If you’ve ever shopped online, you know how exciting it can be to open your front door to find a delivery person waiting with your latest swag in hand. Now there’s even better news for lovers of online shopping who hate to wait until Tuesday for their precious packages to arrive.
UPS is now offering Saturday delivery and pickup services to meet rising ecommerce demand for much of the country. With this move, the company is creating over 6,000 new jobs and giving 152 million people in 4,700 cities access to Saturday service by the end of 2017 (just in time for the holiday gift-giving season). Coverage is planned to expand to 5,800 cities by the end of 2018.
“The addition of another ground operations day more efficiently utilizes our existing delivery network and offers online shoppers an even faster ground delivery solution,” says Teresa Finley, chief marketing officer at UPS.“We are confident this will help our ecommerce customers capture market growth.”
Because consumers will gain up to two days on delivery dates, this means a Saturday shopping spree could well pay off with a Monday delivery. Finley says there will be no extra fees or additional steps required to take advantage of expedited residential ground delivery.
As a result of the change, online retailers stand to benefit from fewer lost sales due to abandoned online shopping carts, enhanced ship-from-store options and fewer items being out of stock. In the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, retailers reported 46 percent of customers abandon a shopping cart for reasons including long shipping times, and 62 percent of shoppers select ground delivery.
When it comes to enterprise ecommerce, online entrepreneurs are well familiar with the effect of delivery time on shopping cart abandonment. A survey by Econsultancyfound the longer online shoppers were told they’d have to wait for delivery, the more likely they were to bail on the purchase.
Among Econsultancy’s key findings:
-An estimated delivery time of eight days or more leads to a 38 percent cart abandonment rate.
-Six to seven days leads to a 16 percent abandonment rate.
-Four to five days leads to a 15 percent rate of abandonment.
In other words, even with easy site navigation and strong product selection, shoppers will still click the dreaded “X” during checkout if they don’t like their shipping options. Furthermore, even when sellers incentivize shoppers with free delivery they still won’t forgive a lack of speed.
A study by worldwide consulting firm Accenture found 68 percent of shoppers refuse to wait more than five days for free delivery. This means speedy fulfillment is more important than ever. Each day of waiting you can eliminate for your customer helps improve your conversion rate.
Last year proved to be a major tipping point in the ecommerce world. Online purchases accounted for more than half of 2016’s total retail volume (51 percent). This is up from 48 percent in 2015 and online shoppers expect fast delivery to be part of the process.
To keep pace, transportation companies are prioritizing speed. UPS began testing the Saturday delivery program in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles in 2016. Further expansion is underway in those cities and broader deployment began in April to 15 additional metropolitan areas including New York, Chicago and Boston. As online shopping continues to obsolete the traditional shopping model, UPS is offering Saturday delivery and pickup services to meet rising ecommerce demand.