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Amazon and UPS just made return shipping easier, what's your plan?

Posted by Ron Lee on 8/14/17 10:45 AM

It's been an interesting couple of weeks as industry giants Amazon and UPS both introduced new return shipping tools and policies that will have a big impact on merchants. Every type of shipper will want to watch these moves closely, especially consumer products and ecommerce businesses.

On the Amazon front, a new policy takes effect October 2nd which "automatically authorizes" returns for customers receiving orders through the fulfilled by seller shipping program. Almost as if on cue, UPS also announced a streamlined return shipping process this week to help customers easily print prepaid return labels.

It's well-established that customer demand is at the heart of these changes, shoppers buy more products when they have confidence in a free and simple return process. But how can vendors, worried about a loss of control, get in position to at least manage the impact of these policy changes, or better yet, find the upside?

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Strategy

Are you prepared for the biggest surge in Back-to-School shopping?

Posted by Cara Posey on 8/11/17 10:56 AM

Back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record breaking $83.6 billion this year, surpassing previous figures of $75.8 billion in 2016.

These recent projections from the National Retail Federation include spending for both college and schools – the expected rise of $7.8 billion is due to greater confidence in the state of the economyOn average, parents are anticipated to spend $238.89 on clothing, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes, and $114.12 on school supplies.

Trends reveal back-to-school shopping searches begin as early as two months before the school year starts. What’s more, 46% of back-to-school shoppers and 44% of back-to-college shoppers will buy supplies online.

The expected rush of school supply purchases over the coming weeks is a big eye opener for retailers in this space. As demand soars, retailers must ensure they have the right measures in place to meet demand and customer expectations.

Preparation is key, but there is still time to make a difference. Here’s what you should be doing right now to streamline operations for one of the busiest times of the year.

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Topics: News, Strategy, Holidays

Are you ignoring packaging optimization and losing profits?

Posted by Cara Posey on 8/3/17 2:05 PM

Your packaging strategy has a direct impact on your bottom line. If you use too much packaging, you incur unnecessary costs in materials and carrier charges. Use too little, and you fail to protect your products, leaving you with significantly higher costs to replace the original items and send them to the customer a second time.

What may seem like only a couple of dollars wasted at a time, when you have thousands of boxes shipped every month, can quickly turn into thousands or millions of dollars lost every year.

Let’s explore a few of the main reasons why packaging optimization should be a priority.

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Articles, Strategy

5 Shipping Challenges You Need to Overcome in 2017

Posted by Cara Posey on 1/18/17 2:31 PM

Think about the biggest challenges your company has experienced with shipping this past year. Nothing brings these challenges to light more than the holiday season, which just closed with a 21.6% increase in online sales. While retailers had 97% fulfillment, the crush of orders being filled certainly brings pain points to the surface.

Companies may not even realize it, but they often find themselves trapped by many of the same things other manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors encounter.

  • Shipping is inefficient—Your team is wasting time managing multiple carriers and logging in to multiple websites each day.
  • There is no integration—You lack an ERP system and shipping platform that work together in sync.
  • The solution isn’t scalable—As your business adds new brands and partners, it is impossible to manage all of the shipping requirements.
  • Carriers are too expensive—Your company lacks a multi-carrier strategy with the ability to quickly shop rates across carriers to ensure low cost in the best time frame for each shipment
  • Strategy isn't evolvingShipping is changing and operations execs are looking for ways to save, provide better service, and stay current. What are you doing in your business?

If your business wants to be known for consistently efficient service, there is a better way to get there. Here are five shipping challenges you need to overcome in 2017 to help grow your business.

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Topics: Articles, Strategy

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