Closing the Delivery Divide

Global consumers are tapping into the power of choice, control and convenience.

Ever heard of the digital divide?

It’s the developing gap between people with and without access to computers and broadband – the digital haves and have-nots, if you will. 

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E-commerce is empowering consumers to search, shop and purchase when, where and how they want.

The proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices opened another path to the internet for more people, but much work remains to bring the digital world to all people around the globe.

That’s not the only gap we need to close.

The delivery divide

E-commerce is empowering sophisticated consumers to search and shop when, where and how they want. The gap is in delivering purchases to those same sophisticated shoppers when, where and how they want.

Let’s call it the delivery divide.

Stakeholders in the e-commerce space are hoping to close the delivery divide so every person around the globe can participate in the digital world. Getting purchases into the hands of online buyers on the first delivery attempt is the holy grail for all three constituents in the e-commerce value chain: consumers, merchants and carriers.

In this scenario, consumers receive their packages on terms that fit their lifestyles. Merchants receive fewer consumer complaints and build customer loyalty through a great end-to-end experience. Lastly, the carrier handles the package just once, adding tremendous efficiency into the supply chain.

Everyone wins.

Most recipients – the delivery haves – consistently connect with their packages when, where and how they want. Nobody worries about them.

But for others – the delivery have-nots – things are way more complicated. Their lives are a flurry of missed packages, delivery delays and re-delivery hassles simply because they reside in urban areas or apartments or are away during the day and can’t sign for packages.

Sound familiar?

And if you think you have it rough, consider this: Some of these delivery have-nots are doubly unlucky because they live in countries where it’s standard procedure for carriers to make just one delivery attempt before relegating packages to warehouses for customer pickup or returning the packages to sender if not picked up in a timely fashion.

Their problems only start with the missed delivery. No one wins.

For e-retailers looking to create customer loyalty and foster customer engagement, it’s imperative to close the delivery divide. That’s because satisfaction with the delivery experience – something outside the core competency of most e-retailers – is the No. 1 factor driving loyalty with online shoppers, according to the digital research company eMarketer.

Three quarters of shoppers say they are more likely to make additional purchases from an e-retailer if they are happy with the delivery, eMarketer says.

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UPS My Choice leverages the ubiquity and power of the smartphone to give consumers greater package visibility.

Can smartphones and other online technologies come to the rescue again and provide an alternative?

UPS thinks so. In recent years, we have been working hard to close the delivery divide and help merchants turn more of their online shoppers into loyal customers.

We’ve developed a suite of alternative delivery options through a package-delivery management solution called UPS My Choice®.

Choice, control and convenience

UPS My Choice leverages the ubiquity and power of the smartphone (or if you’re trying to limit your screen time, your computer) to give consumers greater package visibility in transit and in many cases, the option to adjust delivery dates and locations to fit their schedule.

This includes more than 28,000 global UPS Access Point locations like The UPS Store, your local hardware store or dry cleaner.

Originally rolled out in 2011 in the U.S. and then expanded to 16 countries, UPS My Choice has expanded again to an additional 96 countries in 2018 – with a suite of updated options that reflect the company’s understanding of consumer demands and preferences in the digital age.

It’s a solution that promises to help close the delivery divide by giving consumers a tool that provides them with more choice, control and convenience when it comes to shipping.

For more information on UPS My Choice, click here.

Top Photo: [Slava Bowman/ Unsplash]

David Carder is Director of Customer Technology Marketing at UPS.

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