Each week, we publish a mishmash of ecommerce related, insight infused articles for you to smash through. Just as we collect business information across all of a merchant’s channels in a single place, we’re doing the same for ecommerce related content from a variety of top-tier content creators. If you find the material filling your appetite for knowledge, feel free to share this post, as well as any article you see here.

What an unsexy word, logistics. It terrifies and repulses some merchants, bringing up the complexities of getting a product from supplier to shelf to customer. But it’s a critical part of any business with important impacts on time and money. In this week’s mishmash, we’re looking at e-retailers’ logistics, from shipping to B2B communication and Quarter 1 performances, highlighting emerging trends within the space.

S’Day, Mate

Our friends over at Shopify are constantly changing up the online selling game, and their most recent partnerships is another move toward selling more, and quickly, at that. Through a partnership with popular courier Postmates, the shopping cart provider is helping e-retailers in any of the 200+ cities that Postmates operates in to sell and deliver orders on the same day. It’s simple to use, and it addresses the growing willingness of consumers to fork over a little extra cash for prompt and immediate gratification.

Putting the UP in UPS

UPS’ successful Q1 performance is showing promising signs for ecommerce as a whole. The carrier saw a 2.8% rise in daily package volume, and a 3.1% bump to their revenue. Now, you may or may not use them to get orders from A to B, but anytime a carrier shows positive growth, especially in order volume, it can be taken as a reflection of the success of online selling. If shipping carriers are cranking out more orders, e-retailers are selling more. Let’s hope that trend stays up as we inch closer and closer to 2016’s holiday season.

The Jungle is Hot 

On the flip side of the alphabet, Amazon’s still wrangling with shipping costs. No worries, though, their Q1 performance witnessed the largest profit in the company’s history, not to mention it’s their fourth consecutive quarter of being in the green. But that profit was reliant on Amazon Web Services, not ecommerce, where the business sees some of its largest costs thanks to shipping.

If anything’s clear, Amazon is investing more and more into their own shipping capabilities, potentially rivaling existing shipping carriers that they work with, like UPS or USPS. Why? They’re trying to cut down on the escalating costs of fulfilling products through other carriers by handling it themselves. For more on why and what they’re up to, take a look at this blog post on Amazon’s shipping aspirations (the answer to the title is an all-but-confirmed yes).

Growing Pains

Let’s be honest, the B2B side of ecommerce isn’t nearly as glamorous or engaging as its other half. And they know it. Manufactuers, suppliers, and e-retailers with a B2B model are fully aware that a digital supply chain — one that uses Internet-based tech to communicate, automate, and share data — is a necessity in this day and age. Yet nearly half, 48%, rely on traditional means, like phone, fax, or email, according to this online supply chain report by GT Nexus and Capgemini.

It’s not for lack of trying, though. Around 70% of the businesses surveyed are making headway into digitizing their operations, but it’s a difficult task whenever your customer is a business using its own ways of communication that may not necessarily align with your own. But hey, awareness is the first step, right?

A Finger in Every Pie

But the B2B world isn’t hopelessly lost; trendsetters already have their eyes on that pain point. A pretty big marketplace has its fingers in every pie, from smartphones to video streaming, and B2B is no exception. Amazon’s been pioneering their own B2B marketplace – and it’s running quite smoothly.

Amazon Business, a division of the company launched a year ago that connects businesses for commerce, clocked in at $1 billion sales on its first birthday, as well as a 20% growth rate month to month. Businesses wishing to quickly buy and sell supplies are finding it very convenient, with over 9 million products and 300,000 businesses registered. If Amazon’s experimenting with the space, you can expect greater attention in the future, which is definitely a positive.

Image: Flickr, Tech in Asia