business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Wall Street Journal has a story about how "America’s small and medium-size online merchants are being separated into winners and losers according to their ability to adapt to changes in logistics driven largely by Amazon and other big retailers. Amazon’s continuing hiring binge and warehouse building spree facilitate ever-faster, free Prime shipping.

"As a result, even merchants who don’t sell on Amazon are racing to ship products as fast as they can, either eating the extra cost or raising prices and watching their sales decline - while simultaneously coping with supply-chain bottlenecks.

The challenges has been that Amazon keeps setting the increasingly high bar for e-commerce fulfillment:  it "has continually ratcheted up the speed with which most goods sold on its site arrive on the doorsteps of shoppers, offering first two day, then one day, and now frequently same-day delivery, as it rolls its Prime Now service into its main site and app … For small or medium-size online sellers, keeping up with the latest Prime demands requires what were until recently considered extraordinary measures. It means operating warehouses at least six days a week, and sometimes resorting to pricey second-day or overnight shipping."

Some are thriving.  But some are not.