Alphabet’s Waterfront Project in Toronto Runs into Turbulence

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has run into turbulence on the way towards the creation of a dramatic new waterfront neighborhood in Toronto. The project may still get a greenlight, but tech players hoping to leverage the next wave of urban development would do well to note its problems as a case study. Tech players, of course, are envisioning … Read more

Groceryshop Summary: Getting On the Road to ‘Relationship Commerce’

One reason Amazon bought Whole Foods was to serve as a Local Commerce Logistics Center. Today, two years after the acquisition, Whole Foods is on the cutting edge of new trends like Amazon Prime loyalty extensions, Amazon in-store display and delivery. The sale also shook up a nearly $1 Trillion grocery segment in the US/Canada … Read more

Groceryshop: Aiming for ‘More Available, Accessible and Relevant’

Next generation grocery stores face a challenging environment. But at this week’s inaugural Groceryshop event in Las Vegas, with 3,000 participants, industry executives and tech vendors suggested that store enhancements, omnichannel and assisted-shopping capabilities and final mile delivery choices will help them avoid the “retail apocalypse” afflicting other multi-channel retailers. More than 30,000 grocery stores in the … Read more

Facebook Approaches Banks for a New Generation of ‘Transaction Marketing’

Facebook’s reach out to banks and credit card companies for customer bank balance, transaction data and fraud alerts, per today’s Wall Street Journal, signals a second, more cautious run at “transaction marketing.” The WSJ article details an effort by Facebook to support Messenger via customer data, making it feel safer to use the messaging service to … Read more

Walmart Groceries: The Search for Tech that ‘Bends the Curve’

Walmart has been stepping on the gas in its efforts to extend its audience and keep Amazon and others at bay. Its efforts have won kudos – at the Groceryshop events this week in Las Vegas, the company was specifically singled by Morgan Stanley and others as a digital leader in online groceries. Walmart SVP of Digital Operations … Read more

GroceryShop: Instacart Woos Grocery and CPG Players

As online originated grocery delivery becomes a bigger factor, a handful of players, including PostMates, UberEats and Instacart, have intensified their efforts to partner with leading grocery, specialty food and CPB companies and blunt the expected ambitions of Amazon/Whole Foods. Speaking at the inaugural GroceryShop event today in Las Vegas, InstaCart CEO Apoorva Mehta said his San Francisco-based company is … Read more

Investors Refocus on Delivery Services: A Big Cog for Local E Commerce?

Interest in delivery services is heating up, as investors are looking at them to not only fulfill food orders, but boost business via convenience, impulse buys and cross-over leads. Looking ahead, delivery services may come to mean a lot more. Some are providing their clients with marketing analytics. Others are seeking to verticalize beyond food … Read more

Book Review: Kidder’s ‘New to Big’

Giant companies buy other companies all the times with the goal of diversifying, maintaining revenue growth and leveraging their infrastructure (See Disney, Fox). Such acquisitions are designed to be “Big to Bigger.” But can companies seed their own farm teams via new business units, startup acquisitions and partnerships? Can they truly transform their companies to … Read more