Following a successful pilot at nine Chicago stores that started in October 2014, UPS (NYSE:UPS) is finally adding 300 self-service package pickup lockers across the country with an aim of solving a problem that’s been annoying both UPS and its users — missed deliveries.
UPS also seeks to make it easier for online retailers to improve shopper’s online experience and increase their sales. The lockers are basically alternate delivery locations. UPS also says that online retailers will be able to integrate the locker delivery addresses into their web checkout addresses, giving “stranded eCommerce” shoppers a nearby delivery location where front-door delivery is not possible.
The lockers will be installed outside convenience stores and other locations and they will be accessible 24 hours a day.
“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 in a prepared release. “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 UPS Access Point lockers are meant to supplement UPS’ in-store Access Point Program, where businesses such as dry cleaners, delis, grocery stores and convenience stores agree to serve as pick up points in exchange for a small per-package fee.
Of course, in-store pickups may only be feasible at a volume of about a handful a day so as not to disrupt the business already operating there. Where larger volumes of delivery are needed, however, the UPS Access Point lockers will make more sense.
“The increase in online shopping parallels the interest in alternate delivery locations,” Robinson adds. “UPS Access Point lockers are one of the many ways that UPS is helping our customers offer consumers a great online shopping experience.”
Small business owners or retailers that are interested in hosting a locker can now apply online.