Device makers whose products are in competition with Amazon are being restricted from advertising those products on Amazon's platform, according to reports. The restricted ads usually pertain to searches for Amazon devices, although Roku is reportedly not allowed to place ads against its own products.
Distributors that want to succeed with e-commerce marketplaces need to expand product sourcing and discovery while retaining customers on their websites, writes Proton.ai's Benj Cohen. He cites Grainger's Zoro platform as an example of effective product sourcing.
Distributors should use automation in accounts receivable because it saves time and money and provides insight into processes, collections and staff performance, says Jon Seaman of Esker. Automated self-service tools can also improve the customer experience.
With returns expected to "skyrocket" this holiday season amid the coronavirus pandemic, retailers can reclaim some of their value, reduce costs and benefit the environment by using returns technology, writes Ken Lim of Optoro. He recommends providing customer portals for online returns and deploying automation to decide where returned items should go.
The market for movie theater popcorn has collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so grower Preferred Popcorn sold 40,000 pounds of its kernels to Misfits Market to be repackaged for home consumption. The type of popcorn is different than that sold in grocery stores.
Home furnishings chain Pottery Barn has begun sending returned fabric items to the Renewal Workshop, which uses liquid carbon dioxide to clean textiles so they can be resold. Pottery Barn hopes to eventually sell the sanitized items, President Marta Benson said.
Boston Dynamics has about 260 Spot robots deployed, with the four-legged robots performing data gathering, remote sensing and other tasks. The company plans to add additional functionality and improved data capabilities to Spot.
Amazon's planned investment in last-mile delivery stations should enable it to provide same- and next-day delivery to 65% to 70% of American homes by the end of 2022, according to RBC Capital Markets estimates based on MWPVL data and Amazon financial information. RBC says Amazon's logistics network growth during the past three years is equal to Walmart's growth during the past five decades and will help it lower last-mile delivery costs, rely less on third-party logistics companies and generate revenue by selling shipping network capacity.
FedEx is considering deploying small cargo planes that can fly autonomously to make deliveries in remote areas. Reliable Robotics successfully landed a FedEx turboprop plane earlier this year, but CEO Fred Smith says the shipper isn't planning to trade larger planes for self-flying technology.
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