Reviewing the Landscape of Startups Tackling the Retail Returns Problem

Hand giving credit card and take paper bag from staff cashier in supermarket

As e-commerce continues to grow, so, too, does the range of services designed to tackle returns, one of the biggest headaches that comes with online retail. American consumers returned approximately $351 billion of merchandise bought offline and online last year,… Continue Reading

The State of Artificial Intelligence: Where Are We Now?

Robot holds a finger near the head. 3D illustration

The term “artificial intelligence” (or “AI”) is en vogue and is often incorrectly used to refer to things that do not technically qualify as AI. Processors can add apparent “intelligence” to machines by enabling them to turn thermostats on and… Continue Reading

It’s All About India as Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba Go Head to Head

amazon boxes2

The Amazon-Walmart-Alibaba battle is no longer focused on China. Now, it’s all about India as these three firms go head to head in the second-most-populous country on earth. In just the past week, Amazon has become the first foreign e-commerce… Continue Reading

Fewer Happy Returns in Retail Land as Companies Tighten Generous Return Policies

Vintage leather and rubber winter snow or rain boots. Studio shot on a gray background.

Retailers have finally started to scale back liberal return policies in the face of a litany of abuses by customers. Although there are many legitimate reasons for returns—including receipt of a damaged product, the wrong item or a product that… Continue Reading

Amazon Finally Opens Its Amazon Go Store…in a Changed, Crowded World

Source: istockphoto

On January 22, Amazon finally opened its unstaffed, cashless Amazon Go retail store to the public, and long lines of consumers queued up to get a glimpse of the future of retail. The store achieves its cashier-free magic by relying… Continue Reading

CES 2018 Wrap-Up: Lots of Nice Toys, but No Killer Apps This Year

Volkswagen selects Nvidia to infuse AI into future vehicle lineup

The FGRT team attended this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas last week. From the preshow press days through the final day of exhibits, it was, as usual, a whirlwind experience. There seemed to be no new killer apps… Continue Reading

Reviewing Retail in 2017, Part 2: Collaborations

Source: istockphoto

As retail’s foundations shifted in 2017, legacy retailers sought out collaborations designed to drive shopper traffic, build their appeal to demographics such as millennials and maximize the value of their real estate holdings. This trend was particularly apparent in the… Continue Reading

“Will that Be Cash, Credit, WeChat Pay or Alipay?”

Mobile commerce

Some 40 years ago, American Express told its credit card holders, “Don’t leave home without it.” If that famous ad campaign were created today, it would likely refer to users’ smartphones, not their credit cards. That is because electronic payment… Continue Reading

Channel Swaps: Walmart Online vs. Amazon Offline

Walmart Truck

Walmart versus Amazon is perhaps the biggest retail battle of our times—and Amazon’s encroachment into brick-and-mortar grocery retailing with its Whole Foods Market acquisition has only heightened the competition. Coincidentally, both of these retail giants have recently made the unusual… Continue Reading

Alibaba Shattered Singles’ Day Records Again in 2017—Here’s How

Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala in Shanghai, China
Source: FGRT

Singles’ Day, November 11, is the biggest online shopping day in the world. The holiday was originally created in the 1990s by Chinese college students who wanted to celebrate their single status. In 2009, Alibaba used the idea to market… Continue Reading