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This week in the news, Nordstrom’s goes truly omnichannel with new flagship store in NYC, BestBuy enter next day delivery race, Amazon expand in-store pick up service in order to reduce logistics costs, interesting round of investment in commercetools (a shopify like solution for B2B ecommerce) & Fabric (Micro Fulfillment Centers)! Exciting times!!

  1. Nordstrom’s New York flagship opens. Here’s a look inside

The future of retail is now! Whenever we see one of these new flagship stores open, they come with amazing experiences for instore consumers but also many features designed for the online consumers. These features link store experience to ecommerce, and we are truly starting to see convergence of the online and offline strategy (It’s time!).

In a time when customers are becoming channel agnostic, this is critical. Some of the Nordtroms store features include:

–          Buy Online and pick up at store 24/7 (come pick up anytime you want)

–          Get personal styling lounge but you have to book appointments online (generating traffic to the online page).

–          Nordstrom has made its store a home for brands born on the internet, like beverage maker Dirty Lemon (attracting consumers of Digitally native brands into their business)

Get a deeper insight HERE.

  1. Best Buy follows Amazon, Walmart in next-day delivery push in time for the holidays

Following the announcements of Amazon for next day ecommerce delivery in Apr, Walmart followed in May, then Target followed in June and now Best Buy! Who is next? Any guess?

The race for speed continues! I often get asked which companies are better positioned to compete with Amazon? I personally believe that in US, Target & BestBuy are definitely best in class retailers which are executing a successful transformation towards omnichannel and the future of retail.

So, when I saw this announcement, I was not surprised as Speed to consumer is one of the most important criteria for consumer purchase now and BestBuy was the only powerhouse I thought was missing for this years announcement.

Follow their race HERE.

  1. Amazon expands its in-store pickup service, Counter, to thousands more stores

Last week Amazon quarterly results came short of expectations on profitability, earlier this year, AMZN announced that they would invest 800M in next day delivery, obviously this would hurt profitability and earnings for the upcoming quarters.

However, we can see that Amazon is also working on fixing it’s expensive logistics network with multiple initiative. This expansion of store pick up with new partners such as GNC, Health Mart and Stage Stores is a clear signal of Amazon increasing speed but also building a very sophisticated network of locations to consolidate orders and reduce their logistics costs (for deliveries & returns)! This kind of service points are going to be critical for any large ecommerce players in the future!

Read more about the expansion HERE.

StartUps of the week: Commercetools & Fabric!

  1. Commercetools raises $145M from Insight for Shopify-style e-commerce APIs for large enterprises

Analysts have forecasted that global B2B ecommerce revenue will top $6.7 trillion by 2020. This is going to be the double of B2C transactions! CommerceTools is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this huge trends using their Shopify like platform for B2B! Commerce Tools (German Startup) provides a set of APIs that power e-commerce sales and related functions for large businesses will be one of the best positioned organization to take advantage of this opportunity leveraging its fresh funding of $145 million!

Learn about Commercetools HERE.

  1. Fabric raises $110M Series B for robotic micro fulfillment centers

Last Monday, I got the chance to be with Elram (CEO of Fabric) in an event in San Francisco and hear about the Fabric technology from one of the founders of the company. The Automated micro fulfillment center that Fabric has built is very interesting concept and will be definitely a major game changer as speed to consumer continue to increase and people start to expect same day service in urban centers. Automation will be key to make same day and instant delivery viable as profitability remains a major challenges for companies to provide this kind of service.

Micro-fulfillment centers will be a major opportunity for brands and companies which are aiming to serve consumers in urban area for instant to same day service.

Check out this amazing startup 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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