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Abu Dhabi-based micromobility operator Fenix launches 10-minute grocery delivery service

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United Arab Emirates-based shared micromobility operator Fenix is expanding the use of its electric scooters and back-end logistics to not only move people, but also to move goods. On Tuesday, the company announced the launch of a 10-minute fresh grocery delivery service on Reem Island, a dense, mixed-use development off the coast of Abu Dhabi. 

Fenix’s new service, F10, will utilize available vehicles from the operator’s normal shared fleet for deliveries. Delivery riders will also be considered shared resources with Fenix’s e-scooter service, taking turns between making fast deliveries and swapping batteries. The company is building a single integrated platform to manage the fleets and services.

The shared e-scooter business is still new and has not yet been incredibly profitable for existing operators due in large part to the low life expectancy of the vehicles and the cost of paying workers to swap batteries. Fenix’s expanded business model is a novel way to make the most out of the sunk cost of its hardware and employee base while also exploring a market that is expected to grow by nearly $632 billion over the next three years, according to market research and advisory company Technavio.

Logistically speaking, Fenix might be onto something. Its “dark stores,” or compact, private retail facilities, are scattered around Reem Island in optimized locations, each with a large catchment area that falls within a narrow delivery radius, according to Jaideep Dhanoa, co-founder and CEO of Fenix. Dhanoa did not reveal how many dark stores the company has placed throughout the island.  

For Fenix, the dark store is also a distributed charging center for our swappable battery e-scooter operations, which allows us to share the real estate costs between the two businesses and also increase the productivity of our e-scooter operations via more distributed charging locations,” said Dhanoa.

Dhanoa said Fenix’s full-time employees, who are all company stakeholders, are trained to accept, pick and pack items for delivery in the dark stores within two minutes before relaying the goods to a rider who has a mere eight minutes to make it to the customer. Not a stressful situation at all! It wouldn’t be surprising to see Fenix’s next funding round focus on R&D for robots that will gather groceries faster and without the pressure of human error.

Such quick delivery couldn’t be done without urban density, which is largely what drew Fenix to Reem Island. The small island, which is one of the only free zones in the city where foreign nationals can buy property, holds a residential population of about 100,000 people. Dhanoa said the island also presents multiple use cases in the form of residential and commercial towers and shopping malls. 

“Wherever there is a dense population, there will be a market for F10,” said Dhanoa. 

The new business expansion was in part funded by an undisclosed round that was recently raised from existing investors, like Maniv Mobility, the Israeli venture firm that also funded electric mobility company Revel and invested $3.8 million in Fenix’s seed round last November. (Maniv Mobility’s investment in Fenix was the first time an Israeli firm invested in a business from the UAE, a sign that companies are making good on the Abraham Accords’ promise to normalize relations between the two countries.) But Dhanoa told TechCrunch that the costs of launching the F10 delivery service didn’t require deep pockets, “given the unique synergies with our existing micromobiltiy business.”

The F10 app can be downloaded in the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. To kick things off, Fenix is offering new users their first order up to AED 50 (~$14 USD) for free.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/13/abu-dhabi-based-micromobility-operator-fenix-launches-10-minute-grocery-delivery-service/

Ecommerce

Walmart to sell its e-commerce technologies to other retailers

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Walmart’s investments in software and retail technologies it used to transform its business from a brick-and-mortar to one that combines both in-person and online shopping will now be made available to other retailers for the first time, the company announced today. Through a strategic partnership with Adobe, Walmart will integrate access to Walmart’s Marketplace, as well as its various online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technologies, into the Adobe Commerce Platform.

The technologies will be made available to both Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source customers, Adobe says.

The deal will allow Walmart to potentially reach thousands of small to mid-sized retailers, who will effectively be able to tap into the same tools that one of the largest global retailers is using to run their business.

Through the partnership, Adobe retail customers will be able to do things like show store pickup eligibility and available pickup times online; offer multiple pickup options like curbside and in-store pickup; provide their store associates with mobile tools to pick for orders, validate item selections and handle substitutions; and use tools to communicate with customers about their pickup orders, like those where customers can alert store associates of their ETA or arrival for curbside pickup.

