Rob Martinez

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail.

Rob Martinez is the CEO of Shipware LLC, a professional services firm that transforms businesses through intelligent distribution solutions and strategies. Rob has helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands reduce parcel shipping costs an average of 25 percent through contract negotiations, rate benchmarking, modal optimization, invoice audit and other savings vehicles. A cum laude graduate of UCLA, Rob has 20 years of transportation industry experience, including executive positions at DHL and Stamps.com, in addition to his work as an outside consultant since 2001.

In case you haven't heard — although it's likely you have — next year the major parcel freight carriers (i.e., UPS, FedEx) will be shifting from pricing based on package weight to package size. What does this mean for online retailers? The short answer: it's going to cost you more to ship your packages. Upwards of 20 percent more, according to some industry reports.

Product returns are a part of every merchant's operations, whether you sell online, retail, catalog, B-to-B, apparel, consumer electronics, etc. In fact, according to a recent survey, returns cost retailers $53 billion last year alone. But what's often viewed as a drain on profits and employees’ time can also be an opportunity to attract and retain customers when the process is handled right.

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