sellers

British sellers who want to reach American consumers are now able to take advantage of the Wal-Mart fulfillment service. Wal-Mart’s US supply chain infrastructure enables two-day delivery from the UK to most US locations.

In a statement earlier this month, Wal-Mart will extend access to market platform tools to UK sellers to help them speed up operations, identify growth opportunities, and manage promotions and customer feedback. Said.

By joining Wal-Mart’s US Marketplace, UK merchants will have access to Wal-Mart’s 120 million US customers. The seller must apply for participation. According to Wal-Mart, the approved person is “… powerful to help scale up rapidly across the Atlantic, including the services of a dedicated onboarding team and the opportunity to deliver goods to US customers within two years. Access to tools and services is provided. Every day. “

Walmart Fulfillment Center

This month, Wal-Mart announced that it will add four “next generation” fulfillment centers to its 31 existing centers over the next three years. The first event will open this summer in Joliet, Illinois.

The new center will utilize robotics and machine learning to accelerate the speed of fulfillment. In a press release, the company said, “… These four next-generation centers alone will provide 75% of the U.S. population with next-day or two-day delivery of millions of items, including marketplace items shipped by Wal-Mart Fulfillment Services. I can do it. “

And with 4,700 stores within 90% to 10 miles of the US population, Wal-Mart can provide same-day delivery to 80% of Americans. Wal-Mart expects to hire more than 4,000 workers in its four new centers.

Walmart has partnered with warehouse technology provider Knapp, an Austrian company, to develop an automated high-density storage system, streamlining the current 12-step manual process, including an automated picking system, to just five. Through this partnership, Wal-Mart will work with Amazon’s highly automated fulfillment center.

Drone Wars

Amazon recently announced that it will begin delivering prime air drones later this year in Lockeford, California, about 40 miles south of Sacramento.

In a blog post, Amazon said: They order as usual and receive their estimated time of arrival on the order’s status tracker. For these deliveries, the drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend into the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height. Then safely release the package and return to altitude. “

Wal-Mart has an operational drone delivery program available to more than 4 million US households, and these customers can receive delivery within 30 minutes.

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