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E-Commerce
Trend Report for MHI & WERC
02.19.21
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Top 4: Virtual Marketplace
Virtual Marketplace
Top 4: E-Commerce Adaptation
E-Commerce Adaptation
Top 4: E-commerce Support
E-commerce Support
Top 4: Live E-Commerce
Live E-Commerce
Custom Report Briefing
E-Commerce
MHI & WERC
Tana
Feb 19th, 2021 Want an update on this report's topic? Click here.
This report takes a look at what's new in the e-commerce space, balancing between B2C and B2B innovations.
When it comes to what's new around e-commerce from Trend Hunter's perspective, we see the following key themes emerge:
1) Technology to help improve automation and push streamlined processes
2) Live, interactive consumer experiences to boost engagement
3) Supportive tactics for both consumers and businesses themselves
Idea Image: B2B Electric Delivery Services
B2B Electric Delivery Services
The 'BrightDrop' Service Provides Streamlined Delivery Packages
Idea Image: 5G Low Carbon Factories
5G Low Carbon Factories
Ericsson's 5G Smart Factory Uses Mobile Networks for Manufacturing
Idea Image: Hyper-Local Product Factories
Hyper-Local Product Factories
This Travel Factory is Being Trialled by Unilever in The Netherlands
Idea Image: Temperature-Controlled Delivery Boxes
Temperature-Controlled Delivery Boxes
The Walmart HomeValet Service is Being Updated
Idea Image: Carbon-Reducing E-Commerce Solutions
Carbon-Reducing E-Commerce Solutions
EcoCart Reduces Carbon Footprints For All Deliveries
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This hyper-condensed format provides a one-page snapshot of the highlights from your reports, giving you a bird's eye view of the top takeaways and insights.

For a brief and very high level view, this format solely features the Consumer Insight section of your report, ideal for a quick overview of the main takeaways in less than 30 slides.

Ideal for team meetings, ideation and brainstorming, this format incorporates all three report sections as outlined in the Classic format and features images and headlines for a much more visually focused report.

Our standard report format divides content into three sections: Consumer Insights which feature opportunities within a 1-5 year time frame, Clustered Lists for thorough competitor and market scoping and Individual Examples featuring best-in-class case studies.

This format includes all three report sections as featured in the Classic format (Consumer Insights, Clustered Lists and Examples) with article content included along with every idea for further reading.

Recommendations by Trend Hunter AI
View recommendations based on your team's interests and the content of this report.
Image Slide: Insights Title Page
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Smart Factory
Manufacturing tech is increasing productivity, efficiency, and customer experience
Trend - Brands have relied on robotic assistance to expedite processes in manufacturing facilities and many are taking it one step further with artificial intelligence, IoT, and other tech innovations. As a result, companies are increasing convenience, efficiency, and customer satisfaction while keeping costs down.

Insight - When making purchasing decisions—whether for a product or a service—contemporary consumers are aiming for ultimate satisfaction, which causes them to prioritize things like efficiency, convenience, delivery, and quality. This demand has only increased as many are aware of the benefits that technological tools offer and the plentitude of different options on the market that compete for consumer attention.
Innovative Digital Factories
Innovative Digital Factories
Alibaba Group Debuted Its Xunxi Digital Factory in September, 2020
Digital Robotic Hub Factories
Digital Robotic Hub Factories
HowToRobot Plans to Increase Robot Adoption for Small Businesses
Self-Driving Factory Forklifts
Self-Driving Factory Forklifts
The Conceptual 'Autonomo Fork Lift' Maximizes Safety
Automated Logistic Service Companies
Automated Logistic Service Companies
'Rios' Received $28 Million to Scale its Robot Production
SCORE 5.1
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Smart Factory
Manufacturing tech is increasing productivity, efficiency, and customer experience
Warehouses and factories are getting boosted with additional tech enhancements like AI or unique software solutions to help improve productivity and general efficiency. With the on-going need for speed and convenience, how can your business adapt to maintain those expectations?
Overlooked Opportunity #1 - Workshop Question
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Shoppable Dark Stores
Brands are converting or combining stores into micro-fulfillment spaces
Trend - "Dark stores" are miniature warehouse-adjacent spaces, whose sole purpose is to pack online orders for pick-up or delivery. Many retailers are turning their brick-and-mortar locations into micro-fulfillment hubs, or hybridizing these spaces as a bit of both, in order to satisfy demand during COVID-19. As a result, customers are not allowed inside.

