Today's consumer packaged goods companies are facing a winner-take-all world in which about half the sales growth - more in certain categories and markets - is coming from digital channels. Companies have to earn their online market positions with new approaches and skills tailored to digital sales, says a report released by The Boston Consulting Group and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Analyst Insight: Transportation management technology is the fastest-growing segment of the supply chain technology market. Firms that relied on third parties want to take more control. From global supply chains to adding more advanced services such as home delivery, companies need to improve logistics performance and costs, making this an active technology sector. - Ann Grackin, CEO, ChainLink
Consumers expect to hear knocks on their door from delivery services well into the holiday week and for no cost at all, according to Deloitte's 30th annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends. In fact, free shipping is the top priority for shoppers when it comes to retail policies, with 72 percent of responding consumers planning to take full advantage of the perk. Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers (87 percent) prioritized free shipping over fast shipping (13 percent) when purchasing gifts shopping online.
Amazon is taking aim at delivery services like Postmates with the launch of a program called Flex., which calls for drivers to make $18 to $25 per hour delivering packages to users of Amazon Prime Now using their own cars and phones.
Target is testing the online grocery delivery waters. The Minneapolis-based discounter has teamed with Instacart, the online grocery delivery service that started in 2012, to let shoppers in the Minneapolis area order fruits and other perishables, as well as household, pet and baby products, and have them delivered to their homes in as little as an hour.
Google Inc. will start testing a delivery service for fresh food and groceries in two U.S. cities later this year, stepping up competition with online retailer Amazon.com Inc. and start-up Instacart Inc.
Analyst Insight: Service providers, couriers and retailers have been doing last mile for decades. But times are different now. Consider: omnichannel, Amazon's game-changing free and same-day delivery, and Sears creating an offering service for third parties. The last two years also saw disrupters who were previously unknown enter the logistics market. But traditional transportation technology firms are fighting back. 2015 will show dramatic changes in the market. – Ann Grackin, CEO ChainLink Research
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration has unveiled proposed rules for drone flights. The plan maintains aviation safety standards, but may make it difficult for companies - such as Amazon - hoping to use drones for delivery service.