Another aspect of the partnership will allow retailers to syndicate and sell their products across Walmart’s Marketplace.

The arrangement not only aims to benefit Walmart’s bottom line as it offers new revenue streams related to retail technologies, it could also serve as another tool in Walmart’s battle with Amazon for online retail dominance.

Retail businesses will use the Adobe Commerce platform to reach an expanded set of customers by listing products on Walmart’s Marketplace and then leverage Walmart’s Fulfillment Services to offer two-day shopping across the U.S.

And this, in turn, could boost the number of available products sold on Walmart’s Marketplace, which is still largely dwarfed by Amazon.

Walmart’s Marketplace had grown to an estimated 70,000 sellers in 2020, fueled by a surge in online shopping triggered by the pandemic, according to third-party estimates. This was a more than doubling over 2019. Today, the marketplace is topping 100,000 sellers, per Marketplace Pulse data. Amazon’s Marketplace, on the other hand, counts an estimated 6.3 million total sellers worldwide, 1.5 million of which are currently active, per estimates.

Part of Walmart’s problem in scaling its marketplace business could be related to its ease-of-use on the seller side. Many smaller sellers have reported that Walmart’s Marketplace is far more difficult to use than Amazon’s, and they’ve complained about waiting months to hear back from Walmart about whether they were approved to sell on the platform.

Adobe’s partnership could help to address some of those challenges.

Adobe also notes it’s working to consolidate its other channel solutions into a single, unified extension that would allow its retail customers to sell across multiple sales channels — including Amazon’s — using one, integrated tool for easy account setup and catalog syndication.

This is the first time Walmart has made its retail technologies available to other businesses, the company said. And it has yet to forecast what sort of revenue the new partnership could bring in. But it’s a path that Amazon has also been pursuing in recent years to maximize the return on investment from its novel, retail innovations, like its A.I. and computer vision-powered Just Walk Out system that lets customers skip the checkout line.

“The core mission of helping people save money and live better is at the heart of every idea including Scan & Go and checkout technologies, AI-powered smart substitutions and pickup and delivery,” said Suresh Kumar, chief technology officer and chief development officer of Walmart Inc., in a statement. “Combining Adobe’s strength in powering commerce experiences with our unmatched omni-customer expertise, we can accelerate other companies’ digital transformations,” he said.

Adobe’s retail customers in the U.S. will be able to integrate Walmart’s technologies in their own storefronts starting in early 2022, the companies said. Pricing and other details will be provided closer to launch.

While today’s announcement concerns channel partner Adobe, who will help to resell the technologies, Walmart also has a GoToMarket team that will target retailers directly.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/walmart-to-sell-its-e-commerce-technologies-to-other-retailers/

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Ecommerce

Walmart to sell its e-commerce technologies to other retailers

Published

on

Walmart’s investments in software and retail technologies it used to transform its business from a brick-and-mortar to one that combines both in-person and online shopping will now be made available to other retailers for the first time, the company announced today. Through a strategic partnership with Adobe, Walmart will integrate access to Walmart’s Marketplace, as well as its various online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technologies, into the Adobe Commerce Platform.

The technologies will be made available to both Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source customers, Adobe says.

The deal will allow Walmart to potentially reach thousands of small to mid-sized retailers, who will effectively be able to tap into the same tools that one of the largest global retailers is using to run their business.

Through the partnership, Adobe retail customers will be able to do things like show store pickup eligibility and available pickup times online; offer multiple pickup options like curbside and in-store pickup; provide their store associates with mobile tools to pick for orders, validate item selections and handle substitutions; and use tools to communicate with customers about their pickup orders, like those where customers can alert store associates of their ETA or arrival for curbside pickup.

Another aspect of the partnership will allow retailers to syndicate and sell their products across Walmart’s Marketplace.

The arrangement not only aims to benefit Walmart’s bottom line as it offers new revenue streams related to retail technologies, it could also serve as another tool in Walmart’s battle with Amazon for online retail dominance.