Insight - During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have increasingly turned to e-commerce as a means to get products they need or want. The increase in online spending can be attributed to the fact that the experience offers them a convenient and safer alternative than going in-store. Often plagued by impatience—from dealing with an online interface to getting the product fast or in time for an occasion—individuals are emphasizing the need for efficiency in this space that allows for a seamless experience.
Commercial Micro-Fulfillment Solutions
Commercial Micro-Fulfillment Solutions
Dematic Helps Retailers in Addressing Consumer Demand
Online-Only Healthy Supermarkets
Online-Only Healthy Supermarkets
Whole Foods Market Opened a Delivery-Only Location in Brooklyn
Dark Grocery Stores
Dark Grocery Stores
The Walmart Pickup Point is Only Meant to Fulfill Online Orders
Dedicated Fulfillment Hubs
Dedicated Fulfillment Hubs
Bed, Bath & Beyond Introduces Regional Fulfillment Centers
SCORE 4.9
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Shoppable Dark Stores
Brands are converting or combining stores into micro-fulfillment spaces
How might you create a more seamless e-commerce experience that prioritizes the demand for instant satisfaction? What processes can you improve or potentially update to help satisfy potential influxes of fulfillment orders?
Overlooked Opportunity #2 - Workshop Question
ADD TO LIST link
E-commerce Support
E-commerce businesses are supporting the sellers they work with due to COVID-19
Trend - E-commerce companies are increasingly supporting the organizations in their supply chains that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The support comes in a number of different forms including cash advances, transition programs, offering discounts, and reducing storage fees.

Insight - E-commerce platforms are experiencing a drastic uptick in demand as many consumers are unable to, or unwilling, to shop in-store due to health and safety cocerns. Many of these e-commerce companies are facing pressure to capitalize on increases in demand, while ensuring the financial stability of the companies that supply products to e-commerce platforms. By supporting those they work with, these companies are able to create a mutually beneficial relationship with clients and sellers.
E-Commerce Financing Initiatives
E-Commerce Financing Initiatives
Merchant Growth is Distributing E-Commerce Funding Due to Demand
E-Commerce Cash Flow Influxes
E-Commerce Cash Flow Influxes
Shopify Will Distribute Interest Free-Cash Advances Due to COVID-19
E-Commerce COVID-19 Support
E-Commerce COVID-19 Support
Yo!Kart is Distributing COVID-19 Support to Various Businesses
E-Commerce Transitional Programs
E-Commerce Transitional Programs
eBay's Up and Running Program Helps Businesses Transition
Reduced E-Commerce Storage Fees
Reduced E-Commerce Storage Fees
Amazon Waived Inventory Storage Fees to Help Sellers Cope
SCORE 4.8
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Pattern of Opportunity: divergencePattern of Opportunity: acceleration
E-commerce Support
E-commerce businesses are supporting the sellers they work with due to COVID-19
When thinking about your e-commerce platform, how could you create support networks and tools that can help other businesses or sellers in your supply chain?
Overlooked Opportunity #3 - Workshop Question
ADD TO LIST link
Live E-Commerce
Live shopping experiences allow consumers to view as their items are selected
Trend - Live shopping apps and platforms offer a new way for consumers to engage with the e-commerce industry, allowing them to view their purchases as they're being made as an added form of interactivity.

Insight - Consumers are turning increasingly to e-commerce for the convenience those shopping experiences offer. However, the e-commerce industry isn't often able to replicate the more playful and interactive aspects of shopping that brick-and-mortar allows. Thus, consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce brands that are able to merge the convenience of online shopping with the interactivity of in-person shopping.
Live E-Commerce Platforms
Live E-Commerce Platforms
A Live Streaming E-Commerce Platform Named Whatnot Raised $20 Million
Live Luxury Shopping Services
Live Luxury Shopping Services
Gucci Live is for Personalized Online Luxury Shopping
Live Shopping Apps
Live Shopping Apps
HelpJess Connects Consumers to Brick-and-Mortar Retail Staff
Shopping Party Apps
Shopping Party Apps
Dote's Live Shopping Platform Lets Influencers Host Events
Shoppable Live Fashion Shows
Shoppable Live Fashion Shows
Livestyle by Klarna Engages and Inspires Viewers
Live Shopping Services
Live Shopping Services
Live Shopper Lets Customers See Their Groceries Being Hand-Picked
play_circle_outlineLive Streamed Shopping
Live Streamed Shopping
Livescale is an eCommerce Platform That Displays Live Streaming Videos
SCORE 6.6
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Pattern of Opportunity: convergencePattern of Opportunity: redirection
Live E-Commerce
Live shopping experiences allow consumers to view as their items are selected
With consumers increasingly relying on digital, online shopping, what could you do to make that experience more engaging and interactive?
Overlooked Opportunity #4 - Workshop Question
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E-Commerce Adaptation
Businesses are opting in for specialized platforms to transition to digital
Trend - As many non-essential businesses remain closed during COVID-19 lockdown orders, owners turn to digital platforms in order to seamlessly transition the brick-and-mortar experience to the online environment. These platforms are made with small and mid-sized businesses in mind, boasting lucrative features such as customer reach and more efficient payment processes.

