FedEx, Adobe Agree to Integrate E-Commerce Sales, Service Platforms

Brahm Buck

FedEx Corp. and Adobe Inc. are teaming up in a deal aimed at helping retailers meet e-commerce demand and compete with online heavyweights such as Amazon.com Inc. by sharing data across digital sales and distribution networks. Adobe is integrating FedEx’s recently acquired ShopRunner e-commerce service, which provides expedited delivery from […]

FedEx Corp.

and

Adobe Inc.

are teaming up in a deal aimed at helping retailers meet e-commerce demand and compete with online heavyweights such as

Amazon.com Inc.

by sharing data across digital sales and distribution networks.

Adobe is integrating FedEx’s recently acquired ShopRunner e-commerce service, which provides expedited delivery from more than 100 merchants, with the software provider’s digital commerce platform, the companies said Tuesday. The agreement will help businesses that sell on Adobe’s platform offer free two-day shipping and other services, such as easy returns.

“The intent is to create an open e-commerce ecosystem and be able to help merchants and brands compete in this rapid growth in digital commerce that we’ve seen over the past year,” said Sriram Krishnasamy, senior vice president of strategic programs for FedEx Services and chief executive of FedEx Dataworks.

The partnership could also funnel more parcels through the delivery giant’s network. Adobe sellers who use FedEx as a carrier would get access to data to help with logistics planning, such as prioritizing which orders to fulfill first for faster delivery. Adobe sellers should be able to download the FedEx extension in late 2021, the companies said.

The goal “is to really help merchants now plan for the future…instead of just reacting, as many of them had to do during the pandemic,” said

Anil Chakravarthy,

executive vice president and general manager for Adobe’s digital experience business and world-wide field operations.

FedEx bought ShopRunner in December to bolster its e-commerce capabilities. The service connects 100-plus retailers and brands such as department-store owner Hudson’s Bay Co. and

Under Armour Inc.

with online shoppers. Members pay a $79 annual membership fee for services including two-day shipping, free returns and seamless checkout. Consumers can also enroll free through partnerships with companies such as

American Express Co.

and

PayPal Holdings Inc.

The ShopRunner acquisition came as FedEx has been pushing to expand its online business after the delivery provider largely split ways with Amazon in 2019.

Amazon has been pushing deeper into the shipping supply chain with integrated warehousing, fulfillment and delivery services, triggering competitive responses from a range of technology and logistics providers. With the ShopRunner acquisition, FedEx is trying to expand its capabilities “so they can also present an integrated solution to the marketplace as well,” said Tim Sailor, founder and principal of Navigo Consulting Group Inc., which advises businesses on shipping costs.

Teaming up with FedEx will help Adobe compete with rivals such as e-commerce technology provider

Shopify Inc.

as they increase merchant services, said Jordan Jewell, research manager for digital commerce at research firm International Data Corp. “Everyone is trying to raise the bar so all merchants can compete with Amazon or not rely as heavily on Amazon,” he said.

While many companies also sell on Amazon’s marketplace because of the sheer volume of traffic, features like free shipping and one-click checkout allow brands to provide an Amazon-like experience on their own websites while maintaining greater control of their data, Mr. Jewell said, and “you don’t have to give Amazon margin.”

Write to Jennifer Smith at [email protected]

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