- UPS and Michael's announced the completed rollout of UPS Access Points in 1,100 Michael's craft stores on Monday. The partnership was originally launched in July.
- The partnership integrates with UPS MyChoice's home delivery option, which enables orders destined for a customer's home address to be automatically rerouted to the Access Point of their choice, whether it be a Michael's store location or elsewhere.
- Access Points are part of the carrier's UPS MyChoice program that allows customers to ship orders to and from pickup points in over 38,000 locations worldwide. In the past year, UPS has partnered with CVS and Advance Auto Parts to offer the service as well.
UPS has touted the Access Point and MyChoice offerings as a means to cater to customers' busy lifestyles. According to UPS' Pulse of the Online Shopper survey for 2019, one in five consumers prefers to have items delivered somewhere other than their main residence for security or convenience-related reasons.
For this reason, Amazon has also expanded its network of lockers for parcel pickup in Whole Foods, Rite Aid, Stein Mart, college campuses and even the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The logic behind the offering is similar: convenience and security. Businesses that host Amazon lockers can also benefit from a "spillover effect" whereby customers picking up their order purchase additional items while in-store.
UPS has worked with brick-and-mortar stores to offer various buy online, pickup in-store options to capitalize on this trend as e-commerce orders and returns increase. According to UPS and Michael's, the MyChoice roll-out has not only offered the increased convenience customers want, but the peace of mind knowing their orders will be safe from "porch pirates" looking to steal packages from their doorsteps.
According to a Coresight Research report, 64% of shoppers use BOPIS to avoid shipping costs and 37% use it to receive goods faster versus having them sent to their residence. The report also noted that from a retailer's perspective, logistics and inventory tracking were the largest obstacles stores faced.
To help address this challenge, UPS recently partnered with HubBox, a digital logistics solutions provider, which allows retailers to integrate UPS MyChoice and Access Point delivery options directly into their online checkout pages.
FedEx has been pursuing an expansion of its retail footprint as well. Earlier this year the carrier announced a partnership with Dollar General to offer parcel pickup and drop-off in over 8,000 of the retailer's store locations, particularly in rural, more difficult to service areas nationwide. Set to be complete by 2020, FedEx estimates 90% of Americans will live within 5 miles of a FedEx retail location as a result.