Insight - Aware of the economic toll of this pandemic, individuals are placing emphasis on shopping local and independent as a means to support a diverse community of retailers that is currently struggling. Still prioritizing convenience in this space, conscious consumers are looking for streamlined options that will allow them to shop goods from small and mid-sized businesses with the same efficiency and comfort that big-brand e-commerce grants them.
Locally Oriented Shopping Apps
Locally Oriented Shopping Apps
Shopify Has a New Shopping App with a Faster Checkout Experience
Efficient E-Commerce Adaptations
Efficient E-Commerce Adaptations
Editorial Boutique Used Lightspeed's Platform to Adapt to Online
Assistive E-Commerce Apps
Assistive E-Commerce Apps
Builder.ai's Studio Store Apps Support Small and Mid-Sized Businesses
Seamless E-Commerce Transitions
Seamless E-Commerce Transitions
EBANX Beep Tailors Your Business for the Online Environment
Search Engine Shopping Tabs
Search Engine Shopping Tabs
Google is Letting Businesses on the Shopping Tab Free of Charge
SCORE 5.4
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
E-Commerce Adaptation
Businesses are opting in for specialized platforms to transition to digital
Consumers are increasingly trying to prioritize shopping local without necessarily sacrificing the speed and efficiency that often comes with big box stores. Thus, e-commerce platforms are shifting to be more mindful and connected to local vendors and communities, or simply finding ways to extend their reach to those local businesses.
Overlooked Opportunity #5 - Workshop Question
ADD TO LIST link
Virtual Marketplace
Marketplaces are now taking place virtually to keep people safe
Trend - Now that at-home shopping is people's only completely safe option, ecommerce is booming. Marketplaces are now included in this shift, with everything from farmers' to christmas markets now taking place virtually.

Insight - As safety precautions become the norm in retail and public spaces, consumers still want to experience the normalcy that they've lost in recent months. Though their previous shopping and recreational habits look different now, having adapted alternatives is easier on consumers than having no alternatives at all.
Virtual Farmers
Virtual Farmers' Market Apps
Chipotle's Online Marketplace Supports Supplies & Farmers
play_circle_outlineVirtual Christmas Markets
Virtual Christmas Markets
The World’s Biggest Virtual Christmas Market Will Run in November
Digital Sweets-Focused Festivals
Digital Sweets-Focused Festivals
Dessert Goals Restructures Its Event Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Virtual Art Marketplaces
Virtual Art Marketplaces
Hallmark's Hallmarket Shares Artwork by Hallmark Employees and Retirees
SCORE 6
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Pattern of Opportunity: acceleration
Megatrend CatalyzationCatalyzation
Virtual Marketplace
Marketplaces are now taking place virtually to keep people safe
Virtual marketplaces are expanding as consumers look for new ways to not only shop, but browse, engage and connect with brands and retailers in more convenient ways. These virtual platforms are also helping to pave the way for sellers and suppliers to better connect and engage with consumers more directly.
Overlooked Opportunity #6 - Workshop Question
Image Slide: Specific Examples Title Page
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B2B Electric Delivery Services
The 'BrightDrop' Service Provides Streamlined Delivery Packages
General Motors has launched an innovative new electric delivery service, dubbed BrightDrop, that is designed to make it easier than ever for its commercial customers to go about using electric vehicles to quickly and easily complete deliveries to a wide range of customers.

Launched at the virtual CES 2021, the BrightDrop electric delivery service provides a plethora of delivery vehicles as well as associated products and computing platforms. The vehicles in question revolve around the EV600, an all-electric offering that boasts a range in the region of 250 miles. Also included in BrightDrop's electric delivery service is the EP1 electric pallet.

What's great about BrightDrop is that it doesn't just supply electric vehicles, but will also offer related services such as fleet management technology and cloud platforms for coding and storage needs, making this an excellent electric delivery service for the B2B space.
Jan 13th, 2021
Sources: newatlas & plants.gm
Trend maing image: B2B Electric Delivery Services
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SCORE 6.4
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Autonomous E-Commerce Robots
Sam's Club Uses Autonomous Mobile Robots to Sort E-Commerce Orders
Sam’s Club now uses autonomous mobile robots relying on artificial intelligence to fulfill e-commerce orders in its Southern California fulfillment center, a 753,00-square-foot facility in Perris.

