Logistics firm, UPS, is launching its own version of a click and collect service in the UK called Access Point.
Access Point is claimed to offer an alternative to home delivery and enables consumers purchasing goods over the internet to choose convenient delivery and returns locations such as convenience stores, petrol stations and newsagents.
According to UPS, it has a network of more than 500 stores already signed up as collection points with 1,500 set to be in place in the UK by June 2013.
UPS said high street retailers can also make use of UPS Access Point technology to offer click and collect solutions to their customers. It allows multi-channel retailers to use their own shop-fronts as collection points for items purchased via their on-line channel, eliminating the need for investment in technology and transport.
More and more people are now choosing to purchase goods on line and consumer research indicates a growing appetite for alternatives to home delivery as well as a need for improved returns services, said UPS.
The IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2012 found 37% of UK consumers say the ability to choose an alternative delivery point with long opening hours would make receiving deliveries more convenient and only 60% of consumers are generally satisfied with their experience of returning items purchased on line, said UPS. At the same time, forecasts have predicted growth rates for e-commerce sales in the US and Europe of 13-15% over the next five years.
The Access Point launch follows UPS’s acquisition of Belgium-based delivery specialist, Kiala, in February 2012. Kiala is reported to have an award-winning technology platform plus a network of more than 6,500 retail locations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain. UPS is now rolling out this model in the UK and plans further European expansion with Germany set to follow later this year.
“UPS Access Point in the UK combines Kiala’s powerful technology platform and the integrated transportation network of the world’s largest package delivery company to provide convenient, reliable B2C delivery solutions and the very best customer service,” said Joe Mozzali, vice president of strategy, UPS Europe.
“Furthermore, UPS Access Point will also offer industry-leading cross-border services. All this will help to increase convenience and quality of service for consumers, which has been identified as a key objective by the European Commission in its Green Paper on the role of parcel services in e-commerce growth in the EU.”
While UPS continues to offer a home delivery service it said Access Point offers a convenient alternative, enabling convenient, first-time deliveries, improving the overall consumer experience and making on-line shopping an even more attractive proposition.
“The B2C sector is and will continue to be a powerful growth area”, said Mozzali. “We are committed to offering our customers the solutions they want, whether they are retailers trading over the internet or busy consumers looking for convenient delivery options. UPS Access Point brings UPS’s renowned quality and reliability to a new, cross-border consumer-delivery concept.”