Shipping costs aren't the only thing weighing retailers' digital profits this holiday season.
As operations become more complex for companies doing business both online and in store, out-of-stocks, overstocks and returns are costing retailers $1.75 trillion a year — a number that's only moving higher.
What's more, as retailers struggle to get a read on how much merchandise they have and where it's located, many are falling short on their promise to make it easy for shoppers to pick up their online orders in store. As a result, these businesses are likely to miss out on future sales from consumers whom they've disappointed in the past.
"This is the time of year when it really becomes acute," said John Squire, CEO of retail analytics firm DynamicAction .