The use of autonomous mobile robots will also allow Sam’s Club to test new technologies to help scale its e-commerce business, where the company has experienced sales totalled at $363 million at the end of the third quarter in 2020.

The robots are powered by GreyMatter software, developed by GreyOrange in Atlanta. The Grey Matter software allows robots to improve each time they fulfill an order. The robots are able to identify items commonly ordered together and place them in close proximity in the facility or move inventory based on what items are in season.
Dec 29th, 2020
Sources: retaildive & samsclub
Trend maing image: Autonomous E-Commerce Robots
SCORE 6.5
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
Digital Robotic Hub Factories
HowToRobot Plans to Increase Robot Adoption for Small Businesses
HowToRobot is the world's first-ever digital robot hub and CEO Søren Peters believes that too many small to medium businesses are losing out on the next big transformation. This hub works towards the mission of increasing robot adoption at a global scale. It wants to eliminate borders around automation to assist small businesses with their production.

HowToRobot wants to get robots into every factory across the world and make automation run seamlessly. Peters talks about the lack of global robot experts as a main challenge when it come to automation, which is where the company can assist with projects and bridge the gap between the right suppliers and business. He states, “Many robots end up as a failure because they were assigned to the wrong task. By following a standardized method used by independent advisors, the companies can ensure that robots are only implemented where they are most needed and capable of doing their job,”
Feb 3rd, 2021
Trend maing image: Digital Robotic Hub Factories
SCORE 5.8
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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5G Low Carbon Factories
Ericsson's 5G Smart Factory Uses Mobile Networks for Manufacturing
Ericsson has a 5G Smart Factory located in Texas that focuses on a sustainable future of design and operation methods. Corporate responsibility lays at the foundation of the factory, working towards a brighter future. This is Ericsson's inaugural fully automated smart factory, and also the world's first. It produces the Advanced Antenna System radios that help deploy large-scales within 4G and 5G mobile networks.

This works in alignment with achieving the goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2030. In addition to that, it also displays how manufacturing can shift to a low carbon future without compromising prime business objectives. The factory have 1,646 solar panels that produces electricity from direct and reflected light off the ground. When building the factory, a main challenge was the heat of Texas, which is a reason for the installation of rain water tanks to ensure nothing is wasted when rain arrives.
Feb 3rd, 2021
Sources: ericsson
Trend maing image: 5G Low Carbon Factories
SCORE 2.9
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link star
Hyper-Local Product Factories
This Travel Factory is Being Trialled by Unilever in The Netherlands
Factories often require ample space and can be far removed from the area they provide product to, but this travel factory is being trialled by Unilever in The Netherlands in a bid to offer hyper-local product manufacturing.

The compact food factory operates inside a 40-foot sea container that is presently being used for producing the brands liquid bouillon for Unilever's Food Solutions business. The brand says that the production capabilities of the mini factory would be expanded to make a range of additional food products in the future including mayonnaise, ketchup and even ice cream.

Unilever Engineering Manager and Project Lead for the travel factory Olivera Trifunovic spoke on the initiative saying, "This travel factory reflects a new dynamic model where thousands of nano factories could be run from a central system, allowing us to have flexible production lines wherever, and whenever, needed. I’m incredibly proud of our team who have worked so hard, and so quickly, to bring this start-up to life.”
Jan 19th, 2021
Sources: foodbev & unilever
Trend maing image: Hyper-Local Product Factories
SCORE 6.5
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
Self-Driving Factory Forklifts
The Conceptual 'Autonomo Fork Lift' Maximizes Safety
The conceptual 'Autonomo Fork Lift' (AFL) has been designed by DongJun Kim as a safety and efficiency focused solution for the modern factory that would provide administrators with a better way to perform duties. The system maintains an autonomous functionality that can detect obstacles and operate at fixed speeds on designated paths in order to make it an efficiency powerhouse. The vehicle doesn't feature an operator cabin to further enhance storage capabilities, while the sensor-packed system wouldn't rely on hand-eye coordination to access crates.

The conceptual 'Autonomo Fork Lift' (AFL) would work to drastically enhance productivity in the modern factory or warehouse and wouldn't be limited by operating hours to work continuously without the need for more person power to get the job done.
Jan 23rd, 2021
Sources: yankodesign
Trend maing image: Self-Driving Factory Forklifts
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SCORE 4
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Robotically Enhanced Packaging Solutions
The IRB 390 FlexPacker™ is Expected to Launch Late 2020
The demand for sustainability and efficiency in manufacturing and shipping business processes warrants enhanced packaging solutions that hit both expectations on the mark in a cost-effective manner. In this space, some companies are betting on robotic assistance and with the advancement of technology in recent years, the implementation of such ideas is getting better and better. ABB's delta robot—the IRB 390 FlexPacker™—is one of the newest options on the market.

