- UPS announced Wednesday a partnership with Shippo, an e-commerce logistics solutions provider, saying it will offer up to 55% off shipping costs and waive surcharges for the 35,000 small- to medium-sized online retailers currently using Shippo's platform.
- Businesses using Shippo will have access to automatic UPS account creation and UPS marketplace rates in addition to Shippo's main functionality, offering e-tailers the ability to manage orders and track deliveries across multiple sales channels at once, including Amazon and eBay.
- According to Shippo's 2018 State of E-Commerce Shipping report, 75% of retailers surveyed said shipping costs were their biggest business challenge, up 7% from last year. This trend coincides with an uptick in customers wanting same-day, next-day or free shipping and returns, all of which are services that put the burden on retailers to recoup delivery costs.
UPS' partnership with Shippo represents an expansion of the carrier's e-commerce solutions portfolio aimed at smaller retailers, Kevin Warren, UPS chief marketing officer, said in a press release. By creating a seamless integration between Shippo's services and UPS logistics offerings, Warren said companies can "focus on what they do best – running their business."
Likewise, the carrier's recent partnerships with retail logistics provider HubBox and brick-and-mortar stores, including Michael's and CVS, are designed to help customers do what they do best – pickup and return their orders.
E-commerce retailers can take advantage of UPS' network of 38,000 access points worldwide to offer buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) services to their customers without needing a physical storefront of their own. Consumers increasingly expect fast, reliable shipping to addresses that aren't necessarily their own and demand the returns process be equally fast and convenient.
FedEx has also been expanding its retail footprint, partnering with 9,000 Walgreens locations and 8,000 Dollar General stores to offer pickup and drop-off services. This week, the carrier announced it will its FedEx Returns Technology offering to 7,300 Walgreens stores, allowing customers to have their return shipment labels printed and affixed in-store, removing a key pain-point for consumers without easy access to a printer or who prefer to ship returns from a physical location.