As online shopping volumes continue to soar under pandemic conditions, FedEx Corp. has acquired an e-commerce platform startup firm, saying the move will create value for both merchants and consumers.
FedEx said it has agreed to purchase ShopRunner, a Chicago-based platform founded in 2009 that connects online shoppers with select merchants on a single marketplace portal, charging consumers a $79 annual fee for Amazon Prime-type services.
In exchange for the subscription, Shop Runner offers consumers a unified shopping experience across merchants, from browsing through delivery. Members’ benefits include: free two-day shipping, free returns, discount prices, and seamless checkout, the firm says. From retailers’ point of view, ShopRunner says its e-commerce platform uses data-driven marketing and omnichannel enablement capabilities to help merchants acquire high-value customers and accelerate their digital innovation.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Memphis-based FedEx said it anticipates the acquisition to close by the end of the calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. ShopRunner will then operate as a subsidiary of FedEx Services, an organization dedicated to integrating the technology and services customers need to create solutions for global supply chains, e-commerce, and today’s business challenges.
“The acquisition, once closed, aligns with our continued efforts to create an open, collaborative e-commerce ecosystem that helps merchants deliver seamless experiences for their customers,” Raj Subramaniam, president and CEO of FedEx, said in a release. “We are committed to growing the ShopRunner platform and combining it with our global digital and logistics intelligence to create new possibilities in e-commerce.”
According to FedEx, the complementary nature of ShopRunner’s pre-purchase offerings combined with FedEx post-purchase logistics intelligence will enable merchants to attract and engage consumers at scale by providing innovative online shopping experiences.
And in turn, ShopRunner said that FedEx’ assets will help advance the firm’s vision of a more open, collaborative e-commerce ecosystem. “In pursuit of our purpose of creating the future of retail, we have built the foundation of a cross-brand ecosystem to create a simple shopping experience for consumers and to aggregate the scale of our network for our partners’ benefit,” ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan said in a release.
The move follows other recent investments by FedEx in fulfillment technologies intended to support booming e-commerce volumes, such as robotic arms, smart delivery vans, autonomous tugs, and sidewalk bots.
Online shopping soared this year, as the number of online Black Friday shoppers passed the 100 million mark, up 8% over last year, according to statistics from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Likewise, foot traffic in brick and mortar stores plummeted under pandemic stress, with the number of in-store shoppers on Thanksgiving Day dropped by 55% from last year and those on Black Friday dropped by 37%, NRF found.