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DIY Versus DIFM Auto Parts Sales – How Do You Steer Online Growth?
Machanic Working on a Car Engine

By now you know the stats. The average age of automobiles will climb beyond its current record of 11.4 years. Automotive aftermarket e-tail revenue is projected to double within three years. There is significant revenue potential for your business. But your web presence will need more than a quick tune-up to capture your share of incremental sales.

Who is shopping online and what are they looking for? Let’s take a look at the dynamics around DIY (do-it-yourself) vs. DIFM (do-it-for-me) consumers and the differences in their purchase trends.

According to the Auto Care Association’s E-tailing in the Automotive Aftermarket study, which surveyed both technicians and end consumers, 16 percent of replacement parts purchased within the last six months were installed by customers. This varies greatly from the results found in UPS’s What’s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper study by comScore, which focused solely on the end-consumer. This study found that significantly more, 63% of replacement parts buyers and 51% of upgrade buyers, consumers install parts themselves. Read More »

E-tailing is the Automotive Aftermarket’s New Growth Engine

If your company doesn’t have a significant online presence, you’re missing an important growth opportunity. The automotive aftermarket’s fastest growing sales channel, e-tailing, is expanding so briskly that some industry experts anticipate aftermarket e-tailing revenue will double by 2018.

This online growth is expected to dramatically outperform brick-and-mortar automotive aftermarket sales, which are projected to remain flat for the foreseeable future. That means automotive aftermarket companies must immediately invest in the e-commerce part of their businesses to stay competitive and grow. Of course, establishing an online presence must be done wisely. In the general retail space, e-commerce has become very sophisticated since retailers started emphasizing that sales channel in the late 1990’s. After experiencing double digit growth for several years, e-commerce now accounts for 7% of all retail transactions and is showing no signs of slowing down. Read More »

The Consumer-led Revolution

How social and mobile media are shaking up retail.

Reprinted from Longitudes

It’s interesting how phrases from the pioneering days of the retail industry have stayed with us. Well over a century ago, Marshall Field said: “Right or wrong, the customer is always right.” R.H. Macy added: “Be everywhere. Do everything. And never fail to astonish the customer.”

Neither could we have known how literally those statements apply today, how powerfully they have been enabled by a revolution in technology, or how fundamentally they are changing the face of retail around the world.

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“3 Reasons Why We Ship With UPS”

The following was posted by Dan Stepchew, chief marketing officer for Medelita on the company’s blog

We use UPS as the preferred shipping method for all of our orders, especially our international orders, for a whole list of business-related reasons that I don’t need to get into. There are, however, 3 main benefits that we enjoy when working with UPS:

1. Our orders get where they need to go, end of story.

While we completely understand that not every single package is going to make it to our customers exactly on time and in the right place, an overwhelming majority of them do. This is astounding considering the company delivers an average of 1.6 million packages in a single day using 237 airplanes in 220 countries around the world. When a package doesn’t get where it needs to go, it’s typically a painless process to resolve the situation. Read More »

Jim Barber, President of UPS International, Talks Global Trade at the Discover Global Markets Conference

Jim Barber, the president of UPS International, was the keynote speaker at the Discover Global Markets conference (sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce) on June 3 in Los Angeles. Barber’s remarks focused on ways to overcome obstacles that often stand in the way of small- to mid-sized businesses that want to grow their companies through exporting.

Barber cited a local company, Medelita, which makes professional-grade lab coats for the healthcare industry, as an example of companies that are often frustrated by the tariffs, customs regulations and documentation requirements when trying to export. Read More »

Kuehn Sees Growth in Next-Day Delivery

While established companies and recent start-ups promising same-day delivery are getting a lot of media air time these days, UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn predicts even faster growth for shippers who wait just a little longer.

“Same day is not new. Courier services have been doing that in metro areas for a long time,” said Kuehn, who appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box as a part of the network’s Global CFO Council series. “We think rather than same-day delivery, the big push will be local next-day delivery. We see (next day) as a much bigger force over time than the limited same day deliveries.” Read More »

From Small business owners: Why it’s important to shop small
Shop Small Badge

We’ve been posting about it for weeks, and Small Business Saturday is here! Whether you still have a list of people to shop for, or simply want to treat yourself today, it’s a great time to shop small. Whether you patronize your local clothing boutique, the neighborhood toy store, or even the corner coffee shop, shopping small means supporting business owners in your own neighborhood, and helping your community thrive.

Here at The UPS Store, we love our small business customers, and work closely with them to ensure we understand their challenges, goals, and to find out what they think about small business. In fact, we host a private online community of small business owners – The Small Biz Buzz – where we ask for feedback about products and services, offer access to exclusive content, speakers and products. We also use it to get to learn more about our customers.

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My business runs thanks to the support of other small businesses

As part of our series of posts leading up to small business Saturday, we’re shining the spotlight on Steve Crain, co-owner of A> Prompt Computer Service, LLC. He took some time to talk with us about his journey as small business owner.

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Living the Dream with Living Dreams Clothing
Living Dreams

As part of our series of blog posts leading up to small business Saturday, we’re shining the spotlight on Michael Poulos, owner of Living Dreams, in Scottsdale, AZ. After Michael recently returned from traveling around California and the Pacific Northwest promoting Living Dreams, he sat down to discuss the importance of supporting local small businesses.

Tell me about your business?

I founded a beach lifestyle clothing label in 2011. We make t-shirts, hats and fun casual apparel sold online and at local boutiques. The idea behind the name, Living Dreams, is to encourage others to follow their passion in life and do what they love.

I come from a line of entrepreneurs. I’ve been enthusiastic about fashion since my high school screen printing class, so I decided to give business a shot.

Read More »

Connecting with small businesses keeps Flying Connected in business
Flying Connected

Small Business Saturday, founded by American Express in 2010, is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Small Business Saturday is about more than just a single day. It’s a movement. Help us celebrate and support small business in our community and SHOP SMALL all month long.

In celebration of the Shop Small Movement, we’re shining the spotlight on our small business customers all month long. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Flying Connected, an iPad rental company based in New York City. The eight-person company has been featured in national media and counts plenty of big-name businesses and organizations in its client roster, but founder Zalmy Raskin remains committed to the belief that there are big benefits to being small.

Read More »