Denny's Zinger: Boys and Their Toys—Drone Delivery Nonsense
April 1, 2015

In the years after World War II, boys (including me) got into model planes—hot little U-controls and exquisite free flight aircraft. Radio controls were a few years away. In the 70's and 80's Estes model rockets (a client of mine) captivated a generation of kids as model airplanes did in earlier decades.

Denny's Zinger: Be Careful What You Wish For
January 9, 2015

It is the saga of Maxine Bedat and Soraya Darabi who started a business where everything is made in America—from raw materials to finished goods. I showed Peggy. "Let's support them," Peggy said. "Make one of those sweaters my Christmas present."

eHealth Finds Fulfillment With 'Personal Trainer'
March 1, 2014

Many fitness routines concentrate on strengthening core muscles before worrying about the rest of the body. eHealth, a Mountain View, Calif.-based online marketplace for individual and family health insurance, concentrates on its core strengths and hires the corporate equivalent of personal trainers for the parts that need more help. "We are not fulfillment experts," says Gary Matalucci, eHealth's VP of customer care. "And, as our volume has increased, I think we looked to find efficiencies leveraging, whether it's technology, scale or relationships with other vendors, to help with areas that aren't our areas of core expertise."

Amazon Tests Drones for Same-Day Parcel Delivery
December 3, 2013

Amazon.com Inc. is testing drones to deliver goods as the world’s largest e-commerce company works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers.  Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program in the U.S., showing interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles. Bezos said the gadgets, called octocopters, can carry as much as 5 pounds

Inventory Planning in an Omnichannel Environment
August 14, 2013

Merchandise and inventory planning for catalog retailers used to be a thorough, highly detailed process from start to finish. ... E-commerce has changed all that. The shift to the website as "the store," along with the ability to adjust marketing decisions in real time, have fundamentally shifted planning priorities for catalog retailers. The new best practice approach to merchandise and inventory planning is to invest less time developing the initial plan and more time managing contingencies

7 Magic Ways to Maximize Otherwise Boring Fulfillment and Collateral Pieces for Profit
August 7, 2013

Sure, fulfillment and inserts aren't as sexy as other forms of marketing, but they can be viable ways to bring in steady, ancillary revenues. I've seen some online publishers bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars with a carefully thought-out insert program. For instance, taking a direct mail control piece and adding it in customer fulfillment packages as an insert. A no-brainer, right? Wrong! You'll be surprised how many businesses are leaving money on the table by not doing this.

Free Shipping and Returns: Cost, Value and ROI
July 17, 2013

It’s no secret that online shoppers don’t like to pay for shipping. With carrier rates on the rise, e-commerce businesses are fully aware that there is no such thing as “free shipping,” it is an expense that has to be factored into pricing one way or another. ... Zappos is famous for offering free shipping and free 365 day returns as part of their efforts to deliver a “wow” experience. The reward and ROI Zappos receives in exchange for this policy: 75 percent repeat buyers, even though their products are priced higher than competitors