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A couple of major news this past week. While Shopify purchased of Warehouse Automation system 6 River systems, Walmart announced it was piloting FBW (Fulfilled By Walmart) going head to head with FBA and other logistics players. 

While Jack Ma was officially retiring from Alibaba, AliExpress made another major move in its global expansion announcing free returns for international shipments!!!

Shopify buys warehouse automation tech developer 6 River Systems for $450 million

Following the announcement in May by Shopify to invest 1 Billion into Shopify Fulfillment Network, the company announced the purchase of collaborative warehouse fulfillment solutions 6 River Systems for $450M. These kind of technologies are critical in order to operate a high performing ecommerce fulfillment solution and become a clear sign of Shopify Ambition in the space. 

 Shopify is taking on fulfillment the same way we’ve approached other commerce challenges, by bringing together the best technology to help everyone compete,” said Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify. “With 6 River Systems, we will bring technology and operational efficiencies to companies of all sizes around the world.” We could almost say, this is democratization of fulfillment!

Read the article about the investment HERE.

Walmart Is Testing a Fulfillment Service for Vendors to Match Amazon

The world’s largest retailer is testing a fee based service called “Fulfilled by Walmart”. The service aim at providing fulfillment services for third party vendors, basically Walmart moving to become a logistics service provider for ecommerce! Will be interesting to see how they perform on this initiative, we have seen an increase of “Fulfilled by…” announcement in the recent months (Ie: Ebay, Shopify) so it’s clear that the logistics is becoming more and more critical for all the companies!!

Read more about the test HERE.

AliExpress to offer a new free return and refund service in eight countries

Free & Easy returns has been one of the most successful & impactful policy in order to drive consumer adoption and more online purchases. Returns is one of the most complex aspect of any ecommerce business, not to say very very complex for Cross Border Trade. This announcement from AliExpress launching first free return and refund service for international shipment is a strategic move. There are eight pilot countries participating in the new program at this stage with Russia, France, Germany, Spain, UK, US, Canada and Australia. If this is successful, we will see other companies following this kind of policy and will certainly bring an exponential growth opportunity for cross border ecommerce.

Read more about the service HERE.

Amazon.com brings Prime service to Brazil; local retail shares drop

Latin Americas largest economy has a huge ecommerce growth potential as the online purchase penetration is still very low (approx. 7%) and the country has a huge population (+-205M) ! 

With the launch of Amazon Prime in Brazil, the company is definitely going to be more aggressive and more appealing to the Brazilian consumers. We can expect the competition to heat up in the coming months!

Read more about the expansion HERE.

StartUp of the week

These brothers just raised 15M for their startup, Dutchie, a kind of shopify for cannabis dispensaries

We continue to see the growth of highly specialized marketplaces, I think that we will continue to see this trend growing as many industries do have some specialized requirements and unique customer experience needs!

US: Amazon container order another move toward ‘dominating US logistics’

Amazon has acquired 53-foot containers, signaling an intention to tender intermodal volume directly to railroads without an intermediary and marketing itself as an end-to-end supply chain solution for small retailers. Amazon took delivery of the first 48 containers of its order for 250 53ft boxes, as it ramps up its domestic US network. The Giant is moving to all the aspects of logistics!

Read more about the containers HERE.

Neighborhood Goods raises $11M, plots third store

This is really amazing, this company is basically the Macy’s mainly for digitally native Brands and with a touch of Wework model and it works!! Physical retail is definitely not dead but is continuously evolving!

Read more about Neighborhood Goods HERE.

Nabil Malouli is VP, Global E-commerce for DHL Supply Chain where he leads the innovation, strategy and product development of its e-commerce fulfilment and last-mile solutions.

Photo: Pixabay

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