Expected to make a functional debut at the end of 2020, the enhanced packaging solution will be programmed to "support customized packaging, vertical packing, and high-speed, high-variation sorting and on-demand picking in logistics and e-commerce fulfillment centers." The technology is specifically recommended for secondary packaging and high-payload applications. It is also can be combined with ABB's IRB 360 FlexPicker pick-and-pack system.
Aug 25th, 2020
Sources: packworld & new.abb
Trend maing image: Robotically Enhanced Packaging Solutions
SCORE 4.8
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
E-Commerce Air Fleet Expansions
Amazon Will Expand Its Air Capabilities to Have 85 Planes by 2022
Amazon announced that it recently purchased 11 Boeing 767-300 planes, which will bring its total air fleet to 85 planes which will distribute packages in the United States and other markets.

Amazon initially launched its air fleet in 2016 with a total of 11 planes and the company expects to have its 85 planes operational by the end of 2022. Seven of the 11 new aircraft were used planes that were purchased from Delta, and another four were purchased from WestJet. The four WestJet planes will be operational by the end of this year, while the Delta planes will not be flying for Amazon until 2022.

Amazon’s recent acquisition of planes marks the first time the e-commerce giant purchased aircraft in favour of leasing agreements.
Jan 7th, 2021
Trend maing image: E-Commerce Air Fleet Expansions
SCORE 2.7
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
In-Transit Temperature Trackers
Smashtag Boasts a Wireless Temperature Logger, Ensuring Quality
Temperature trackers are now increasingly being utilized in the food industry to ensure the best possible quality for clients and consumers. Most recently, Smashtag announced its newest innovation in this space. It comes in the form of a wireless temperature logger that "broadcasts its signal to devices," making data pertaining to containers arriving into warehouses or being delivered to consumers readily available and easily accessible. The device has been specifically designed to monitor cold and hot temperature food during transit and all collected information can be observed through a mobile application. To be utilized by the food industry, the information derived from the temperature tracker can help various companies make decisions for future actions to "safeguard containers or reduce shipping costs" if an error occurs.
Jul 30th, 2020
Trend maing image: In-Transit Temperature Trackers
SCORE 1.6
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Temperature-Controlled Delivery Boxes
The Walmart HomeValet Service is Being Updated
The Walmart HomeValet service is being tested by the brand in Bentonville, Arkansas but the brand is taking a further step to grow it and make it even more convenient for consumers to receive their delivery at any point. The expansion will see smart boxes being implemented on a customer's doorstep in a bid to expand the time frame when a delivery can take place, while also keeping perishables fresh thanks to its temperature-controlled design. The box is powered by an Internet of Things platform that would enable it to communicate directly with the delivery person to let them access it and keep unauthorized parties out.

Senior Vice President of Customer Product Tom Ward spoke on the new Walmart HomeValet service innovation saying, "The prospect of this technology is intriguing, both for customers and for Walmart’s last-mile delivery efforts. For customers, they don’t need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While we don’t have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it.”
Jan 13th, 2021
Trend maing image: Temperature-Controlled Delivery Boxes
SCORE 4.5
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
Autonomous Trucking Networks
Tusimple and Partners Will Create a Network for Autonomous Trucking
TuSimple, the autonomous trucking startup, released a plan to create a network of routes and terminals that would be purposed for self-driving trucking. According to the plans, the autonomous trucking network would extend across the entire United States before the year 2024. Additionally, a number of other organizations will partner in the autonomous freight network, including UPS, U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing, and a supply chain company named McLane Inc.

The autonomous freight network would contain four main components to successfully function, including autonomous trucks, digitally navigated routes, and freight terminals. If successful the network would drastically reduce transportation costs, as well as increase efficiency, as the trucks could be running at all times year-round.
Jul 3rd, 2020
Sources: techcrunch & tusimple
Trend maing image: Autonomous Trucking Networks
SCORE 2.8
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link star
Carbon-Reducing E-Commerce Solutions
EcoCart Reduces Carbon Footprints For All Deliveries
EcoCart accommodates to the rising growth of e-commerce, offering ease of purchasing options for consumers. As the name of the company suggests, it prioritizes sustainable practices. Learning that there is a global increase of carbon dioxide, EcoCart aims to retaliate that with new solutions.