Retail businesses will use the Adobe Commerce platform to reach an expanded set of customers by listing products on Walmart’s Marketplace and then leverage Walmart’s Fulfillment Services to offer two-day shopping across the U.S.

And this, in turn, could boost the number of available products sold on Walmart’s Marketplace, which is still largely dwarfed by Amazon.

Walmart’s Marketplace had grown to an estimated 70,000 sellers in 2020, fueled by a surge in online shopping triggered by the pandemic, according to third-party estimates. This was a more than doubling over 2019. Today, the marketplace is topping 100,000 sellers, per Marketplace Pulse data. Amazon’s Marketplace, on the other hand, counts an estimated 6.3 million total sellers worldwide, 1.5 million of which are currently active, per estimates.

Part of Walmart’s problem in scaling its marketplace business could be related to its ease-of-use on the seller side. Many smaller sellers have reported that Walmart’s Marketplace is far more difficult to use than Amazon’s, and they’ve complained about waiting months to hear back from Walmart about whether they were approved to sell on the platform.

Adobe’s partnership could help to address some of those challenges.

Adobe also notes it’s working to consolidate its other channel solutions into a single, unified extension that would allow its retail customers to sell across multiple sales channels — including Amazon’s — using one, integrated tool for easy account setup and catalog syndication.

This is the first time Walmart has made its retail technologies available to other businesses, the company said. And it has yet to forecast what sort of revenue the new partnership could bring in. But it’s a path that Amazon has also been pursuing in recent years to maximize the return on investment from its novel, retail innovations, like its A.I. and computer vision-powered Just Walk Out system that lets customers skip the checkout line.

“The core mission of helping people save money and live better is at the heart of every idea including Scan & Go and checkout technologies, AI-powered smart substitutions and pickup and delivery,” said Suresh Kumar, chief technology officer and chief development officer of Walmart Inc., in a statement. “Combining Adobe’s strength in powering commerce experiences with our unmatched omni-customer expertise, we can accelerate other companies’ digital transformations,” he said.

Adobe’s retail customers in the U.S. will be able to integrate Walmart’s technologies in their own storefronts starting in early 2022, the companies said. Pricing and other details will be provided closer to launch.

While today’s announcement concerns channel partner Adobe, who will help to resell the technologies, Walmart also has a GoToMarket team that will target retailers directly.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/walmart-to-sell-its-e-commerce-technologies-to-other-retailers/

Continue Reading

Ecommerce

Walmart to sell its e-commerce technologies to other retailers

Published

on

Walmart’s investments in software and retail technologies it used to transform its business from a brick-and-mortar to one that combines both in-person and online shopping will now be made available to other retailers for the first time, the company announced today. Through a strategic partnership with Adobe, Walmart will integrate access to Walmart’s Marketplace, as well as its various online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technologies, into the Adobe Commerce Platform.

The technologies will be made available to both Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source customers, Adobe says.

The deal will allow Walmart to potentially reach thousands of small to mid-sized retailers, who will effectively be able to tap into the same tools that one of the largest global retailers is using to run their business.

Through the partnership, Adobe retail customers will be able to do things like show store pickup eligibility and available pickup times online; offer multiple pickup options like curbside and in-store pickup; provide their store associates with mobile tools to pick for orders, validate item selections and handle substitutions; and use tools to communicate with customers about their pickup orders, like those where customers can alert store associates of their ETA or arrival for curbside pickup.

Another aspect of the partnership will allow retailers to syndicate and sell their products across Walmart’s Marketplace.

The arrangement not only aims to benefit Walmart’s bottom line as it offers new revenue streams related to retail technologies, it could also serve as another tool in Walmart’s battle with Amazon for online retail dominance.

Retail businesses will use the Adobe Commerce platform to reach an expanded set of customers by listing products on Walmart’s Marketplace and then leverage Walmart’s Fulfillment Services to offer two-day shopping across the U.S.

And this, in turn, could boost the number of available products sold on Walmart’s Marketplace, which is still largely dwarfed by Amazon.

