After some 19 years of struggling with e-commerce, Walmart is once again learning that managing a merged channel retail strategy is almost never going to beat a well-run pure play e-tailer like Amazon when it comes to online sales.
Privacy policies, if written well, explain to customers exactly what data you are going to collect, and what you are going to do with it. Problem is, most retailers have no idea what data they are collecting, or what they are going to do with it. As a result, retailers end up writing privacy policies that are either false or misleading, and this can lead to big legal problems. In fact, it may be better to have a policy that says either "we have no idea what we are collecting and what we will do with it" or "we will collect everything we can and use it in any way we want." But that's not good public relations.
Target CFO John Mulligan has confirmed that Target is in the middle of not one but four different fulfillment pilots, including acting as a guinea pig for the same-day-delivery trials of both Google and Ebay. The other Target trials involve pay-online-pickup-in-store, pay-in-store-pickup-at-another-store and pay-online-ship-from-store.
Eight months into a controversial customer-tracking mobile trial, Nordstrom has halted the effort. Although Nordstrom took a lot of criticism for the mostly misunderstood program from consumer media, it's not clear whether the project ended as a result of the criticism or the trial had simply run its course.
The myth of showrooming - the suggestion that tons of shoppers are flooding stores to only use them as a physical showroom as they had always intended to purchase the product at Amazon - lives on. But a survey conducted in late April by Bizrate Insights is helping to add a little clarity. First, showrooming really doesn't happen very often. But more interestingly, when it does, it's more likely to be within the same chain. That's a problem all right, but the name of that problem isn't showrooming. It's internal politics.
Amazon will open eight new U.S. distribution centers between now and the holiday selling season, bringing the total to 54. The result of the ferocious building spree is that Amazon will then have a DC within five miles of most major U.S. cities. That means Amazon will very likely have a DC closer to your customers than many of your stores.
Walmart has now officially joined the National Retail Federation (NRF) as a member. For those new to retail, this may seem to be no big deal, but the background is that Walmart and the NRF have been in what amounts to a blood feud for decades.
The U.S. Supreme Court has removed a major barricade for cross-border e-commerce, ruling that so long as a product isn't pirated, U.S. retailers can import it without violating copyright law. In practice, that means an online retailer can sell U.S. customers many products that are lower priced"”and were never intended to be sold in the U.S."”without breaking the law.