Shippers can reduce their carbon footprint by electric vehicle deliveries or reducing packaging materials for example. The San Fran-based start up company starts with an API, application programming interface for shippers and a browser extension for customers. Once that is completed, EcoCart determines the carbon footprint of that order and offers customers the chance to purchase carbon offsets. Co-Founder Dane Baker assures that that cost is usually lower than $1 for each purchase.
Feb 3rd, 2021
Sources: freightwaves
Trend maing image: Carbon-Reducing E-Commerce Solutions
SCORE 6.5
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
ADD TO LIST link
Plastic-Free E-Commerce Centers
Amazon Will No Longer Use Single-Use Plastic Materials in India
Amazon indicated that it will no longer use single-use plastic materials at fulfillment centers across India. The e-commerce giant will not use bubble wrap or air pillows to cushion packages before delivery, and instead, it will use paper or biodegradable materials. Amazon states that the change will take effect before the end of June.

Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, stated that the country will transition away from plastic materials by the year 2022. Amazon’s efforts will help in part to achieve this goal. If the transition process is successful the e-commerce company may attempt may take similar sustainable action in other markets that it operates in.

Previously Amazon participated in recycling incentives and investing resources into clean energy projects.
Jun 30th, 2020
Trend maing image: Plastic-Free E-Commerce Centers
SCORE 4.2
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Autonomous UVC Light Robots
MIT Researchers Created a Robot That Can Disinfect Large Spaces
MIT researchers recently created a robot with UVC light that has the ability to disinfect surfaces. In order to create the UVC light robot, the CSAIL lab at MIT worked in collaboration with AVA Robotics. The team of researchers also indicated that the autonomous robot could help to keep communal spaces clean, including factories, restaurants, and more.

The robot was tested at the Greater Boston Food Bank warehouse, where it was able to remove nearly all of the coronavirus particles on surfaces at the location.

Alyssa Pierson, a CSAIL researcher, made a statement about the project, “We are focused on remote operation to minimize human supervision, and therefore, the additional risk of spreading Covid-19, while running our system.”
Jun 30th, 2020
Trend maing image: Autonomous UVC Light Robots
SCORE 4.6
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Anti-Virus E-Commerce Initiatives
Amazon is Using Thermal Cameras to Screen Warehouse Employees
Amazon is now using thermal cameras in order to screen warehouse employees as a detection system for COVID-19. The thermal cameras are only being used at certain warehouse locations, and they are able to screen for COVID-19 by detecting elevated temperatures. If the thermal cameras detect an elevated temperature, the employee will then need to complete a thermometer check.

Amazon’s efforts to screen warehouse employees will ensure that it can remain operational, as it can protect warehouse facilities against potential outbreaks of the virus. This can be done by isolating any individuals who show symptoms of the virus. Amazon remaining operational is important as e-commerce is seeing higher than normal demand, due to contactless delivery systems.
Apr 20th, 2020
Trend maing image: Anti-Virus E-Commerce Initiatives
SCORE 3.9
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Related Examples
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Modular Quadricycle Cargo Vehicles
The 'EAVcab' is Being Developed by EAV and Revonte
The 'EAVcab' is a new modular cargo solution being developed by Electric Assisted Vehicles Ltd (EAV) and Revonte as a way to help enhance the capabilities for deliveries and more. The vehicle has a modular chassis and features a pedal-assist functionality that would enable users to ride it around town at their leisure to get deliveries completed. The unit also shows promise for use in warehouses and would help to infuse eco-friendly protocols into the business environment.

EAV Founder and Technical Director Adam Barmby spoke on the 'EAVcab' saying, "We know that we can use a bio-mechanical electric hybrid vehicle like EAV to replace most vans and even cars in urban environments without any loss in operational efficiency, but we need to see how far we can improve that offering and where those improvements need to be. We’re already fully modular with the EAVcab offering multiple models on the same chassis and we’re working on our own wheel, tire and braking developments to over-engineer safety into all EAV vehicles. The inclusion of the Revonte One drive system will take our ULCVs (Urban Lightweight Cargo Vehicles) well beyond the next level."
Mar 25th, 2020
Sources: newatlas & eavcargo
Trend maing image: Modular Quadricycle Cargo Vehicles
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SCORE 5.4
Popularity
Activity
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Related Examples
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Smart Warehouse Robots
Geek+'s Robots Power Same-Day Deliveries for Nike in Japan
In Japan, Nike relies on smart warehouse robots from Geek+ so that products can be picked, packaged and delivered within the same day. Within the warehouse, the product-picking bots are used to carry packages directly to warehouse workers, which helps to increase efficiency and safety, reduce costs and simplify warehouse operations.

