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Alibaba’s B2B Platform for U.S. Sellers, Sunday Deliveries Coming to UPS, and Grainger’s Ecommerce Investment

Alibaba Opens Its B2B Platform to U.S. Sellers

Alibaba is once again making global plays. The chinese ecommerce giant’s B2B marketplace,, is now opening its platform to small and medium-sized U.S. sellers. This move not only expands the company’s global presence in the B2B ecommerce space, but also competes directly with Amazon Business, Amazon’s growing B2B marketplace business. “Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms,” says John Caplan, Head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “With 10 million active business buyers in over 190 countries and regions, we are reshaping B2B commerce by providing the tools and services needed for U.S. SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”

What stood out to us?

The mass, global commoditization of everything.

Sunday Pickup and Delivery Coming to UPS in 2020

UPS is the latest company to realize that ecommerce doesn’t stop on Sundays. The shipping giant will begin offering Sunday deliveries and pickup this coming year. Sunday deliveries will also include SurePost deliveries handled by the U.S. Postal Service.  This move was driven by FedEx’s decision to start seven-day delivery services earlier this year, in addition to the pressure both companies are feeling from Amazon’s constant overnight cargo-airline services and ground-delivery network. “Building on an expanded relationship with the Postal Service to help deliver seven-day service to our customers makes good business sense,” says UPS chief marketing officer Kevin Warren.

What stood out to us?

Is nothing sacred?

Grainger Investing in Ecommerce to Drive Sales

Grainger has spent the last few months building and refining its ecommerce, and it isn’t stopping there. The distributor of equipment and industrial supplies announced this week that it is investing in its ecommerce and distribution operations to drive sales. This will be accomplished through the company’s “endless aisle” strategy, where it makes as much of its large catalog of products available to buy online, which is set to be completed by 2020. Other improvements part of the company’s ecommerce initiative include a new product information management system, and adding 1 million more SKUs by end-of-year as well. Grainger is also upgrading its distribution facilities and plans to make 600,000 products available for quick shipments. “We’re optimistic for our growth going forward,” says Grainger CEO D.G. Macpherson, “[Grainger’s investments in ecommerce] continues to be profitable—and a fast grower.”

What stood out to us?

Which is the third horse in the race? Grainger, Alibaba or Amazon?

In the headlines

  • Share the love: Starbucks is licensing its mobile and loyalty technology to global franchisees.
  • Big surprise: 89% of Kaiser Permanente patients are interested in their future doctors appointments to be over video.
  • Feel-Good Commerce: Many major retailers including Kohls are offering adaptive apparel for children with disabilities.
  • Put it in the Trunk: Honda drivers can now have Amazon packages delivered to the trunk of their car.

Before you go

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