FedEx announces its own commerce platform for merchants

Logistics company FedEx announced its own commerce platform called FDX today. The platform will likely compete against Amazon by offering merchants services like demand generation, fulfillment, tracking and post-purchase experiences, including returns.

The company said that FDX is currently in private preview with plans for a wider launch in fall 2024. Businesses can register their interest in trying it out through a form. The company didn't mention any brands that are part of the pilot program.

FedEx's announcement has a lot of marketing buzzwords, including "data-driven," "digitally-led" and "end-to-end e-commerce solution for businesses of all sizes," but is thin on details like how it will compete with existing platforms.

The company said that merchants could use FedEx's services such as ShopRunner — an e-commerce platform it acquired in 2020 — to reach customers, show estimated delivery time on websites, handle carts, track packages, record the carbon emission impact of deliveries and manage returns.

FedEx clarified that it is not entering into a marketplace business to serve consumers.

"We’re not in the business of the marketplace. We’re trying to help businesses build the best possible experience from demand to post-purchase. We provide them the digital capabilities and insights and they own the experience with their consumer," FedEx spokesperson Christina Meek told TechCrunch in a statement.

Amazon has been offering Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for years now to let merchants use the company's shipping and logistics infrastructure.

In 2022, Amazon started allowing third-party merchants who already use FBA to list Prime-eligible items on their own sites. In January 2023, the e-commerce giant expanded this feature to all U.S. merchants and also allowed them to show Amazon reviews of an item on their site. Last November, Amazon launched new perks for Buy with Prime, such as easy returns and customer support.

Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon has been outpacing rivals FedEx and UPS in terms of package deliveries in the U.S.

In 2019, FedEx ended both air express and ground delivery contracts with Amazon. At that time, the Tennessee-based company said that Amazon represented only 1.3% of revenue for the 12-month period that ended in December 2018. In December 2019, Amazon blocked third-party merchants from using FedEx's ground delivery service for Prime shipments, which was reversed a year later.