Walmart’s Marketplace had grown to an estimated 70,000 sellers in 2020, fueled by a surge in online shopping triggered by the pandemic, according to third-party estimates. This was a more than doubling over 2019. Today, the marketplace is topping 100,000 sellers, per Marketplace Pulse data. Amazon’s Marketplace, on the other hand, counts an estimated 6.3 million total sellers worldwide, 1.5 million of which are currently active, per estimates.

Part of Walmart’s problem in scaling its marketplace business could be related to its ease-of-use on the seller side. Many smaller sellers have reported that Walmart’s Marketplace is far more difficult to use than Amazon’s, and they’ve complained about waiting months to hear back from Walmart about whether they were approved to sell on the platform.

Adobe’s partnership could help to address some of those challenges.

Adobe also notes it’s working to consolidate its other channel solutions into a single, unified extension that would allow its retail customers to sell across multiple sales channels — including Amazon’s — using one, integrated tool for easy account setup and catalog syndication.

This is the first time Walmart has made its retail technologies available to other businesses, the company said. And it has yet to forecast what sort of revenue the new partnership could bring in. But it’s a path that Amazon has also been pursuing in recent years to maximize the return on investment from its novel, retail innovations, like its A.I. and computer vision-powered Just Walk Out system that lets customers skip the checkout line.

“The core mission of helping people save money and live better is at the heart of every idea including Scan & Go and checkout technologies, AI-powered smart substitutions and pickup and delivery,” said Suresh Kumar, chief technology officer and chief development officer of Walmart Inc., in a statement. “Combining Adobe’s strength in powering commerce experiences with our unmatched omni-customer expertise, we can accelerate other companies’ digital transformations,” he said.

Adobe’s retail customers in the U.S. will be able to integrate Walmart’s technologies in their own storefronts starting in early 2022, the companies said. Pricing and other details will be provided closer to launch.

While today’s announcement concerns channel partner Adobe, who will help to resell the technologies, Walmart also has a GoToMarket team that will target retailers directly.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/walmart-to-sell-its-e-commerce-technologies-to-other-retailers/

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Artificial Intelligence

Same-day delivery apps need more than speed to survive post-pandemic

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We have entered a whole new era of e-commerce centered on speed and convenience. Business leaders are being forced to prioritize delivery capabilities and push for more accelerated delivery services.

“Fast/reliable delivery” was the most important online shopping attribute among the more than 8,500 consumers queried for PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, making it clear that delivery services will only become more crucial across the e-commerce landscape.

Now that consumers have grown accustomed to same-day (and same-hour) delivery service models, customer expectations for delivery options will only increase.

In fact, according to a recent report from the mobile app intelligence platform SensorTower, the top food delivery apps saw continued growth in January and February 2021, with installs up 14% year over year. And yet, despite climbing user growth, DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub remain unprofitable. So how can business leaders design rapid delivery models that meet consumer expectations — and still make money?

If your delivery service results in a poor customer experience, you’ll be less likely to win customer loyalty just because you offer faster delivery.

The challenge: Delivery apps need more than speed to drive profitability

To remain competitive, delivery apps are rethinking their services and broadening their offerings.

“Amazon powers next-day delivery,” Raj Beri, Uber’s global head of grocery and new verticals, said in May. “We’re going to power next-hour commerce.”

But speeding up the delivery process won’t necessarily drive revenue. More importantly, if your delivery service results in a poor customer experience, you’ll be less likely to win customer loyalty just because you offer faster delivery.

The primary challenge faced by delivery apps, or any e-commerce company looking to add delivery services as part of its offerings, is building a foundation that enables not only speed and convenience for the customer, but one that takes into account all aspects of the customer experience. For example, when delivering food, the business responsible for the delivery must make sure the food is handled safely and remain free of any contaminants. The temperature — whether hot or cold — must be maintained throughout the delivery process and the order itself must be correct.

The solution: Same-day delivery relies on sophisticated technology platforms

The “Uberization” of everything, combined with dramatically elevated consumer expectations, will take much more than a delivery app and fleet of drivers for businesses to be profitable. To follow through on the promise of same-day delivery services, a number of things need to happen without any missteps between when an order is placed and when it shows up at the customer’s door. The more complex the product being delivered, the more difficult the delivery process becomes.

