Retailers aren’t the only companies shifting their delivery systems. As they innovate to meet online demand, shipping carriers within their supply chains are being affected and seek to do the same. UPS is finding that their shipping options have to exceed mere traditional pick up and delivery. The more convenience and speed at which shoppers can order online, the more UPS has to adapt to today’s e-commerce.
Recently, UPS has made an aggressive move with the official launch of its’ new Access Point Lockers. The carrier leader has decided to add 300 self-service package pickup lockers nationwide. Prior to the roll out, UPS performed a pilot program with nine Chicago stores in 2014. The lockers provides customers with the convenience and speed for package retrieval, as well as resolving missed delivery issues, which has plagued the carrier’s reputation, especially during the holiday season.
“For online retailers, providing additional convenient delivery locations is one of the secrets to more shopping cart conversions, greater loyalty and happier customers,” said director of the UPS Access Point locker program Kalin Robinson. She went on to say, “UPS Access Point lockers can be easily accessed when it fits the shopper’s schedule, giving an online retailer added value to present at checkout. The lockers enable more shoppers to enjoy the ease and simplicity of buying online.”
“The increase in online shopping parallels the interest in alternate delivery locations,” Robinson added. “UPS Access Point lockers are one of the many ways that UPS is helping our customers offer consumers a great online shopping experience.” Loyal online customers is what UPS is after. This is ultimately what Amazon has built with its Prime membership program, coupled with consistent and reliable two-day shipping deliveries. Now, Amazon has implemented free Same-Day Delivery within 27 major US city markets nationwide.
UPS was slightly involved in same-day delivery until this past February. A strategic investment was made into Deliv to study a same-day delivery model and how the market segment evolves. The venture arm of UPS, led a $28 million funding round for the start-up company at the time. UPS has taken a minority stake in Deliv and also sits in on board meetings. It appears the shipping leader is pursuing in-depth analysis to essentially find how same-day delivery can beneficial, in spite of it not being the company’s core competency.
The locker system may work for some market segments, yet there will still be customers that will pick up at physical locations also, which is why UPS is engaging in same-day delivery. Various companies and retailers are venturing out to partner with a Same-Day Courier like AQuickDelivery to fulfill online orders fast. Right from their brick-and-mortar locations, the Atlanta Courier can pick up and deliver to customers throughout Georgia, as well as throughout the US. As online business grows, lockers and close proximity pick ups can be performed by the customer or courier will become used more.
Reference: 7.7.16, www.smallbiztrends.com, Antony Maina, UPS Lockers Serve eCommerce Customers without Delivery Address