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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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Flexe Raises $70 Million to Continue Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Flexe, pioneer of he concept of warehouse on demand, has raised $70 million to build out its technology platform and facilities network connecting shippers with available space while also providing WMS and OMS capabilities. The company has increased its facilities base 50% to 1,500 in the past year as ecommerce demand has exploded.

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Amazon, Best Buy Tout Expanded Pickup Options

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon and Best Buy are both touting their expanded network of alternate pickup locations to deal with the holiday crush ahead of Black Friday, giving shoppers more options for getting their stuff fast. Amazon said it has Hub locations in more than 900 cities and towns, while Best Buy’s network is over 16,000.

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Lowe’s Rolls Out Pickup Lockers, With Plans to Go Chain-Wide by Q1

| Mike O'Brien

Catching up with category leader Home Depot, Lowe’s is rolling out lockers for ecommerce order pickup in the front of stores in the New York tri-state area, Philadelphia and Charlotte, NC, with plans to expand to all 1,729 U.S. stores by March 2021. Lockers will be added in Florida, Washington and Texas in the coming weeks.

Identity Marketing Firm SheerID Raises $64 Million

| Douglas P. Clement

SheerID, whose software quickly verifies a person’s status as a member of a particular consumer “tribe,” has raised $64 million in an equity round. It defines identity marketing as a form of personalization focused on winning over consumer tribes that align with the brand’s promise. Clients include Target, Amazon, Lowe’s and Urban Outfitters.

Prime Day by the Numbers: 175 Million Items Ordered and Other Cool Stats

| Mike O'Brien

Prime Day saw 175 million items purchased by Prime members over the two days, according to Amazon, eclipsing its 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined, while analysts pegged total GMV at $6 billion to $6.2 billion. See what other interesting statistics we found to paint a picture of the concocted “Christmas in July.”

Same-Day Delivery Service Dolly Raises $7.5M in New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

Same-day delivery services startup Dolly has raised $7.5 million in new capital to fund expansion and increase its operational and technical teams, raising its venture funding total to $20 million. An Amazon executive is one of the new investors. Dolly plans to expand to 15-20 new markets this year and uses independent contractors.

Half of U.S. Consumers Visiting Amazon During Prime Day Experienced Issues

| Mike O'Brien

A survey by JDA Software found that more than half of U.S. consumers – 52% – ran into technical difficulties during Prime Day. Of that group, 27% either gave up without making a purchase or bought less than they had planned. Amazon is also facing allegations of raising prices on some products, with the FTC looking into it.