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Dan Berthiaume

Senior Editor, Technology


June 2020

Regardless of what happens with Amazon Prime Day, a midsummer e-commerce promotion dream may best be deferred.
Shopping cart on buy button
On-demand delivery is becoming a standard fixture in the retail environment. Slowly but steadily, on-demand delivery has been growing in popularity as as omnichannel shopping feature.
All brick-and-mortar retailing, like politics, is local.
2020 has been a year like no other, but retailers can maintain “normal” operations by deploying the right solutions.
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July 2020

The same Midwestern state has the most small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) selling in Amazon’s stores per capita and the fastest-growing SMBs selling in its stores. 

Uber’s shipping platform is applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to pricing and booking.

eBay’s automotive marketplace is partnering with an online payments provider and launching two new in-app chat features.

Although back-to-school spending is trending flat overall, online retailers should have a good season.

An e-tail giant and two leading discounters are among the retailers reportedly removing merchandise associated with the Washington Redskins NFL team.

A Midwestern specialty grocer is the latest supermarket chain to offer same-day delivery.

A new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app will enable visually impaired customers to effectively read prescription labels.

A supermarket giant is automating the process for advertisers to purchase targeted audio ads on its in-store network.

Rouses Markets is joining the rarified air of retailers with drone delivery pilots.

Two multiplatform retailers are launching the second edition of an international search for new products.

Walmart is providing an omnichannel range of shopping options and services aimed at teachers, parents and students.

Four major payment card providers are preparing to make “click-to-pay” digital payment available outside the U.S.

Amazon is attempting to make it more difficult for fraudulent third-party sellers to conduct transactions on its U.S. e-commerce site.

Weis Markets, Smart & Final, and Piggly Wiggly Midwest will be the first grocers to leverage the new Mercatus digital advertising solution.

Walmart will reportedly introduce a new annual membership program by the end of July.

Uber is moving forward in its partnership with grocery delivery startup Cornershop.

Amazon is opening a fulfillment center and a delivery station in chief rival Walmart’s home state.

Hat Club is supporting customers in searches for highly specific product styles.

Amazon is number one in many categories, but not in worldwide downloads of its shopping app.

Hackers sponsored by the government of North Korea are reportedly stealing payment card data from customers of U.S. e-commerce retailers.

The U.S. on-demand food delivery market has seen its second mega-merger in less than a month.

The returns experience plays a big part in online shopper satisfaction.

Amazon is reportedly delaying its annual Prime Day online sales extravaganza an additional month, from September to October.

The U.S. companies with the best customer service include retailers in the luxury, quick-service restaurant, specialty outdoor, grocery, and online bridal/maternity verticals.

CVS is providing a little extra for participants in its ExtraCare loyalty program.

Bob’s Discount Furniture is going beyond government guidelines for its comprehensive COVID-19 store reopening strategy.

As e-commerce purchases grow during the COVID-19 pandemic, so do customer concerns about online returns.

Consumers who began ordering alcohol online during the pandemic may have discovered a long-term preference.

A struggling young women’s apparel retailer is developing its first mobile app in time for Black Friday.

A CPG giant is leveraging third-party artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance omnichannel marketing.

A Northeast regional grocer is bulking up its e-commerce infrastructure amid a continuing COVID-19-driven online shopping surge.

Walmart is testing a store design that takes the self-checkout experience to a new level.

COVID-19 is having a negative effect on most e-commerce retailers.

A beauty giant is taking a big step in social shopping.

Mobile payment provider Square is revealing the U.S. cities where it seeing the biggest percent increase in new sellers moving online in response to COVID-19.

June 2020

Look for an increased focus on hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene products as consumers prepare their back-to-school shopping lists for fall 2020. 

A leading supply chain standards group is now enabling suppliers, manufacturers and retailers to uniformly codify product color and size.

A leading drugstore retailer is teaming up with two tech heavyweights to deliver personalized healthcare and shopping offerings.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is partnering with Shopify to help farmers in its supply chain sell directly to consumers.

Brookfield Properties will roll out a new contactless shopping experience based on 3D and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Google is responding to a continued surge in e-commerce demand with planned free listings on its main search results page in the U.S.

A regional supermarket chain is unifying its online and mobile commerce operations onto a single platform.

The world’s largest convenience store retailer is partnering with on-demand delivery platform Vroom Delivery in America’s most distant state.

Amazon frontline employees who worked during June 2020 will receive a “thank you” bonus of up to $3,000, depending on their role.

Domino’s Pizza is expanding its definition of on-demand delivery to include a new curbside pickup option.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its U.S. on-demand delivery footprint with a major third-party platform.

Amazon is making a major commitment to the development of self-driving vehicles.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Dr. Joel Schlessinger, president of Omaha, Neb.-based

The official brand of the United States Polo Association is giving its online product search the power of a fine Arab charger.

Another entrant is gaining momentum in the increasingly crowded race to sell used vehicles online.

​​​​​​​Canada’s largest grocer met unprecedented online traffic and order volumes with Google Cloud resources.

Target is expanding its assortment of grocery items that customers can order online and pick up the same day in the store or at curbside.