While there are some warehouses that are implementing different strategies in order to keep up with the demands of ecommerce, Geek+ sees a better alternative to manually operated warehouses.

Autonomous robots are becoming increasingly important across a wide range of industries for last-mile deliveries, checking store inventory and even preparing some products right before the eyes of consumers.
Feb 6th, 2020
Trend maing image: Smart Warehouse Robots
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SCORE 4
Popularity
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Related Examples
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Digital B2B Payment Methods
Lightspeed and Max Levchin Use Balance to Manage Online Payments
Lightspeed and Max Levchin uses Balance to invite B2B payment into an online space for ease and seamless transactions. Balance is a contemporary finance solution that efficiently manages payments for merchants, offering a variety of methods such as bank wires and ACH.

It also offers a plethora of different payment terms such as net payment terms, payment on delivery, and payment by milestone. Essentially, Balance helps by underwriting the terms of the different transactions with the financing based on the merchant, the risk evaluation of the customer, and the selected payment term. Founders Yoni Shuster and Bar Geron met while working at PayPal, as the two learned about customer payments at a global scale. They noticed the lack of digitalized payments in B2B financing and took an expansive perspective to finding a solution.
Feb 3rd, 2021
Sources: techcrunch
Trend maing image: Digital B2B Payment Methods
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Commercial EV Businesses
GM Launched a New EV Business Unit to Serve Other Companies
GM announced at the 2021 virtual CES show that it launched a new EV business unit, named BrightDrop, which will serve a commercial clientele beginning with FedEx.

The new EV business Unit will offer two commercial services. The first is an electric van, named EV600, which features a range of 250 miles, the second is an electric pallet named the EP1. GM also created new software tools for BrightDrop to serve the commercial EV market, and the auto manufacturer will also create a dealership network to support the new company.

“The more we learned about the demand and the challenges of delivery and logistics from that first mile to literally the last five feet, the more we saw the opportunity to leverage GM’s expertise in things like electrification, mobility applications, telematics, fleet management to help businesses move goods and services in a smarter and more sustainable way,” said Pam Fletcher, the vice president of Global Innovation at General Motors.
Jan 14th, 2021
Sources: techcrunch & gm
Trend maing image: Commercial EV Businesses
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Online Shopping Cities
Dubai Commercity is a Free Trade Zone Dedicated to eCommerce
The government of Dubai, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority and property firm Wasl are working together on a joint venture called Dubai Commercity that will exist as a free trade zone for e-commerce and a hub for online retailers. The first-of-its-kind free zone for e-commerce in the Middle East is set to have a dozen buildings, including a business cluster, logistics center and a social center, all located in the proximity of the Dubai International Airport.

Dubai Commercity promises to be appealing for retailers as it offers benefits such as "no corporate tax, no income tax, 100% foreign ownership, full repatriation of capital and profit and no currency restrictions." Clients will also have the benefit of being able to access high-tech solutions like AI-powered warehouses.
May 28th, 2020
Trend maing image: Online Shopping Cities
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Redesigned E-Commerce Mobile Apps
The Amazon App for iOS Was Redesigned to Streamline Purchases
The Amazon app has been completely redesigned for all iOS users in the United States. Additionally, the reworked app will be launched to all users at the end of the month. The redesign for the amazon app will feature improved navigation and a new color theme. Other focuses of the redesign intend to make it easier for iPhone users to access they're most commonly used features and find what items they are looking for. The platform now features a ‘Quick Access’ bar at the bottom of the screen. Users will also have the ability to access their Amazon cart, where they can “Buy Again” their most frequently purchased items.

A spokesperson for the e-commerce giant released a statement about the new app, “The new design for Amazon’s app on iPhone provides customers easier access to the features they use most, while on the go.
Sep 6th, 2020
Trend maing image: Redesigned E-Commerce Mobile Apps
SCORE 6.7
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AR E-Commerce Tools
Amazon's Room Decorator Allows Users to Virtually Redesign Their Homes
Amazon created a new multimedia shopping feature, titled Room Decorator, which is powered by AR technology. Room Decorator will provide users the ability to see how furniture would look in their home, ahead of the purchase. The AR tool is also able to display multiple products, allowing consumers to totally redesign a room using AR. Users will also have the ability to access Amazon's Room Decorate when they are away forming their home, using AR snapshots.

Amazon's AR tool can be used for thousands of items that are listed on the e-commerce platform. Consumers using an iOS device or desktop browser will be able to access the tool by clicking a 'View in Your Room' button when searching for products on Amazon.
Aug 25th, 2020
Trend maing image: AR E-Commerce Tools
SCORE 6.2
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Garage Delivery Service Launches
Amazon Expanded Its Garage Delivery Service to 4,000 U.S. Cities
Amazon expanded its Prime accessible Key in-garage delivery services to over 4,000 cities across the United States and will expand product delivery options from both Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh.

