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The Battle For E-Commerce Dominance Is Wide Open

The rapid expansion of the e-commerce industry has not only led to difficulties for brick-and-mortar stores, but it has also disrupted delivery infrastructure.


An issue known as last mile delivery has resulted in massive financial losses for couriers and retailers alike due to delivery delays and repeat delivery attempts, Recode reportsBut this issue has also left an opening for innovation and change in the industry — and it is a void that many startups are already beginning to fill.

Take Farmigo, for example. The software company helps farmers and agricultural companies ship and manage Community Supported Agriculture boxes through an app that handles easy ordering, shipping and delivery. It also reduces last mile delivery costs by including incentives for customers who get their neighbors to order as well. Shippo, meanwhile, is a platform that allows brands to embed tracking in their packages in an effort to avoid delivery mishaps and theft. 

Bigger brands are also focusing on solving the last mile challenge. In an effort to speed up deliveries, Target acquired a transportation company called Grand Junction. The retailer has since launched Restock, a same-day delivery program. Similarly, Walmart recently rolled out Pickup Towers, which act like vending machines and allow customers to easily and safely pick up their online orders.

The retail giant also announced its partnership with delivery service August, which allows professionals to stock shoppers groceries within their home. The smart lock system August designed provides delivery people with one-time access to a customers home so they can drop off a package and safely leave, all while the customer is watching from a smartphone device, if they so choose.