E-commerce dominates pre- and post-Thanksgiving shopping
While a significant amount of shoppers elected to get into fist-fights over a TV a few hours into the digestion of their turkey dinner, many more waited to shop from the comfort of their own homes on Cyber Monday. In fact, with e-commerce continuing to change the way people shop, the significance of Black Friday has decreased. Widespread online deals starting on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the anticipation of online deals on Cyber Monday led to decreased foot traffic and sales for brick and mortar stores compared to the previous year.
Online shoppers accounted for over $3 billion in sales this year on Cyber Monday, which made it the largest online shopping day in history. Top retailers benefiting from this day dedicated to shopping were Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Target and Best Buy. A notable trend to keep an eye on in the future was the $838 million spent on mobile devices, an increase of 53% over last year. This e-commerce boom begs the logistical question of ‘who is delivering all of these packages?`. Does this mean big business for logistics start-ups in the sharing economy space, or will legacy delivery brands be able to handle the load? Only time will tell.
For more on the success of Cyber Monday and e-commerce, click here.
“Thieves going nuts for nuts” in California
In our wrap-up two weeks ago, we covered the increasing rate of cargo theft in Europe and noted a surge in heists related to the food supply chain. It seems as though this trend has carried over to the United States, with a specific target being California nut deliveries. Pistachio and walnut loads are being targeted by sophisticated crime rings as these nuts can net at least $300,000 per load on the market. Up until this point, nut truck drivers have not been held at gun point, but rather sophisticated schemes implementing identity theft are being used to pull off the heist. For example, fraudulent truck drivers are showing up to farms and processors with fake identifications and are able to drive off with the payload. As you will hear in the video below, thieves really are going nuts for nuts:
Read more on the nut issue in California here.
Amazon Prime Air – Closer to reality than we think?
Over the weekend, Amazon revealed its new Prime Air drone prototype, once again displaying its commitment to the planned delivery method, despite strong skepticism. The unmanned aircraft contains useful elements of both a helicopter and an airplane, and is able to travel up to 15 miles at an altitude of 400 feet. A major difference to the company’s initial design is the storage of the delivery in a sealed fuselage, rather than below the aircraft. It was a timely announcement for Amazon, namely one day before Cyber Monday, during which its website experienced a strong wave of shoppers.
With the FAA set to announce new rules for the use of commercial drones in June 2016 and NASA actively working on an air-traffic control system for drones, the 30-minute delivery program imagined by Amazon may be closer than many skeptics think. Have a look at the new prototype in action:
While entertaining, it remains to be seen how the service would work, for example, in poor weather conditions. Furthermore, theft and privacy issues remain a major concern. It will be interesting to monitor how this develops in the coming years.
For more on this story, click here.