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Amazon Lifts FedEx Ban, Bradford White’s B2B Policy, and Tractor Supply’s New Omnichannel Services

FedEx Express Van

Amazon Lifts FedEx Ground Delivery Ban

On December 16, 2019, Amazon restricted third-party merchants from using FedEx’s ground delivery network during the holiday season because shoppers weren’t receiving their gifts fast enough. On January 14, 2020,  Amazon finally lifted the restrictions placed on FedEx. During the FedEx ban period, third-party merchants had to find different ways to make holiday deliveries, with many turning to UPS’ ground service. Also during the ban period, FedEx improved its on-time performance and delivery rate, most likely influencing Amazon to lift the ban. “This is good news for our mutual customers who have come to rely on the FedEx Ground offering,” says FedEx in a statement. “Our service levels have been very strong throughout a historic peak season.”

What stood out to us?

FedEx delivers. Except when Amazon says it can’t.

Hot Water Pipes

Bradford White’s Updated B2B Ecommerce Policy

Bradford White, a manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters, has found success utilizing an evolving B2B ecommerce policy. In a Q&A with Digital Commerce 360, Carl Pinto Jr., director of marketing communications for Bradford White, explains that as part of its revised policy, the company sells online strictly to its core customers of certified wholesalers and distributors, and has no intention to sell products online directly to consumers. This decision was made in part due to growing demand by the company’s wholesalers wanting to sell complete lines of appliances online to their contractor customers, and to prevent unauthorized online vendors from selling their products. “We worked to create a policy that balanced the needs of customers wanting to engage in ecommerce with our company’s core philosophy of engineering and manufacturing products for installation by professional contractors,” says Pinto. “Bradford White promotes installation by professional, qualified installers to ensure compatibility of product selection and proper and safe installation.”

What stood out to us?

A policy that trumps customer desires.

A big beautiful green tractor

Tractor Supply’s New Omnichannel Services

After years of planning, Farm supplies retailer Tractor Supply Co. has implemented an ominchannel service to its 1,900 stores. Instead of calling the company’s customer service call center to check in-store availability of products, 50% of Tractor Supply’s ecommerce orders are now in-store pick ups. This option, which has significantly reduced customer service phone calls, is just the start of Tractor Supply’s omnichannel strategy. The company is testing different ways to decrease the time a customer spends waiting to pick up an in store online order, including a button shoppers can hit to alert an associate that a customer with an online order is waiting, lockers for online order pick up and an open-shelf pickup area. “We all have to be flexible and try to do new and different things,” says Letitia Webster, senior vice president of ecommerce, omnichannel and master data management at Tractor Supply. “We don’t need to find the next big thing, but we all have to think about change.”

What stood out to us?

50% of Tractor Supply’s ecommerce orders are now in-store pick ups.

In the headlines

  • Pick It Up Instead: One of the hottest holiday shopping trends in 2019 was picking up online orders in-store.
  • In the Weeds: Marijuana delivery giant Eaze is going into fundraising as it struggles to stay afloat.
  • Distributor Shake Up: David Rawlinson, president of Grainger Online, is leaving the industrial supply distributor to join Nielsen Global Connect.
  • Tourist Commerce: ToursByLocals, a service that sources local guides to tourists, earned $25M in funding this week.

Before you go

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