As major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target continue to one-up each other with the dizzying array of products they can deliver in two days or less and at no extra cost, consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to fast and free shipping. And small businesses are feeling the pressure to keep up.
Against the backdrop of these increased consumer expectations—and the increased logistical challenges that e-commerce companies face—UPS recently announced several new initiatives.
In an exclusive statement to Black Enterprise, Kevin Warren, UPS’s chief marketing officer, shared how their new services benefit small businesses:
These days, online merchants are competing on shipping almost as much as they are competing on price. How is UPS helping small and medium-sized businesses improve their shipping offerings?
Shipping is just one component of delivering products to consumers. Logistics is all about choreographing the movement of goods, information and funds into one efficient, seamless supply chain. So, we’ve made it easier than ever for SMB customers to track deliveries, answer customer shipment questions, access real-time data, and streamline their shipping operations. Here are some examples:
Cross-border e-commerce is growing fast and is a significant opportunity for our SMB customers. To help our customers tap into this opportunity, we created UPS Worldwide Economy, an affordable and easy-to-use international service that allows SMBs to send lower-value, cross-border shipments to the top e-commerce markets around the world.
We are now providing later pickups for next-day Ground delivery, enabling SMB shippers to process more orders in a day. Later pickup times are available now to hubs covering 85% of the U.S.
We also understand how busy small businesses work, so we are also dramatically increasing the number and variety of locations where they can pick up and drop off packages. We just added Advance Auto Parts, CVS Pharmacy, and Michaels stores, bringing our total number of Access Point locations to 21,000.
Small businesses juggle many tasks trying to run their business, and logistics shouldn’t be one of them. UPS helps them maximize their supply chains so they can focus on what they do best.
The shipping wars have left many smaller e-commerce businesses at the mercy of major retailers. What is UPS hearing from its small and medium-sized business clients about their pain points when it comes to shipping?
Our customers want more convenience, choice, and control over their shipping and delivery so they can better serve their customers and compete globally.
That’s why we just launched My Choice for business, a tracking platform that allows small businesses to compete with their larger competitors. This visibility and tracking tool (that traditionally only larger businesses had access to) lets them better manage when and how they receive and ship packages. Now small businesses can self-register for a tool that actively improves their business processes around inbound receiving, outbound shipping, and customer service. New inbound delivery alerts (“day before” and “day of” delivery) along with delivery change options that will come in October will enable small businesses to improve their end customers’ experience.
Knowing more precisely when they will receive shipments through tighter estimated delivery windows will help them improve their receiving business processes and gain better visibility over their inventory. With a better picture of their inventory, small business owners can avoid the costs of keeping extra stock on-hand.
By helping SMBs improve their inbound receiving, shipping, and customer service processes, UPS is helping them operate more efficiently and compete in a global marketplace.