The robots are coming. Reports this week show Amazon and China Post both pushing forward robotics initiatives to help tackle the last mile.
Amazon has just filed a patent (see above) for “Autonomous Ground Vehicles” which are to be “utilized to retrieve items from transport vehicles” (i.e. delivery trucks) “for delivery to specified locations” (i.e. customer residences). In various implementations, AGVs may be owned by individual users in a given area, e.g. in an apartment building or neighborhood. The filing continues most endearingly: “The AGVs may travel out to meet a transportation vehicle to receive items, and may be joined by other AGVs that have traveled out to meet the transportation vehicle, and may line up in a particular order.” Well, that’s f@#king cute.
China Post, in a separate release, announced that it and Deppon Express have begun delivery services with the first self-driving vehicles to be put into daily commercial use in China. Equivalent efforts to bring robotics to last-mile delivery in the US have largely remained sidewalk-bound.
Target posted its best traffic and sales numbers in a decade. Retail Dive attributes the growth to a two-year old business plan gaining traction, centered around three main drivers: improved supply chain speed, new private label brands, and revamping stores to act as e-commerce fulfillment hubs.
Heard from ShopTalk: Opposite world. DNVBs tout the power of brick and mortar.
Chalk up another category. According to a new report, Amazon is the top destination for finding beauty products.
Dx3 Canada | Toronto, CA | Mar 6–7, 2019
eTail conference | Berlin, DE | Mar 7–8, 2019
The Prosper Show | Las Vegas, NV | Mar 17–19, 2019
Thanks for reading the dispatch. Each week we share what we're reading in the e-com/future-retail space. What’s the biggest story we missed this week? What do you want to see from us in the future? We'd love you to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Josh and Peter from Whiplash