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Here’s how web retailers can truly deliver

By jocelynqz
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

We don’t just shop for great products online anymore. We shop for great ways to make the products we buy completely our own. Dozens of colour options, materials of every type, and why not opt for the monogram option? Then the same tired list of delivery options shows up to get that custom masterpiece into our hands.

More and more of us are ready to abandon our baskets at this point. The right deal online is often tied to the right delivery offline, and increasingly the last step in the purchase process is becoming the deal-breaker: Only 57% of UK online shoppers are satisfied with the number of available shipping options, according to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ 2015 white paper.

About half of shoppers breeze through product pages to get to the shipping list and see what the delivery experience is going to be. They’ll click away if costs are too high or estimated arrival is too distant or unclear. And they’re not all just looking for the standard, cheapest way home: six in ten will select two-day or faster shipping from a list of options, a marked shift from prior survey years.

Shipping is not just about cost and speed, though. It’s about the final destination. One reason we shop online more than ever is that we’re working more than ever, living on the go and browsing for convenience. The days of the home delivery waiting game are numbered, indeed—consumers have less and less tolerance for worrying about whether deliveries are unattended or unavailable at home.

A men’s retailer saw 56% of its customers choose to shop online and collect goods in the store during the 2014 festive season, up from 40% in 2013, due in large part to shoppers’ aversion to arranging their schedules around an estimated parcel delivery time.

Avoiding the crowded aisles, limited options, and varying prices of brick and mortar stores is a huge driver of e-commerce—but avoiding the store entirely is up there too, so in-store collection doesn’t appeal to everyone. Many try the office delivery hustle, but who wants the prying eyes of colleagues on web shopping impulses, as well as the hassle of lugging it all home?

A new option has emerged that combines the best of these options: it’s essentially in-store collection for any purchase, but the store is always close-by in your neighbourhood. UPS Access Point™ has partnered with 13,000 local businesses across Europe (like newsagents and convenience stores) to serve as delivery locations for customers shopping with participating e-retailers. These UPS Access Point™ locations are open late and on weekends, and also allow for easy returns.

Those with products to sell, especially during the festive season, are competing to end up in your shopping basket. Once they find a way in, the real winners will be ready with plenty of ways to make it out—quickly, flexibly, and conveniently.

Learn more about the habits of online shoppers here.

This article was produced on behalf of UPS by the Quartz marketing team and not by the Quartz editorial staff.

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