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Holiday Returns Cost Expected to Double

| Mike O'Brien

After the explosion in holiday ecommerce, comes the flood of holiday returns, expected to cost retailers $1.1 billion, twice what it did in 2020, according to data from Narvar. goTRG and Returnly both said Dec. 26 was the peak day for consumers to initiate returns. UPS traditionally lists Jan. 2 as peak returns day for transit of returns.

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International Parcel Shipping Provider Passport Raises $12M

| Mike O'Brien

Passport, a provider of international parcel shipping services, has raised $12 million in a Series A round to build out its parcel supply chain network for ecommerce and DTC brands. Funding for the round was secured by M13 and included participation from Resolute Ventures, Precursor, Kleiner Perkins, RiverPark and Republic.

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Happy Returns Network Expands to 2,600+ Locations in FedEx Deal

| Mike O'Brien

After parting ways with Amazon last year, FedEx is now jumping deeper into ecommerce returns, much as Amazon did with Kohl’s, by adding Happy Returns bars to 2,000+ FedEx locations, including 300 inside Walmart stores. Unboxed returns will be accepted from 150 different retailers when the program launches at the end of October.

Sizing Matters: How Tech, Standards Are Working to Solve Apparel Returns

| Mike O'Brien

Issues with sizing and color conventions have probably been an issue since the invention of clothes. And with so much shopping now driven online by the pandemic, combined with generally liberal return policies, apparel returns have exploded. New technology solutions and industry standards are both working to solve the problem.

Staples to Accept Returns from Other Retailers Through Optoro Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

Continuing a growing trend toward making ecommerce returns more convenient and safer for shoppers in the contactless pandemic era, Staples has struck a partnership with Optoro in which the office supply giant will accept unboxed returns from other retailers that will be processed by Optoro. More retailers will come online in January.

MCM Top 3PLs 2021: Looking for Leading Providers in Ecommerce, DTC

| Mike O'Brien

Now in its sixth year for 2021, Multichannel Merchant’s MCM Top 3PL listing showcases leading third-party logistics companies serving ecommerce and direct-to-customer (DTC) businesses. How does your organization measure up? We’re accepting submissions now through Nov. 7. Be recognized as a true leader in the field!

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How Retailers Can Flip Ecommerce Returns into a Competitive Advantage

| Dan Nevin

Amid a growing reliance on ecommerce post-pandemic, returns are growing rapidly as well. Retailers that don’t analyze the impact won’t stand out from the competition and solidify customer loyalty. Although you must balance costs with customer satisfaction, it is possible to do both. Here are six steps you can take.

10 Steps to an Effective Ecommerce Fulfillment Center Move Plan

| Brian Barry

In developing an ecommerce fulfillment center move plan, it is helpful to understand some common problems other multichannel companies have encountered, including lack of a sufficiently detailed planning and budgeting process and inventory inaccuracy before and after. Following these 10 steps will help make your move a success.

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3 Tips for SMBs to Turn COVID-19 Customers into Long-Term Loyalists

| Krish Iyer

Not only have small businesses been able to rise to customers’ heightened expectations during the pandemic shutdown as they pivoted to ecommerce, they stepped up and filled major supply gaps. SMBs now have a window of opportunity to convert one-time customers into long-term loyalists, and here’s how they can do so.