A new survey indicates many consumers will keep stocking their pantry even once the pandemic passes.

Amazon has secured naming rights to, and will help redevelop, downtown Seattle’s KeyArena, which will be transformed into the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world.

Mercatus and Square are both providing retailers managed services designed to ease the process of getting online orders to customers.

The Amazon Future Engineer program is taking a variety of steps to help elementary schoolers and high school graduates pursue their computer science dreams.

Meijer is partnering to give vision-impaired customers increased accessibility and ease in their shopping trip. 

Walmart is opening a fourth freestanding facility devoted to health-and-wellness.

CVS Health is expanding its COVID-19 testing services with the launch of a solution designed to help workers and students return to normal.

A global shipping service provider is opening a corporate retail shipping store in South Florida.

Consumers and retailers are preparing for a return to “normal,” but there is some question as to what that will look like.

DHL Supply Chain is rolling out a “plug and play” robotics solution designed to ease the integration of automation into warehouses.

A home furnishings retailer is decreasing lead time and improving shipment visibility with collaborative tracking.

Consumers have an appetite to shop despite the pandemic, but one particular marketing tactic feeds it.

Amazon is creating a new team dedicated to preventing the sale of fraudulent items on its platform.

A national coffee chain has reopened 17 locations throughout California, Washington D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.

A major outdoor apparel and gear retailer is ensuring that pandemic-related policies and procedures from headquarters are seen, understood and completed on time by stores.

The nation’s largest bridal retailer is joining the video communication boom.

The market for online resale clothing will more than double in the next five years.

A new study indicates that consumers have turned to tried-and-true digital means to receive COVID-19 information from retailers.

Amazon is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon.

A leading e-commerce platform is enabling retailers to take a more agile approach to site design.

A convenience giant is rewarding customers for purchasing fuel with as little contact as possible.

A regional supermarket chain is offering free charging for electric vehicles.

Newegg PC Builder

Some customers want to build their own PC, and Newegg is now catering to them. The tech-focused e-tailer is introducing the Newegg PC Builder, a one-stop online shop for designing and building custom PCs.

A former Nordstrom executive sees a new post-COVID-19 digital landscape with significant growth potential for retailers. Chain Store Age recently spoke with Kathy Gersch, executive VP at strategy execution and change management firm Kotter,

Google Keen screens

Google is offering a digital “home for long-term interests.” Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, is launching Keen, a web and Android app that enables users to identify their interests and curate relevant digital content from t

Ikea couch experiment

Ikea’s R&D lab is giving customers an online sneak peek into the future of home design. Space10, the research & design (R&D) subsidiary of Ikea, is launching a new web-based platform called

shopper browsing

A new Cambridge Retail Advisors (CRA) report recommends that brick-and-mortar retailers think beyond BOPIS to gain customer trust. According to “Flipping the Script,” a white paper from CRA, the physical store will endure the COVID-19 shutdown.

Woman holding shopping bags

A new study contains some good news for brick-and-mortar retailers. According to a survey of more than 18,000 consumers from shopping rewards app Shopkick, about three-quarters (73%) of respondents say they feel equally or less concerned about CO

Saks NuOrder merchandising screen

A leading luxury retailer is improving its ability to align store-level merchandising with relevant trends. Saks Fifth Avenue will leverage the business intelligence (BI)-based ERP platform from NuOrder to streamline its buying process and mercha

Mastercard symbol

Amazon customers in 12 countries will have their stored card credentials tokenized by Mastercard. Tokenization replaces a consumer’s physical card number with a token, which is payment information unique to each individual transaction that can be

shopping cart in cloud

Digital sales growth is just one development during the COVID-19 pandemic that Deloitte expects will continue affecting retailers and CPG companies in the long term. Deloitte's InSightsIQ, which actively monitors and aggregates a diverse set of r

Chipotle Messenger app

Chipotle Mexican Grill is introducing enhancements to its digital ordering including a new Facebook Messenger bot. Beginning Monday, June 22, the fast-casual restaurant chain is rolling out Pepper, a concierge bot for the Facebook Messenger app.

fruits & vegetables

Amazon reaches most SNAP householdsAmazon is now accepting federal benefit payments for online grocery orders in 36 states and Washington, D.C. The e-tail giant has been participating in a pilot with the U.S.

eBay sign

Six former eBay security personnel, including two high-level executives, are accused of conspiring against a Massachusetts couple who criticized the company online. According to the Boston Globe, James Baugh, former eBay senior director of safety

Amazon social distance solution

Amazon is rolling out a new solution that provides employees live feedback on their distance from other workers. The e-tail giant is introducing an in-house-developed technology that applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

renewable energy installation

Verizon, Infosys, and CPG manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (RB) are all joining Amazon in pledging to be net zero carbon by 2040. The companies are signing the Climate Pledge, an initiative co-founded by Amazon in September 2019 that commits to mee


Consumer spending rose dramatically from April as retailers closed by the coronavirus pandemic began to reopen, but was down year-over-year. May sales rose 11% from April and 1.7% year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federat

Google Pay logo

Google will reportedly add branded buttons for retailers inside its payment app. According to The Information, before the end of 2020, Google plans to let both online and brick-and-mortar retailers offer branded buttons within the U.S.

