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US Ecommerce Grows 44% in 2020, Buy Buy Baby Debuts 3D Nursery Design Tool and Walmart To Add Automated Micro-Fulfillment to Dozens of Stores

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US Ecommerce Grows 44% in 2020

Consumers spent $861.12B online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up 44.0% year over year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1% jump in 2019. Online’s share of total retail sales has steadily been on the rise, with ecommerce penetration hitting 21.3% in 2020, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That is up from 15.8% in 2019 and 14.3% in 2018. The more than five-percentage point gain in ecommerce penetration is by far the biggest year over year jump for U.S. retail sales ever recorded. No previous years have even reached a two percentage-point gain in digital penetration.

What stood out to us? COVID, the great accelerator of trends.


Buy Buy Baby Debuts 3D Nursery Design Tool

BuyBuy Baby introduced a 3D nursery design tool to help expecting parents create their ideal space, the retailer announced on Wednesday. The tool lets parents create and visualize a nursery in real time. Users can add and swap furniture and decor such as dressers, cribs, bedding, and rugs in and out of a room, and add selected items to their cart to purchase. It provides users with 15 pre-designed nurseries or lets parents start from an empty room. The technology is the latest service added to a collection of nursery design and digital shopping tools as part of the company's Design Squad platform available on BuyBuy Baby's website. 

What stood out to us? If only babies knew how babied they were.


Walmart To Add Automated Micro-Fulfillment to Dozens of Stores

Walmart will add automated micro-fulfillment centers to dozens of store locations, according to a company blog post. "With these partners, we'll be testing different orientations and add-on innovations to understand what works best in different environments," Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product for Walmart U.S., wrote in the company blog post. The company did not provide a timeline for the rollout or indicate where it will introduce the centers. The company will test a variety of configurations across multiple tech providers, including Alert Innovation, Dematic and Fabric. Some of Walmart's "local fulfillment centers," for example, will appear in existing store space, while others will be added on to the building. Walmart will also add automated drive-thru pickup points at select stores that allow shoppers to drive up, scan a code and collect their order.

What stood out to us? Walmart has approximately 4,756 stores or soon to be micro-distribution centers.

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