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How Retailers Can Reduce the Burden of Returns
February 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

The holiday season is always an exciting time for retailers as they experience a boom in new customers and revenue. However, with the large spike in sales also comes the potential for a large amount of returns. So, what can retailers do to combat an increase in returns? As business problems vary and become more…

Amazon Quietly Lowers its Free Shipping Minimum to $35
February 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

Over the weekend, Amazon.com quietly reduced its free two-day shipping minimum rate for non-Prime subscribers to $35. Amazon confirmed the change on its shipping guidelines and options page. Amazon's free shipping rate has gone up and down over the years. The free shipping minimum has been as low as $25 in the past, and was…

Retail CEOs Head to Washington to Fight Proposed Border Tax
February 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

Chief executives of some of the country's largest retailers, including Target, Gap, Best Buy and Autozone, are headed to Washington, D.C. this week to make their case that a controversial tax on imports would raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses, according to people familiar with the plan. The group of eight retail bosses will meet on Wednesday with…

L.L.Bean Reconsidering Return, Shipping Policies to Cut Costs
February 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

L.L.Bean is reconsidering its generous shipping and return policies in a move to cut costs. L.L.Bean currently offers free shipping on everything, and its "satisfaction" guarantee is so liberal that it's led to abuse of the return policy. Company officials said they will have more to say later this year about shipping and efforts to…

Patagonia is Asking for Your Old Purchases
February 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Patagonia has announced that beginning this April, customers will be able to bring their used Patagonia merchandise to local stores and exchange it for credit to buy new items. The Huffington Post reports Patagonia will then clean, repair and sell the older donated items at discounted prices on its Worn Wear website. The website currently highlights…

Wal-Mart Ends ShippingPass, Launches Free Two-Day Shipping
January 31, 2017 at 11:44 am

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced today that it's ending its ShippingPass delivery subscription pilot and offering free two-day shipping on more than 2 million items without a membership program. The retailer is also lowering the minimum purchase required for free shipping to $35 from $50. Items shipped to stores have no minimum price threshold. Wal-Mart also offers same-day store…

Global Currencies to Respond to the Global Climate … Will You Be Ready?
January 30, 2017 at 9:19 am

The world is watching as Donald J. Trump officially takes the office of the President of the United States, wondering what’s in store for the next four years. If the recent cabinet confirmation hearings, last-minute actions from Obama and even tweets from Trump are any indication, it's going to be an unpredictable time. This is…

Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight
January 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Amazon.com has begun shipping products from its Chinese merchant partners to its U.S. warehouses via ocean freighters, according to The Wall Street Journal. In this arrangement, Amazon acts a freight forwarder, where it doesn’t own ships or employ crews, but acts as a logistics provider and organizer for carriers that do own those vessels. It…

Top Women in Retail 2017: Yael Aflalo, Founder and CEO, Reformation
January 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Total Retail’s seventh annual list of the leading female executives in retail features a who’s who in the industry. This year’s honorees were chosen based on a number of factors, including being in a top-level position within a retail organization, scope of responsibility within that position, career achievements, and involvement within the retail industry. This week we feature Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation.

Connected Packaging Promises Unprecedented Consumer Engagement
January 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

Consumers today are better informed and more selective about the products they purchase than ever before. Armed with smartphones and social media, shoppers can research products on-the-go and select items that best fit their needs. According to a recent RichRelevance study, nearly three-quarters of all consumers, and 84 percent of millennials, use their mobile phones…

What the Holiday Season Means for 2017
January 11, 2017 at 9:31 am

As consumer demand increases, whether it's for a specific product or expedited shipping, smart retailers are rethinking their approach and looking to find ways to optimize their fulfillment operations. Partnering with new providers can enable new capabilities (e.g., same-day delivery or in-store pick up) and break through traditional organizational boundaries that separate digital channels and…

The Value of Allocation Accuracy
January 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

It’s among the most frustrating parts of retailing: You built a strong assortment plan. Great product mix. Good margin. Customer response is better than you had hoped for. You're ready for an outstanding selling season. Yet the allocation process drops the ball. Too many large dresses in store A while the racks are empty in…

How Retailers Can Better Manage Supply Chains in 2017
January 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

Consumer behavior and expectations have changed. The new buying experience with online shopping is putting retailers and their suppliers under pressure to deliver more goods, to more locations, faster. To compete in today's hypercompetitive landscape, retailers should reimagine the supply chain as a digital supply network that combines services, talent and information. B-to-B cloud technologies…

Retailers Preparing for National Returns Day
January 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

UPS is preparing for National Returns Day, happening tomorrow (Jan. 5). According to the company’s website, UPS expects to ship back 1.3 million returns packages to retailers on Thursday, and will handle about 5.8 million returns packages throughout the first full week of January. This means big business for UPS and other parcel services like…

Run-DMC Sues Amazon, Wal-Mart for $50M
January 3, 2017 at 11:17 am

Members of the rap group Run-DMC are suing Amazon.com and Wal-Mart for $50 million for trademark infringement. The suit, filed last Thursday in federal court in New York, accuses the retailers of manufacturing, marketing and selling products with the group's trademarked name, including glasses, hats, T-shirts and wallets. Run-DMC says in the suit that it…

Analysis of UPS and FedEx Dimensional Weight Pricing Changes for 2017
January 3, 2017 at 9:49 am

UPS recently announced it will be changing its dimensional pricing rules following a similar change from FedEx. Effective Jan. 8, the dimensional divisor will be reduced from 166 to 139 for all packages over one cubic foot, or 1,728 cubic inches. Packages below this threshold will continue to be subject to the current dimensional weight…

3 Ways Retailers Can Make Holiday Shoppers Very Happy
December 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

This holiday season has been busier than ever. Cyber Monday beat Adobe predictions that consumers will spend $3.36 billion. Amazon.com launched its Black Friday Deals Store on Nov. 1, a full 24 days before actual Black Friday. Consumers seem to have already redefined “holiday shopping season,” with Narvar tracking pages showing 30 percent higher clickthrough…

SMBs Decrease Shipping Costs With Automation Platform
December 22, 2016 at 10:04 am

It’s hard for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to keep up with the likes of Amazon.com, especially when it comes to shipping. The e-commerce powerhouse is constantly shaking up the shipping industry — from standard two-day shipping for Prime members to delivering packages via drones to a new Uber-like app for its freight and delivery…

How to Drive CX With Shipping
December 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

The 24/7 nature of online shopping is both good and bad. On one hand, as retailers, you reap the rewards of incoming revenue around the clock — from anyone, anywhere, anytime, unfettered by opening and closing times. On the other hand, when orders escalate at peak periods, you need to fulfill and ship them out…

Amazon Secretly Working on ‘Uber for Trucking’ App
December 20, 2016 at 11:47 am

Amazon.com is building an app that matches truck drivers with shippers, a new service that would deepen its presence in the $800 billion trucking industry, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Business Insider. The app, scheduled to launch next summer, is designed to make it easier for truck drivers to find shippers that…