This Week's Friday Roundup

Happy Friday and welcome back to our Friday Roundup! Here are this week’s top stories in logistics, eCommerce and retail.

Retail: How Lowe’s, Zappos, And IKEA Use Technology to Provide Value – Future of Commerce

Companies are using technology to provide better customer service and offer an enjoyable shopping experience. By adopting the latest technology, Lowe’s and IKEA are receiving international recognition for improving the in-store experience. Darrin Shamo, director of direct and online marketing at Zappos says, “Like many others in the industry, we’re on a continual quest to create a 1-to-1 connection with our customers.”

Logistics: What the 2014 USPS Pricing Changes for Shipping Services Mean to Retailers – Retail Online Integration

USPS announced new rate changes this month, increasing Priority Mail Express by 3 percent. Gordon Glazer, director of strategic partnerships at Shipware, says the new rates should motivate shippers to evaluate their processes and be more strategic about lowering shipping costs. He recommends restructuring rules to route packages by cost of transit and service times.

Omnichannel: Ace Hardware Debuts First App for Loyalty, Product Research – Mobile Commerce Daily

Ace Hardware created an iPhone app that stores digital loyalty cards and helps customers research products. The app will encourage consumers to scan products to view additional product information and reviews. In addition, the app allows members to look up their purchase history and view a digital version of their loyalty card. Users will also have access to how-to videos and directions for do-it-yourself projects.

Logistics: Is Your Logistics Provider Prepared for the New Face of Shipping? – Supply & Demand Chain Executive

Amazon recently announced its “anticipatory shipping” patent, which would allow companies to initiate shipping processes before customers actually make a purchase. While reducing shipping costs was once retailers’ goal there is now a higher importance on the user experience. Our CEO Maria Haggerty explained the implications that the new face of shipping will have on third-party logistics providers. “If the anticipatory model catches on and other retailers take a shot at predicting orders, their fulfillment providers would need to start picking and packing orders with no guarantee that they are actually placed.”

Retail: Retailers Have Gravitated Toward One Type of RFID Technology, But Is That the Best Strategy?  - Supply Chain Brain

Retailers are rolling out RFID technology with a variety of strategies based on what’s beneficial for the store. While smart shelves have yet to receive adoption in the brick-and-mortar industry, exit monitoring and store illumination are slowly entering the retail space. The article links to ChainLink Research, which provides more data on the evolution of RFID.