How retailers can keep growing returns costs in check

This images show someone returning a package.

While most retailers have recently recorded a decline in returns, the cost burden is still big, and many retailers are increasingly looking for ways to reverse course even further. It’s retail’s unavoidable story, especially e-commerce: For each percentage of growth in sales comes more returned items from customers. It’s the double-edged sword that keeps getting […]

Avoid Supply Chain Dominos by Navigating the Disruption Du Jour

Shipping Containers

By Tom Behnke, Total Retail It can feel, at times, like a game of dominos. When there’s a global supply chain disruption, like those we’ve been seeing in recent months on the Red Sea and the Panama Canal, e-commerce companies and, ultimately, consumers feel the downstream ripples. For those working on the inside, it’s nothing […]

Optimizing Warehouses – Blend of Art, Science, and Humans

A picture of a large warehouse fulfillment center.

Today, warehouses in the supply chain are more complicated than ever, from meeting constant and growing customer demand, especially in the e-commerce sector, to an ever-growing selection of products and even globalization. Warehouse operations that are in tip-top shape have never been more important. An inefficient warehouse will negatively impact every other part of the […]

Making Sure Your Fulfillment Partnership Doesn’t End in Divorce

A man and woman are unhappy.

In the logistics industry, we have a saying, “you date your transportation partners, but you marry your 3PL fulfillment partner.” There’s a lot of truth in this analogy. Perhaps we can humor you with the many ways that finding a 3PL is similar to heading to the altar – metaphorically.  The dating process involves researching, […]

Ecommerce Quandary, Fixing the Returns Problem

Someone hands packages to be returned to a worker.

Ecommerce is a blessing and a curse in the world of retail. While it’s played a key role in the overall success of retail in recent decades, it’s also saddled the industry with a growing returns problem. For every percentage growth in sales, more items are returned by customers. As the 2023 holiday season’s returns […]

Same-day Delivery Expectations are Growing. How Can Online Retailers Compete? 

A man delivers groceries to a woman at her home.

Same-day delivery has been around for a while – think flowers, Dominos, and auto parts. UberEATS, DoorDash, and your local grocery store dramatically expanded the same-day food delivery sector during the pandemic. And, thanks to Amazon, Target, and Walmart, people are receiving more than food every day to their front door. 100 million Prime members […]

What’s The Deal With “Black Friday?”

Black Friday shopper holds many bags.

Shoppers in America christened the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” long before the internet and eCommerce began to dominate the retail world. This year will be no different. However, the phenomenon is not a single-day experience – and it’s not just an American event. Here’s a quick look backward and forward on Black Friday […]

Porch Pirates on the Prowl This Holiday Season: Here’s How to Outsmart Them

A thief steals packages recently delivered

Your package tracking app reports, “Delivered,” yet there’s no trace of the package by the front door. Has your parcel fallen prey to porch pirates? You’re not alone. According to a survey by C+R Research, about 14% of Americans have had packages stolen by the now-infamous porch pirates. As consumers prepare their homes for the […]

Workers are integral to supply chains

How Can Supply Chains Boost Slipping Workforce Morale While Under Transition?  The highlight of 2023 has been labor unions rising up in demand for better working conditions, job security, and fair wages. Such calls could get louder in the future.  Reprint of an article in The Logistics Report by Vishnu Rajamanickam, Oct 4, 2023. “Workers […]

Warehouse Automation Not Always the Best Decision

Despite all the advances in warehouse automation in ecommerce fulfillment, enabling greater efficiency and addressing the common difficulty of finding enough workers to perform the highly repetitive, physical tasks, most organizations are not looking to jump in with both feet. In fact, a 2022 survey by Modern Materials Handling found that as much as 90% […]