Walmart Shopify page

Walmart is partnering with Shopify to open its Walmart Marketplace e-commerce marketplace to SMB sellers. The discount giant is integrating Walmart Marketplace with Shopify, an e-commerce platform aimed at small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) wit

Best Buy-Tidal partnership

Customers who purchase certain hardware products at Best Buy can receive special offers for the Tidal music streaming service. Best Buy is partnering with Tidal to provide several different discount subscription plans to customers who purchase se

Rendering of Amazon's new Redmond, WA facility

Amazon is securing 111,000-sq.-ft. of additional office space in Redmond, Wash.

David's Bridal storefront

The nation’s largest bridal retailer is personally engaging customers via their third-party mobile wallet apps. David’s Bridal is partnering with mobile wallet marketing automation platform Popwallet to deliver connected and tailored promotions s

An office supplies giant is breaking new ground with an on-demand delivery partnership.

Chris Jones

COVID-19 is not stopping Casey’s General Stores from pursuing a wide range of online, mobile, CRM, marketing, and store growth initiatives.

A new survey indicates despite pandemic-related declines in overall spending, shoppers are keeping up with e-commerce.

Netherlands-based Just Eat is entering the U.S. on-demand food delivery market in a big way.

Sam’s Club is rolling out a curbside pickup service nationwide.

Two-thirds of B2C and B2B e-commerce companies have reported neutral or positive impact on their sales from COVID-19.

Willo is rolling out a direct-to-consumer (DTC) fresh produce platform it calls “farming as a service.”

Amazon is not the only e-commerce retailer to gain shoppers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of its Rekognition facial recognition technology. 

Amazon is supporting 3M legal action against Amazon sellers who allegedly sold counterfeit N95 respirators.

Kum & Go (K&G) is directly tying digital media promotions to actual in-store sales.

Restaurant visits are up overall as local COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, but the nationwide average doesn’t tell the whole story.

Retailers recognize the need to integrate more digital automation into their supply chain processes.

A global payment app is offering a rewards club for users across all its partner retailers.

Amazon will reportedly redevelop a 96,000-sq.-ft. facility in Boston into a last-mile delivery hub.

Deloitte recommends retailers seeking to successfully reopen stores focus on trust, the role of the store, and operating models.

Newegg’s in-house fulfillment network is providing a turnkey customer service outsourcing solution.

Amazon is reportedly preparing to test all fulfillment facility workers for COVID-19 every two weeks.

Top online categories during the COVID-19 crisis include personal care products. 

An optical retailer will test an artificial intelligence (AI)-based telemedicine solution to prevent diabetes-related blindness.

Amazon is filing lawsuits in three states to protect customers from bogus emails and phone calls.

Gap Inc. is scaling its picking operation for online orders with a smart robotic solution. 

Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM) is joining a new shopper data program from a major streaming TV provider.

Big Lots is the latest retailer to streamline customer access to e-commerce delivery by partnering with Instacart.

Grocery retailers and suppliers who successfully collaborate can improve customer service and operating efficiency.

The Kroger Co. is bringing its leading-edge automated warehouse facilities to three different regions of the U.S. 

The world’s largest convenience store retailer is modernizing its customer experience architecture.

E-commerce retailers are learning from failures to back up their site data.

C&S Wholesale Grocers is teaming up with Instacart to make online and same-day delivery available to C&S’ network of more than 3,000 independent grocery retailers across the U.S.

A global furniture retailer heads up a list of the 11 e-commerce sites with the best performance during the current pandemic.

FedEx is the latest delivery provider to apply peak surcharges in response to COVID-19 volume surges.

According to the CEO of digital grocer Farmstead, changes to consumer behavior that occurred during COVID-19 will continue after the pandemic ends.

Amazon has reportedly patented a new blockchain solution designed to create transparency and trust in its e-commerce supply chain.

Retailers who outperform their peers are more likely to see a link between customer-facing employees and sales performance.

It won’t be Prime Day, but Amazon is reportedly preparing an online sale to begin June 22.

The country’s oldest flour brand is meeting increased consumer demand for flour with an enhanced direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform.

If you can snap a picture, you can find and buy products using Pinterest.

Amazon has reportedly ended a temporary $2 pay hike it gave to warehouse employees as an incentive to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alibaba sign

China's Alibaba Group is unveiling new solutions — including programming virtual trade shows — aimed at getting small-to-mid-sized U.S. businesses to buy and sell products on its e-commerce platform.

Shoppers want retailers to offer clean stores and delivery perks in response to COVID-19.

A leading on-demand delivery platform is launching new services to help restaurants operate online as the country reopens.

online grocery

Grocery shoppers are visiting Amazon more during the COVID-19 pandemic, but will respond to certain e-commerce features.

An e-tail giant is subsidizing the cost of emergency child and adult care for all of its U.S. employees. 


The world’s largest sporting goods retailer is keeping its U.S. stores in the game during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KFC Canada is making decisions faster and more accurately with enterprise analytics.

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