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B2R: A Retail and Delivery Revolution
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Customers can buy from ANYwhere, and want their products shipped to EVERYwhere. Shipping Business-to-Consumer (B2C) no longer just means residential delivery. It’s the ability to go beyond their home, and include locations more closely aligned with how they spend their time – at work, at school, and in their neighborhood. To remain competitive, businesses must offer delivery options that sync-up with customer’s lifestyle.

That’s where Business-to-Retail (B2R) comes in. B2R allows customers the option to have a package delivered to a retail location rather than their home. How does this help me, you ask? Let’s say you order that electronic device for your daughter that she’s been bugging you to get for the longest time. But you don’t want the item shipped to your home because no one will be there during typical delivery times and you definitely don’t want the package left outside your door. So to avoid the frustration of a missed delivery, you choose to have the package delivered to a retail store near where you live. When the store receives your package, you are notified and you pick it up. Simply said, B2R gives you more control over how your purchase reaches you allowing greater flexibility for deliveries.

UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn recently talked about the new B2R market, and how acquiring Kiala, a Belgium-based provider of B2C delivery solutions, supports the importance of creating a good customer experience.

“What Kiala does is it focuses on these e-customer companies that want to offer customers an alternative to have the package directly shipped to a retailer near them,” Kurt said. “They have built a network in five countries in Europe with 6,500 drop off points. And if you go to the website of one of these e-customer companies that works with Kiala, there’s actually a shipping option for Kiala. If you want it delivered to a retail location, you put in your zip code and up pops the map showing you two or three or four different stores where that package can be left at. It lowers the cost of delivery because we’ve turned a B2C delivery into a B2B delivery with multiple packages for the retailer, and it’s a win-win-win.”

In a world where almost everyone has a mobile device, days when land lines were a primary driver of commerce are over. With the tools of smart phones and tablets expanding, e-commerce sales will grow as a component of total retail sales – 6-8% in major countries. I’m sure you’ve already seen retailers experimenting with multiple options to get your business, like offering free shipping. The future of retail/e-tail competitiveness is dependent on enhanced buyer options. Businesses must offer you delivery options that align with your lifestyle. You do want a friction-free experience from purchase to delivery, right? I know I do.

Category: Business Insights
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