In order to access the Key in-Garage service, customers will need to have a myQ smart garage door installed in their home, allowing delivery personal access to their garage. Additionally, the e-commerce giant is incentivizing new customers to access the service. First-time customers of Amazon's Key in-Garage Grocery Delivery service will be eligible to receive a $30 credit, and also $20 for their first grocery order.

Expanding the service to 4,000 cities will make Amazon's garage delivery service available to the majority of American consumers, and may find early success as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many parts of the United States.
Nov 14th, 2020
Sources: engadget & amazon
Trend maing image: Garage Delivery Service Launches
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Efficient Holiday Retail Returns
Walmart Launched Its Carrier Pickup Service to Improve Returns
Walmart partnered with FedEx to create a new free service named Carrier Pickup, which allows consumers to return items purchased from Walmart directly from their homes.

The Carrier Pickup service was announced on December 21, and it gives customers the ability to schedule a meeting online with a FedEx employee to come to their home and pick up packages off of their doorstep. The retailer also added a number of new features to make in-store returns faster.

The new service comes during a year of increased instances of e-commerce use as many consumers are avoiding in-person shopping due to the pandemic. Additionally, some organizations, including Salesforce, are expecting high numbers of returns during the holiday season to match the increased reliance on e-commerce.
Dec 28th, 2020
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Farmer-Supporting E-Commerce Technologies
Local Line Connects Consumers with Local Farmers
Local Line is a Canadian e-commerce solution for farms, food hubs, and farmers markets, enabling customers to pre-order produce, eggs, cheese, and other artisanal products online. The service allows customers to prepay online, eliminating the need for consumers to browse around crowded markets or handle cash. Notably, the brand saw an increase in demand since the onset of the pandemic, with Local Line founder Cole Jones, stating: "Our business is onboarding farmers at about nine times our normal rate."

The tool itself is user-friendly and boasts a number of features designed to take the burden away from farmers. Local Line offers an online store, delivery and pick-up scheduling, order management, product management, customer management, and reports and analytics, among others.
Sep 22nd, 2020
Sources: cbc & site.localline
SCORE 5.1
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Livestreamed Shopping Festivals
Tmall is Hosting a Large Shopping Event on Taobao Live
The 6.18 Shopping Festival was created by JD.com in 2004 to celebrate its June 18 anniversary and the event has since been picked up by a variety of retailers. In 2020, as retailers are relying heavily on e-commerce experiences and venturing into live shopping services, the 6.18 Shopping Festival is taking on new significance as the economy needs to be bolstered post-pandemic.

This year's Tmall 6.18 campaign will be centered on a live experience on the Taobao Live platform, the livestreaming arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba. The livestreamed event is being touted as the largest celebrity broadcast in history, as it will include at least 10 celebrity broadcasts each day through June 20th. To promote sales right on the platform, the event will also feature brand representatives.
Jun 9th, 2020
Trend maing image: Livestreamed Shopping Festivals
SCORE 5.2
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Live Luxury Shopping Services
Gucci Live is for Personalized Online Luxury Shopping
Consumers are understandably wary about returning to their favorite stores and retailers are adapting by offering live shopping experiences—as seen with Gucci Live. With this new in-store shopping service, potential Gucci clients are connected with a personalized advisor who shows off the latest offerings within a "faux luxury store"—a space specifically equipped with cameras and lighting to support what Gucci calls "remote clienteling." With mobile devices and laptops, staff communicates with shoppers in a way that saves them from having to physically visit the store space to see the available items on display.

Live shopping services and apps are emerging to give consumers a new way to participate in e-commerce, especially in highly interactive ways that feels like a hybrid of the online and in-store experience.
Jun 5th, 2020
Trend maing image: Live Luxury Shopping Services
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Trend Hunter Demographic Breakdown
AGE
Demographic Icon Legend
From left to right:
0-2 years old
3-12 years old
12-18 years old
18-35 years old
35-55 years old
55+ years old
GENDER
Gender Icon Male
The breakdown above represents a trend that is gender neutral, and is targeted towards both men and women equally. If the key is skewing more pink than blue or vice versa, that's an indication that the trend is more relevant to either a female or a male audience.
REGION
Demographic Legend Geographic
This is a measure of which markets a particular trend is geared towards. This is chosen by the editor of an article, and not generated based on the locations of TrendHunter.com readers. The regions we choose from are: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.