To enable same-day delivery services while also reaching profitability, a delivery app must take into account the technology needed to meet customer expectations. It involves much more than simply designing an app and growing user numbers. A truly successful same-day delivery model that provides an exceptional customer experience relies on a sophisticated software platform that can simultaneously manage various aspects of the customer journey, all while making it appear seamless from the customer’s point of view.

Profitable delivery services are built on automated systems powered by artificial intelligence systems and robotics. The technology must come first, before the app and before user growth. Any other delivery business model is putting the cart before the horse.

Domino’s Pizza is a brand that has perfected the delivery process and vastly improved the overall customer experience by making technology core to their business model. The key moment came when the brand defined itself as an e-commerce company that sells pizza. It committed to data applications and implemented a robotics technology platform that enabled electronic delivery systems that added speed and efficiency to the delivery process. In April, Domino’s began rolling out a robot car delivery service to select customers in Houston via Nuro.

GrubHub is also taking steps to integrate robotic capabilities into its delivery process. According to recent reports, the company announced it would be adding self-driving units that deploy drone-like robots to deliver food to college students. The program, which will roll out on a limited number of U.S. college campuses this fall, aims to reduce delivery times and, hopefully, costs.

This focus on technology is crucial in the world of delivery apps, or for any businesses forced to compete in the newly emerging category of next-hour commerce. The key to building a successful, profitable business model is to invest in technology platforms that can connect all components of the customer journey, from opening an app and clicking on a product to purchasing the product and scheduling the delivery, and beyond.

Same-day delivery: Where to go from here

In a world where everyone wants to open an app on their phone and have whatever it is they need to be delivered within an hour, it’s tempting for business leaders to focus on the delivery app itself, whether they are building their own or partnering with another company. But focusing on the app is a shortsighted view of same-day delivery models.

Instead, business leaders must use a wide-angle lens and consider every single aspect of their customer journey: How do customers engage with their business? How do customers search for and find the products they offer? What does it take to complete an order and what conditions must be met before the order can be delivered? Also, what happens after the order to ensure it went smoothly and to the customer’s satisfaction?

Some businesses are finding success partnering with delivery apps, but this comes with the risk of putting your brand’s reputation in the hands of another company that acts as a frontline employee with customers. Other companies are adding delivery service options to their current e-commerce model, relying on third-party software that can be plugged into an existing technology stack. Unfortunately, this comes with limitations and is not viable for regulated businesses that include multiple components.

The only way to ensure a seamless customer experience on top of same-day delivery services is to build a proprietary software platform that puts the technology at the heart of your business, which allows you to automate key processes, adding speed and convenience to your delivery model. It also makes it possible to integrate robotic systems that can expedite orders, include artificial intelligence protocols that can accelerate business growth, and scale your delivery model as your business expands.

Thriving in the new era of e-commerce

“Next-hour delivery” is a catchy tagline that is sure to gain traction among consumers, but whether it will help drive profitability remains to be seen. As the CEO of a firm that has built a profitable business model centered on same-day delivery services, I’m skeptical that the promise of next-hour delivery will drive more revenue if the technology powering the delivery systems lacks automation, artificial intelligence and robotics.

It’s true that businesses will be forced to compete on same-day delivery. But another truth that has emerged since the pandemic is that this new era of e-commerce comes with heightened customer expectations that won’t be met on speed alone. Consumer satisfaction hinges on more than the amount of time it takes to move an order from an app to the customer’s door.

To succeed in the delivery service market, business leaders must ask themselves a number of questions: Which parts of their business are needed to complete a same-day delivery order? Is the ordering process intuitive? Can the order and delivery be monitored by the customer? Is the order correct when it arrives? Does it meet the customer’s expectations?

And, most importantly, is their business built on a technology platform that can support the entire customer journey and delivery model, from product discovery and purchase to same-day delivery and beyond? The businesses that answer yes to these questions are the ones I expect to thrive in the post-pandemic world.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/27/same-day-delivery-apps-need-more-than-speed-to-survive-post-pandemic/

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