Out to Launch:

Is Walmart’s new last-mile delivery program brilliant — or a disaster in the making? The Uber-like program will have store associates delivering packages on their way home from work. Will it work for Walmart? Retail Dive

Deliv joins same-day delivery space for alcohol. Same-day delivery firm Deliv is adding alcohol to the roster of items it will pick up and deliver to consumers. Food Dive

PostNL lets retailers easily sell flowers and plants online. Dutch postal operator PostNL has launched Flora@Home, a new solution for online retailers to easily sell fresh flowers and plants online. Ecommerce News

The Wegmans grocery chain is introducing delivery in partnership with Instacart. The San Francisco-based startup has inked a deal to deliver groceries on behalf of Wegmans, the family-run east coast grocery chain that has just 92 stores but $8.4 billion in annual sales and an outsized cult following. CNBC

Intersport plans to expand online. Sporting goods retailer Intersport is far behind the online competition, with ecommerce accounting for just one percent of its total turnover. The new CEO, Victor Duran, wants to change this by offering more attractive online stores. Ecommerce News

IKEA to try selling through third parties. Humans of Earth, I give you: Ikea and Amazon. Reuters

Walmart pilots self-service kiosk for fast online order delivery. A few lucky Walmart shoppers in Oklahoma City are the first to test an automated kiosk being used to distribute online grocery orders in under a minute. Retail Customer Experience

Industry Skinny:

Alibaba Adds $42 Billion in Market Cap on Strong Sales Forecast. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s market value surged by $42 billion after the company forecast sales growth that topped every analyst’s estimate, defying expectations that gains would slow by dint of a decelerating economy and its own sheer scale. Bloomberg

Amazon India’s logistics arm gets Rs 207 crore funding. Amazon Transportation Services (ATS), the logistics arm of online marketplace Amazon India, has received an infusion of Rs 207 crore from Amazon Corporate Holdings Singapore and Amazon Malaysia, according to documents filed with the registrar of companies. Economic Times

Shopping Index: eCommerce Outside the US. The latest Shopping Index, which includes Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) for the first time, uncovers some interesting nuggets of digital shopping activity outside the US. Demandware

Delivery Hero plans €450 million IPO. The German online food startup Delivery Hero confirms it has plans for an initial public offering later this year. It will issue new shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in hopes to raise about 450 million euros. Ecommerce News

November is the new Christmas shopping month in the UK. Traditionally, consumers spend the most money online in December. But new predictions show that November might be overtaking December as the year’s peak trading month. If the estimates are right, November will see a record 20 billion pounds (22.7 billion euros) spent online. Ecommerce News

E-commerce logistics startup raises $17.5 million. ShipBob, which provides shipping and fulfillment services for e-commerce companies, has raised $17.5 million in a Series B round led by Bain Capital, VentureBeat reports. Business Insider

Tech Space:

Japan to launch self-navigating cargo ships ‘by 2025’. Japanese shipping companies are working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. BBC

Jaguar Land Rover invests £20m in Uber rival Lyft. Jaguar Land Rover has invested $25m (£20m) in Lyft, making it the latest car giant to pick a side in the increasingly bitter war between the American taxi-hailing app and its arch-rival, Uber. Telegraph

Swiss startup TeleRetail enters delivery robot market. The Swiss company TeleRetail has developed a delivery robot that is designed to cover long distances up to about 80 kilometers. The robot, which is still a prototype, could be used for suburban and rural deliveries. Ecommerce News

New gadget to wake up sleepy delivery drivers to be tested in UK. DHL, a leading supermarket and another retailer are all considering trials of a new drowsiness detector developed by Fujitsu which will help to alert drivers when they are in danger of falling asleep, according to reports this weekend. eDelivery

The drone delivery report: Opportunities and challenges in automating logistics with drones. Business Insider

Amazon Files Patent in India For Drone Safety Technology; Prime Air delivery Service Coming Soon? Amazon Prime Air, the service that Amazon wants to offer to deliver products up to 5 pounds within 30 minutes is still in the testing phase in the US. Trak

EU wants to compare cross-border delivery rates online. The European Commission wants to set up a website to display the cross-border delivery rates offered by logistics companies. Ecommerce News

Food for Thought:

Can retailers escape the scourge of free shipping? If retailers are hurting today, among the wounds — both self-inflicted and imposed from outside — is free shipping. On the demand side, customers are increasingly expecting free delivery and even free returns. The problem for retailers, of course, is that free shipping cuts deeply into profits. Retail Wire

Ecommerce Trends in 2017: Roundup of the Hottest Predictions. What are your ecommerce growth plans for 2017? Are you expanding into more product categories, re-designing your website or, perhaps, going international? Good Video

How to ace last-mile delivery as a customer satisfaction touchpoint. With ecommerce sales growing in Southeast Asia, retailers are eager to provide their services to consumers across borders to tap the opportunities. Tech in Asia

The 10 retail technology showstoppers. The technology collective is breaking new ground and transforming every aspect of the retail environment. India Retailing